Germany
Hohenschwangau

Here you’ll find travel reports about Hohenschwangau. Discover travel destinations in Germany of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

63 travelers at this place:

  • Day19

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    September 21, 2016 in Germany

    We struggled getting up in time for this day trip from Munich after "briefly"checking out Oktoberfest the night before, but it was definitely worth the trip.

    King Ludwig II of Bavaria built this castle in the late 1800's and died a few days before it finished. He was a bit crazy, but certainly had the vision to build a stunning castle. This castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney when he created Sleeping Beauty's castle. We thought it was much prettier from afar especially because of the beautiful scenic backdrop it was set in.Read more

  • Day96

    German Alps (Tegelberg)

    September 30, 2016 in Germany

    We'd read about a fairytale castle nestled on the side of the German Alps and had set today aside to go and see it. We grew increasingly excited as the grey mass of the Alps loomed larger and higher on the horizon. Although the land on the approach was a little hilly, there was a very definite start to the Alpine band of mountains. We were glad our plans didn't include driving through them today.

    Seeing Schloss Neuschwanstein (the castle), we pulled up and took some photos but it was shaded so we weren't able to see it in its full glory. However, we'd spotted a cable car going into the mountains. We decided on the spur of the moment to take a trip on it and were so very glad we did!

    The car was enclosed with about 25 people squashed in but it was a reasonable price and sped up the mountain at ear popping speed. The green valley with its 2 lakes opened up underneath us as we passed by sheer cliff faces and over tall pines. When we reached the upper station we saw what a good day it was for it. The sky was a rich blue, as were Forggensee and Bannwaldsee lakes more than a thousand meters below us. The sun was warm but the air fresh with hardly a breeze. There were dozens of people hangliding from this point, leaping off the side of the cliff and hoping to catch a thermal.

    Our attention was soon drawn to some noisy raven-like birds that we identified as Alpine Coughs- we'd seen Coughs on the Welsh coast last year but this was our first sighting of this charismatic high-altitude bird.

    There was a worn scree stone path leading up to the summit of Tegelberg (marked by a huge metal crucifix) and so we set off along it. The views became unbelievably more stunning as we climbed; the imposing mountains spanning out behind us and to our right. The path began to change from walkable scree to solid rock and we came across our first metal cable pinned to the rock at points with solid metal rods. We carried on up the increasingly steep and precarious 'path' and eventually made it to the top, 1707m above sea level. The vertigo had kicked in for Will but Vicky was exhilarated! There was a panoramic view, made all the more spectacular by the rich colours and contrast brought out by the perfect weather!

    On the cable car journey back down we worked out we were just 2 miles from Austria. Upon reaching the base station we were welcomed off the mountain by the sound of cow bells ringing around the necks of a small heard of bullocks.

    We didn't stay here overnight but thought the experience deserved its own footprint as it will stay in our memories for a very long time.
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  • Day49

    Schloss Neuschwanstein

    October 14, 2017 in Germany

    In keeping with movie themes, we visited Neuschwanstein Castle today, which is the castle that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew over. It is also the castle that Walt Disney reportedly based the Disneyland castle on. It is located in lower Bavaria close to the Austrian Alps, so only just over an hour drive from where are staying. I read that it is Germany's most visited attraction, and judging by the fact that we are entering low season and the place was positively crawling with people, I can well believe it. Craig wants one of those pen's recently placed on Facebook which has written on it "I hate f****n people". There really are some quite obnoxious people travelling out here.

    If we had lined up for tickets to do the 30 minute guided tour, the earliest we would have been able to do the tour was 3.00pm (and we were there at 10.15am) and tours were leaving every 5 minutes! So King Ludwig II might have been called Mad King Ludwig, but I suspect the tourism board is laughing all the way to the bank with this one.

    That said, it was rather a magical setting, and I suspect the external viewing of the castle was more of a spectacle than the inside, so we settled for that. This included a walk to a bridge over a gorge which looked back along the castle. Just nearby, and down the hill, was the castle where Ludwig lived as a child.

    We drove to another nearby village called Füssel which was crammed with typical Bavarian buildings, lots of cobbled pedestrian streets and with the river Lech running through it. Something we have noticed about all rivers in Germany and Austria - they are in a real hurry to go somewhere and could almost be described as swift water. They are also a lovely colour and crystal clear. There were also a larger number of people casually wearing traditional dress in the streets today – dirndls for the women and lederhosen and related paraphernalia for the men. When we were in Munich yesterday, we dropped into a very large retailer of traditional dress. Just the lederhosen shorts alone retailed for circa €200! A dirndl here was around €100 for a more basic version, but we were seeing them up to €600 in Austria for quite ornate versions.
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  • Day3

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    July 19, 2017 in Germany

    On Wednesday, we got the chance to go and tour Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein translates to New Swan Stone. It was believed that after death Kings returned as Swans. Neuschwanstein was one of three castles built by King Ludwig II, however it was not finished before his untimely death at the age of 40. It is said that Walt Disney modeled Cinderella's castle after Neuschwanstein.

