Linderhof Castle in Bavaria, history and architecture

Linderhof Castle

Linderhof Castle, a true masterpiece of Bavarian architecture created by the Romantic King Ludwig II, attracts tourists from all over the world.

The amazing Linderhof Castle in Bavaria is situated in the German Graswangthal Valley and is 10 km away from the alpine village of Oberammergau, the largest tourist center in the area. If you are planning a sightseeing trip to see Bavarian architecture, this is more than a good choice. Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles as well as Hohenschwangau residence are only 20 km away from each other.

The castle is built in the protected area of the Ammergebirge in a picturesque park and gets its name from the royal hunting pavilion, once bought by the Bavarian monarch Maximilian II from the nearby Abbey of Ettal.

History of the Linderhof

For a long time, Bavaria’s rulers preferred to reside primarily in Munich, and the future Linderhof castle was merely a forgotten hunting lodge. But King Ludwig II – a visionary who identified with the noble knights of German legend – decided to rebuild it completely in 1869. Rumor has it that the monarch was involved in the design of the new estate along with the famous architect Dahlmann.

Interesting fact: it is believed that once there was a house of a peasant Leander, from which the palace later got its name. Tourists are even shown more than three centuries old linden, allegedly preserved from that time.

When building the palace, Versailles – the famous residence of the rulers of France – was taken as an example. Construction lasted until 1886 and included the following architectural modifications to the structure:

  • The arrangement of a Moorish pavilion, brought from Bohemian Castle Zbiro, in the grounds of the park;
  • installation of a peacock throne made especially for the king by special order in Paris in the late 1870s;
  • creation of an artificial stalactite cave and a golden boat made of seashells designed by architects Dirigl and Seitz with fabulous underwater lighting, amazing lighting effects and the ability to manually summon waves.

If you look closely at the Linderhof Castle, the photos show that it is a stone structure. However, originally the structure was wooden. Gradually the west, east and south wings were added to it and a new staircase was completed.

Linderhof is considered the only dream residence of a Bavarian dream king completed during his lifetime. In terms of modern money the construction of the castle cost more than 4 million EUR.

Linderhof sights

The Baroque and Rococo interior of the castle is lavish with an abundance of mirrored surfaces, paintings by famous artists, tapestries and embroidered decorative panels. In the main building of the white Linderhof Castle, ten magnificently decorated halls await you, with many objects of art available for touristic viewing. The largest are considered to be:

  • The East and West Tapestry Halls;
  • Reception Hall;
  • the dining room;
  • the dormitory.

All these rooms are passageways and share the four offices of the Bavarian king, fashioned in blue, pink, yellow and purple and bearing their respective names.

The visitors’ attention is well deserved:

  1. The bedroom of Ludwig II. At the time the castle was built, the king was already suffering from an incipient mental illness and therefore preferred to lead a predominantly nocturnal life. His bedroom is the largest and most central room of the palace and is meticulously decorated. The middle of the room is occupied by a gigantic four-by-four-meter bed, hung with a canopy and surrounded by a balustrade with lots of gilded elements of decoration. This gives the bed a slight resemblance to a church altar. There is also an artificial waterfall designed to cool the air in the summer heat. In the corners of the room, visitors will see marble sculptures of ancient heroes, and a large candelabrum with 108 candles provides ideal lighting.
  2. The Hall of Mirrors. It was used by Ludwig as a drawing room. In a secluded alcove surrounded by gigantic mirrors hanging on the walls, he spent long hours reading. The combination of the many reflecting surfaces and the white and gold colors of the room create the impression of being in a parallel dimension. This effect is multiplied by the parallel arrangement of several mirrors, which creates the illusion of a mysterious endless road stretching into the distance.
  3. The Western Tapestry Room. It is also known as the Music Salon. Not a single tapestry in this room of Linderhof castle will leave indifferent true connoisseurs of fine arts. Most canvases depict scenes of a rural idyll, with shepherds and cowgirls freely indulging in amorous pleasures against a background of summer greenery. Next to the window there is a peacock made of Sevres porcelain, not very different in size from the real one. A very unusual musical instrument is placed beside it – something between a piano and a harmonium.
  4. The reception hall. No visitors were ever received here – the king was melancholy and withdrawn. Ludwig II would use this room as a private place to think and reflect on his projects. There are two malachite tables in the room – a gift from the Russian Empress, wife of Nicholas II. The lining of the walls is inlaid with precious stones, and two marble fireplaces are inscribed harmoniously in it. On them are equestrian statuettes of the French kings Louis XV and XVI. Ludwig’s desk is adorned with gilt writing implements.
  5. The dining hall. The “highlight” of this oval room is a large dining table with a lift mechanism. The monarch did not tolerate companions during meals, so servants could not be in the dining room. The table, fully set, was raised from below through a trapdoor so that Ludwig would be completely alone. It is now adorned with a vase of Meissen porcelain.

Interestingly enough, the table at the Linderhof was always set for four people. The King seriously thought he was dining with imaginary friends: the French monarch Louis XIV, Queen Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour.

To understand how to get to Linderhof Castle in Germany, you don’t have to make a huge effort. All you have to do is buy a train ticket to Oberammergau. Directly from the station to the castle there is a regular bus number 9622.

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If you want to get to Linderhof Castle by car, find highway A95 on the map. Follow it to the junction with the B2. At the Oberau take the B23 (Ettaler Straße). After Ettal, turn left onto the road St2060 and at the castle turn right to get to the main palace.

You can see the palace itself all year round and daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April to October 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October 16 to March. The palace pavilions are open to visitors only from April-May to October 15.

Total cost for the tour of the palace and the park area is 8,5 EUR, for seniors and students – 7,5 EUR. A stroll through just the park buildings costs 5 and 4 EUR, while a tour of just the main building costs 7.5 and 6.5 EUR respectively. A combined ticket (not only to the castle, but also the residences of Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee) costs 20 EUR and is valid for six months.

It is forbidden to walk around the palace on your own: you can visit it only as part of a guided tour. Photographs inside the palace are not allowed.

Linderhof Castle is located at: Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal. All additional information can be found at http://www.schlosslinderhof.de/.

After a tour of the castle’s interior apartments, most guides will show you the famous park pavilions. Among them:

  • The Grotto of Venus, an artificial underground cave with a small waterfall and amazing illumination of various hues, where Wagner’s operas were staged in Ludwig’s time;
  • The hunting lodge, where the king and his entourage held feasts reminiscent of Viking times;
  • The Moroccan House and the Moorish Pavilion with its amazing peacock throne.

Also very beautiful is the well-groomed landscape park with numerous lakes, flowers and statues.

Linderhof – the beloved castle of the “fairytale king” of Bavaria

Linderhof Castle is one of the three famous German castles nestled in the picturesque mountains of Bavaria. It is the smallest and “domestic” residence of King Louis II, the main highlights being the Grotto of Venus and the English garden.

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Linderhof Castle

Overview

Linderhof Castle is located in Upper Bavaria, Germany, and is one of the many residences of King Louis II. The attraction is located 30 km from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and 8 km from the small village of Oberammergau.

The location of the castle is very convenient for tourists: 20 km away are the famous Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwanagau.

Linderhof Castle in Germany is famous not only for its luxurious interiors, but also for the large garden, which is located in the mountains. Ludwig himself often called it the “Residence of the Swan Prince” and members of the royal family called it the “Temple of the Sun”. The symbol of Linderhof castle in Bavaria is the peacock, whose statues can be found in many of the rooms.

Brief history

Maximilian of Bavaria (father of Louis II), who loved to travel, once visited Upper Bavaria and saw a small hunting lodge in the mountains. As the king was very fond of hunting, he bought this small building and the surrounding area.

Linderhof Castle, Germany

Almost 15 years later, Maximilian’s son Louis II decided to build a castle for himself in Germany, replicating Versailles (the king himself drew sketches of the future interiors). The place for the future residence was very picturesque: the mountains, pine forests and several small mountain lakes nearby.

However, at the initial stage of construction it became clear that there wasn’t enough space for such a grandiose idea. As a result, the construction of the Versailles continued in Herrenkemse (Germany). And in Upper Bavaria it was decided to build a small secluded palace, where the king could come with his family.

The king’s residence in Bavaria was built over 15 years. Local wood was used for the interiors and furniture, and the walls and ceilings of the castle were also built entirely of wood and plastered.

Architecture and interior decoration

Linderhof Castle in Germany is built in the rare Bavarian neo-Rococo style, and seems quite small compared to the famous Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwanagau. The attraction consists of only two floors and five rooms, which were built exclusively for Louis II. There are no guest chambers or an office where the king could receive guests.

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The bedroom of the “King of the Night”.

Because Linderhof Castle in Bavaria was intended exclusively for the king and his family, there are not many rooms and bedrooms here at all:

  1. The King of the Night Bedroom. It is the largest room in the house and is restricted to Louis II. The walls are decorated with paintings in gilded frames and frescoes, and in the center of the rooms is a huge four-meter bed with a velvet canopy and gilded legs. Interestingly, this interior was created by a theater artist.
  2. The Hall of Mirrors is a small room in the eastern part of the castle, which, however, looks no less than a bedroom, as there are mirrors both on the walls and on the ceiling. They reflect hundreds of candles and golden bas-reliefs, creating an indescribable atmosphere of mystery and fairy-tale.
  3. The tapestry room was used as a museum, housing a large collection of tapestries and furniture, brought by Louis from various countries. Tapestry Room
  4. The Reception Hall was the king’s study where he conducted state affairs while seated at the massive malachite table (a gift from the Russian emperor). Dining Room
  5. The dining hall is the most modernized room of the castle. Its main highlight is the table which worked on the principle of an elevator: it was served in the basement and then taken upstairs. Louis II was very pleased with such a device: he was an unsociable man, and preferred to dine alone. The King’s servants said that he always asked that the table be set for four as he dined with imaginary friends, among whom was Marie de Pompadour.

The king was very proud of the fact that he came from the Bourbon dynasty, so in all the rooms you can see many coats of arms of this family and lilies (their symbol). But there are no pictures of swans (the symbol of Louis himself) in the castle of Bavaria, because the king believed that his greatness and power should be “told” by another residence – the White Swan Castle.

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Linderhof Gardens

Because Louis originally wanted to build the Linderhof palace in Bavaria in the likeness of Versailles, much attention was paid to the gardens and the entire near palace grounds. On an area of 50 hectares, the best gardeners in France, England and Germany planted flowerbeds and created a picturesque English garden.

Walking around the park, you can see about 20 fountains, 35 sculptures and several unusual pavilions. In addition, in the grounds of the gardens can be found:

Moorish Pavilion

  1. The Marrocan House. This is a small but very beautiful building in the center of the gardens. Inside you can find dozens of oriental carpets and rare types of fabrics.
  2. The Hunding Hut. A hunting lodge built as a set for one of the operas. In the rooms you can see bear skins, stuffed birds and weapons.
  3. The hunting lodge. The house that made Maximilian of Bavaria decide to buy the land. The Moorish Pavilion
  4. Moorish pavilion. A small building in the western part of the garden, built in oriental style (early 19th century). Inside there are marble walls, paintings in gold frames and a large peacock throne, which was brought to Germany at the end of the 19th century.

Like his father, Louis loved opera and admired the works of Richard Wagner (he was a frequent visitor to Bavaria), for listening to whose works the Grotto of Venus was erected – the symbol and main attraction of the Linderhof castle. The acoustics in this small, underground room were terrific, and the king loved to spend his free time here.

Venus Grotto

It is interesting that in this grotto for the first time in Germany were used those devices that are used today in theatrical productions: lamps that change color, sound equipment and smoke machines.

The Grotto of Venus, Bavaria

In the central part of the grotto is a fountain and a small lake. These two sets were perfect for the production of Tannhäuser, which Ludovico was very fond of.

How to get there from Munich

Linderhof Castle and Munich are 96 km apart. Unfortunately, it is not possible to reach your destination without a transfer. There are 3 options:

Flixbus

  1. You need to take the R-Bahn train at Munich Central Station and go to the village of the Bavarian Oberammergau (ticket price – from 22 to 35 euros, travel time – just over an hour). Trains run 3-4 times a day. After you get on the bus, which will take you directly to the attractions (cost – 10 euros). Total travel time is 2.5 hours.
  2. You can get to the attractions with the change of plan in the German city of Murnau. You must get on the train to Murnau at Munich Central Station (the price varies from 19 to 25 euros, travel time – 55 minutes). Then you need to take a train to the village Oberammergau (cost – from 10 to 15 euros, time – 25 minutes). The rest way (10 km) you can go either by cab (about 20 euros) or by bus (10 euros). The total traveling time is 2 hours. Trains go every 2-4 hours.
  3. It is necessary to take a bus Flixbus at the main bus station in Munich (runs 4 times a day). Get off at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen stop (travel time: 1 hour and 20 minutes). The rest of the way (about 30 km) you’ll have to take a cab. The bus costs 4-8 euros. The price for a trip by a cab – 60-65 euros. The total trip time – 2 hours.
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Thus, answering the question of how to get to the Linderhof Castle from Munich, with regret, we can say: quickly and comfortably get to the attractions will only be possible only by cab – other options are cheaper, but you will need to make at least one change.

Buy tickets for the train you can either at the ticket office of the railway station, or in special machines that are at the stations in Germany. By the way, buying tickets from vending machines is more profitable – you can save 2 euros.

You can buy Flixbus tickets on the official website: www.flixbus.de. Here you can also keep track of new promotions (they are very frequent) and company news.

Practical information

Admission is free up to 18 years of age.

The cost of a general ticket (Linderhof Castle + Neuschwanstein + Hohenschwanagau) is 24 euros. This ticket is valid for 5 months after purchase and can be purchased at any of the above-mentioned castles in Germany or online.

Official website: www.schlosslinderhof.de

Useful tips

Schloßhotel Linderhof 3*

  1. The tour is already included in the ticket price. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see the castle without a guide, because there are so many people who want to see the residence of Louis. But you can visit the park unaccompanied. Note that the guide only speaks English and German.
  2. Take a whole day to visit the castles of Linderhof, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwanagau – you will not be disappointed. Schloßhotel Linderhof 3*
  3. If you are impressed by the beauty of Linderhof Castle you can stay overnight at the Schloßhotel Linderhof 3*, which is just a few kilometers away.
  4. Please note that no photos are allowed in Linderhof Castle (the same applies to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwanagau).

Linderhof Castle in Bavaria, Germany is the smallest but the most original and original residence of Louis II.

Walk around Linderhof Castle:

Author: Maria Protasenya

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