Hohenschwangau castle - Hohenschwangau castle guide, attractions and pictures

Hohenschwangau castle (Hohenschwangau Schloß) (literally meaning "High Swan County Palace"), is a magnificent neo-Gothic castle located in the village of Hohenschwangau, Bavaria near the small city of Fussen in Southern Germany, close to the Austrian border. The structure was built on a hill above the Alpsee (Alp Lake) by King Maximilian of Bavaria in 1830s.

However, the Hohenschwangau Castle was erected on the ruins of a medieval fortress, owned by a family of knights, the Lords of Schwangau, until 16th century. The earliest historical accounts of the fortress date back to the 12th century. After the 16th century, the fortress changed its ownership several times and was seriously damaged in warfare in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The "renaissance" of the Hohenschwangau Castle occurred in 1830s when Crown Prince Maximilian (later King Maximilian II of Bavaria) visited the place and was strongly attracted by the historic site and its wild picturesque surroundings. He bought the property and rebuilt it in a neo-Gothic style. All reconstruction works were led and supervised by Dominico Quaglio, a famous 19-century architect.

In the early 20th century Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria electrified the building, installed elevators, and soon afterwards, the castle was opened to the public. Today, the castle is privately owned but functions as a public museum. Its interior features works of art and paintings of Bavarian folk heroes and knights. Some rooms contain frescos depicting legends, including Swan Kinght. Every piece of furniture in the castle is a used original, while the Hohenstaufensaal room has a square piano where Wagner entertained Ludwig with excerpts from his oeuvres.

Hohenschwangau Castle is a historic site attracting some 300,000 visitors a year. Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein are among the most visited tourist sites in Germany and visitors can tour both castles with one ticket.

Hohenschwangau castle

If you want to visit both castles and explore the area you may want to stay a couple of days in the nearby town of Fussen. It is only a 6-minute (3.9 km) drive to the village of Hohenschwangau.

Hohenschwangau castle

Hohenschwangau castle

Hohenschwangau Jagerhaus

Hohenschwangau Jagerhaus located in the village of Hohenschwangau

For information on how to get there and the opening hours go to Neuschwanstein castle.

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