  • Day93

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    August 7, 2017 in Germany

    It's no surprise at all why Walt Disney was inspired while visiting this Castle years ago. I've seen a lot of beautiful buildings on my travels but this one absolutely took my breath away! I joined a tour group for this adventure thinking it would be the easiest way to ensure I captured the full experience and what an adventure it was! The 2 hour train journey turned into a 5 hour journey after the train broke down and the connecting buses were running late. Luckily I made friends with two Aussie couples and killed the time chatting with them. We finally got to the castle, with five minutes to spare before our time slot to go inside, only to find the tour company had cancelled our reservation. I was so gutted because I really wanted to go inside knowing it'd probably be my only chance unless I bring my kids back one day but we made the most of our time here nonetheless. We were given 30 minutes to view the bridge which had a huge line but I took a gamble and clambered up this rockface to get the best view of the castle. Making sure I wasn't the one to hold up the bus, I ran down the hill all worried only to be the first one back all sweaty for nothing! Once we got back to Munich, I went to Augustiner Beer Garden, the largest Beer Garden in Europe, with the Aussie couples for dinner and beer of course! It wrapped up a fun day of adventure and it was nice to have some cool people to hang out with.Read more

  • Day2

    Katie sees snow for the first time! A stunning castle set in the most beautiful scenery. A fairytale forest with snow and purple spring wildflowers coming through. Snow covered mountains in the distance and the most amazing blue lakes at the bottom. Photos do not adequately capture the size of the castle. The scale of the mountains around it make it seem petit but up close you can appreciate the enormity and scale of the place. Cliffs and waterfalls go down one side and horse drawn carts take people to the castle at the top. The horses were magnificent creatures that we appreciates as we walked up the hill. We had cinnamon sugared 'snowballs' a type of doughnut ball/dumpling on the way downRead more

  • Day39

    Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany pt II

    June 10, 2016 in Germany

    Day 38:

    Today we saw castles. If you want the summary, that's it. But it was a full day for us!

    We were proud of ourselves for waking up super early (before 9) to head up to the castles (have breakfast). Apparently it wasn't quite early enough... the line was out the door to get tickets for a specific time slot for each castle, because nobody is allowed in on an unguided tour. They were definitely pumping people through. We snagged up our time slots with time to walk to and between each castle. After breakfast, of course.

    On the way to the first castle, we walked along Alpsee. We're sure everyone can figure out that it is an alpine lake, but it is crystal clear and the mountains all around really make it a destination all its own. But now to the castle. The first was Schloß Hohenschwangau, which is more fun to write because of the "ß". It was first mentioned under its original name, Schloß Schwanstein, in 1397 when it was owned by the Knights of Schwangau (swan district, real tough). The knights were forced to sell the castle to the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria, but lived there during the some 80 year duration. About 15 years after becoming owners again, they had to sell the land, and the castle went to a rich guy. The rich guy had an Italian architect work on the castle for the last 15 or so of his life. When he died, his kids sold it back to the Wittelbachs. Then the Austrians plundered it; then Germany basically took it and said the King of Bavaria, Maximilian I owned it. But then he sold it. Years later, his grandson was taking a walk and fell in love with the castle ruins and the surrounding area, so bought it. He had the place fixed up, had murals of the history of Schwangau, and medieval love stories painted in every room, and brought it to its current state in 1837. Under Maximilian II's ownership, the name of the castle had been changed to Hohenschwangau. "High Swan district", because of its placement atop a mountain in the region. Composer Richard Wagner would frequent the castle and even wrote operas based on paintings in the castle.

    Maximilian II, now king, had 2 sons, Otto (who doesn't matter for this story, sorry bro) and Ludwig. For some reason, Danielle had an intense interest in Ludwig from first hearing about him. But that works, because he's a main character in this story too. Long after the medieval times had passed, he and his brother grew up in a medieval castle with fantasy paintings on the walls, and even their uncle had a castle rebuilt to its original gothic styling. His whole life became a fantasy about the middle ages, which leads us to the second, more famous castle.

    On a mountain above Hohenschwangau was a 12th century fortress, originally named Schwangau. It went through the same changing of hands as the castle, but it fell into disrepair earlier, and was never fixed. Until crown prince Ludwig II wanted his own castle. He was obsessed with the middle ages and wanted to live like royalty of the time. When he was reaching adulthood, royalty had become very modern, with paperwork and limited power. So he took the original name of his father's castle, Schwanstein, to make his Neuschwanstein.

