Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bavarian Dream Vacation - Day 2, Schwangau

This is part 2 of a series. Check out Part 1 and Part 3.

For reference, here's the map:

View Bavaria Things To See in a larger map

Day 2: The Beautiful Castles in Schwangau.
Georgette mentioned her son already had in mind to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau near Füssen in far Southern Bavaria. This is the beautiful castle Walt Disney used as the model for Cinderella's Castle at his theme parks. I thought that an excellent idea; and, while they are there I also suggested they visit the Hohenschwangau Castle, which is right across the valley from its more famous companion.

The history of these castles is quite interesting. King Ludwig II of Bavaria (who is known as "Mad King Ludwig") just about bankrupted the kingdom building beautiful castles - none of which he actually lived in.

Neuschwanstein Castle - Perhaps the most famous is the Schloss Neuschwanstein. This beautiful, white, towered creation was built right across the valley from Ludwig's home. It took many years to build and is a magnificent structure, both inside and out. It is well worth the time to take the guided tour so you can learn more of the history and see some behind the scenes things. One of these is the grand ballroom floor, a large section of which could be lowered into the kitchen below. A large table and place settings could be set up on the floor and raised back up for the banquet portion of a party. When the food was done, it could be lowered, cleared and raised again to make a large dance floor.

Hohenschwangau Castle - Opposite the Neuschwanstein is the boyhood home of King Ludwig, the Hohenschwangau. Don't let the somewhat plain exterior fool you, the inside is a sight to behold. Situated on Swan Lake (the same Lake of ballet fame), this site if often overshadowed and overlooked by a great many tourists. The rooms inside are spectacular. The furnishings and artwork are spectacular. One room features a full mural on one wall depicting the life of Charlemagne, who the Bavarians believe was born in Munich.

Pilgrimage Church of Wies - Georgette's son mentioned visiting the Pilgrimage Church of Wies in Steingaden, which is just north of Schwangau. I never visited that place, but from the history I read online it seems like a very interesting place. Steingaden can be easily reached by bus from the train station in Füssen.

Schwangau is easy to get to via train from Munich. Take the train to Füssen and then a bus to Hohenschwangau. Mike's Bike Tours of Munich also offer a charter bus tour, which might be more convenient.

This trip will take up the whole day, so I wouldn't recommend doing much more than a having a relaxing dinner upon return to Munich.

Thus ends day 2. Next up is day 3 in Augsburg.

Please feel free to leave your Schwangau tour tips in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment