My daughter and I enjoyed some beautiful, sunny days early October in the vicinity of Füssen near the King Ludwig II castles. Since Neuschwanstein was under renovation, we were looking forward to take a tour through Hohenschwangau castle, which was also Ludwig’s and Otto’s childhood home.
After buying our tour tickets we proceeded to take a horse buggy up a semi- steep hill, with the plan to hike back down after the tour. Unfortunately taking interior pictures were not permitted.
A predecessor castle “Schwanstein” was first mentioned in a document in 1397. Over the centuries, the castle has been badly damaged. In 1832, Crown Prince Maximilian acquired the castle and had it converted into today’s castle. After his death, his son, King Ludwig II, took over the property and had it decorated according to his preferences. The castle is located directly opposite Neuschwanstein Castle, built for Ludwig II, in the Hohenschwangau district near Füssen.
Today’s Hohenschwangau Castle was built between 1537 and 1547 into the partially preserved outer walls of Schwanstein Castle from the 14th century. The four story complex of the main building, which was remodeled in 1833–1837 in neo-Gothic style with yellow façade paint, has three round towers with polygonal superstructures.
The castle served as a summer residence for the royal family and was the childhood home of the two sons, the future kings Ludwig II and Otto. Their mother Marie of Bavaria (1825–1889) often went on mountain hikes with them, including to the old castles of Vorder- and Hinterhohenschwangau and Frauenstein. She also lived here every year after the death of King Max II in 1864 every year in the summer.
Below you see Ludwig and Otto with his parents
In their absence, Ludwig II also frequently used the castle, including during the construction of his own Neuschwanstein Castle from 1869 to 1884, which officially bore the name Neue Burg Hohenschwangau until 1886.
Ludwig II did not change anything in Hohenschwangau except his own bedroom, in which he had a group of rocks built in 1864, over which a waterfall flowed. He also built an apparatus for creating an artificial rainbow and a night sky, with a moon and stars illuminated by an intricate system of mirrors from the upper floor.
After Ludwig’s death in 1886, mother Queen Marie had the room restored to its original state. She died almost three years after the death of her son in 1889 at Hohenschwangau Castle.