Southern Bavaria -- Wieskirche, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles


Wieskirche, a church amid pasture land in the Alps, a pilgramage church, built 1745 to 1754

Official web site:

Wikipedia article:


The is a bit of development around the church, including a hotel, restaurants, paid parking, and (below) souvenir shops.



Our first glimpse of Neuschwanstein castle, with its mountain backdrop

Schwangau municipality is named for 'Swan Island' in the nearby large Alpensee lake.

Neueschwanstein Castle was built as King Ludwig II's personal refuge, built 1869-1876. The design was drafted by an operatic stage designer. The interior decor is largely based on Wagner operas. Wagner was King Ludwig's house guest for a year.

Ludwig II's father King Maxamillian II had previously restored Hohenschwangau castle from its medieval ruins. It then served as the family hunting lodge.

Neueschwanstein was one of three elaborate castle projects undertaken by Ludwig II. He accumulated huge debts financing these projects.

From the Wikipedia article (link below):

Even after his debts had reached 14 million marks, Ludwig insisted on continuation of his architectural projects; he threatened suicide if his creditors seized his palaces.[46] In early 1886, Ludwig asked his cabinet for a credit of 6 million marks, which was denied. In April, he followed Bismarck's advice to apply for the money to his parliament. In June the Bavarian government decided to depose the king, who was living at Neuschwanstein at the time. On June 9 he was incapacitated, and on June 10 he had the deposition commission arrested in the gatehouse.[48] In expectation of the commission, he alerted the gendarmerie and fire brigades of surrounding places for his protection.[45] A second commission headed by Bernhard von Gudden arrived on the next day, and the king was forced to leave the palace that night. Ludwig was put under the supervision of von Gudden. On June 13, both died under mysterious circumstances in the shallow shore water of Lake Starnberg near Berg Castle.

Neueschwanstein is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. It was very well set up for handling the 6000 visitors per day that come in summer. There is a ticket center in nearby valley, for both castles and the Museum of Bavarian Kings. Transport by either bus or horse-drawn carriage takes you to the castles. At the Neueschwanstein entrance there is waiting area with covered benches, and nice views of the castle and the surrounding farmland. There is an electronic sign board displaying wheich tour numbers begin soon. There are toilets, snack stands, and souvenir shops. Nearer to the entrance door is a second electronic sign board. The turnstiles scan your ticket, and only admit you five minutes before your tour time. Your guide meets you inside. The tour lasted exactly 30 minutes.

Wikipedia article:

View from the waiting area by the entrance to Neueschwannstein castle.


View from Marienbrucke bridge, over a gorge, behind the castle


View of Hohenschwangau Castle from the walking path to Marienbrucke


The gardens outside Hohenschwangau

to next stop, Munich

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