    It is a ridiculous castle, in more ways that one. First, it was built in a Romanesque style in the mid to late 1800s, when there was no real purpose for a castle. Also, it is the most iconic castle, probably in the world. When a boy is raised on fantasy and has an endless supply of money, it gets ridiculous. Walt Disney even based his Sleeping Beauty Castle on Neuschwanstein. It is really beyond words when you walk up to it, but when you get into it, it is sort of a sad place. Despite the outside looking as magical as it does, it is still missing elements in the original plan, marked by paving stones. Only a small portion of the inside was completed, but those few sections are fantastic. Paying homage to the Swans the area is named after, to Wagner, to the Knights of Schwangau, and to mythology and legends... He would visit castles all over the country to get ideas, then make them larger and more grand than the original.

    Unfortunately, Ludwig's story is a sad one. Shortly after becoming king, he was declared insane, arrested, and was murdered a few days later. His fantasy project was never to be completed.

    After being put in a state of awe, and also a subtle sadness, we walked to the second lake in the region, Schwansee. There was a grassy area where locals were laying out and playing lawn games. We layed out for a little bit, but biting flies have an affinity for Danielle, so we had to move on without taking the dip we planned on. From there it was a very long, very steep, very much hiking through the forest walk to the nearby Füssen to get food. We made it back, had dinner, and will fall asleep exhausted.

    Castles.
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  • Day38

    Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany

    June 9, 2016 in Germany

    Day 37:

    The rain from last night definitely carried over to the morning... It took a bit of effort to get ourselves to the train station, but after a few apricot filled donuts and coffee, everything was looking good. Our first train took us to Munich, on which we had a long conversation with a nice Indian man and got some great ideas for our next trip to Austria.

    The Munich train station was weird... there were more food places than we've seen at any others, but the only seating was at the individual tracks. Of course we had pretzels and waited for our regional train (yes, we were nervous to board another German regional train). After a flashback moment of doubt, it actually got us to our destination, only about half an hour late.

    We should have noticed what we were getting ourselves into when there were only 2 tracks at the station, but it took us walking around the corner and seeing mountains and a 2 lane road. This place is tiny. Jason turned to Danielle and said, "Uh oh, where did you bring us?" Now we have nothing against the countryside, actually prefer it, but the rain made it seem quite intimidating.

    It was only a half hour walk, along which we walked across the Lech river. Tanget coming here: we had some completely unfounded idea that the rivers we were to come across in our travels would be clear, potable, and photogenic... not so. Most of the rivers we have seen are about as opaque as milk. Lightly chocolated milk with tree branches floating in them. Interesting. Anyway, after that we walked along a field with cows in it. This seems like a boring detail, but we found their cowbells so entertaining. We can't recall ever seeing a cowbell ever really attached to a cow... but it makes so much sense. They're always grazing so the bell is going the whole time. We thought it was hilarious for some reason.

    We got to our hotel. Yes, second hotel. Which is an old house converted into a hotel in a very bed 'n breakfast way, sans breakfast. Upon grabbing our keys and finding our room, we discovered that we had apparently booked a sizeable apartment. A full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, living room, and a bedroom. Awesome. Feeling fancy, but realizing a kitchen with no food is pretty useless, we went next door to the hotel and restaurant (another converted old house). We arrived just as they were opening and as they sat us, we realized just how much of a family business this was. The family was having dinner at the first table as we were ushered into the dining area. But they always say the only way to get an authentic meal is to have it homemade, so we went for it. White asparagus, boiled potatoes, homemade spätzle, south tyrolean ham, local mushrooms, pork loins, gravy.... incredible. Also, this may come as a shock to many people, but Tyrolean speck is better than prosciutto. We genuinely didn't think that was possible, but wow.

    So about halfway through the meal, as the rainclouds started receding up the mountains,we look to the east and are awestruck. On the mountainside, in clear sight from our restaurant seats, is the Neuschwanstein Castle. We can save you the trouble of looking it up, its the "Fairytale King's" castle. The one Walt Disney based the Sleeping Beauty Castle on, so it is obviously ridiculous. After our meal, we wanted to take a walk, hoping to settle all the food. We were taken directly into the deep forest on one trail to get a better view of the castle. Then heading another way, there were beautiful grassy fields with all sorts of wild flowers. If that wasn't enough, while wandering paths around the fields, we look up to see the Hohenschwangau Castle.

    Clearly, we are so excited to see the castles tomorrow.
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  • Day70

    Munich - Neuschwanstein

    October 9, 2015 in Germany

    Many people recommended I see this classic "fairy tale" style castle, and it was worth it! Very stylised unlike the more functional castles I'd seen elsewhere - this was more like a palace. The castle was situated in some stunning scenery too.

    The story behind it is also kinda funny: the king wanted a classic middle-ages castle, which he knew about only from stories, so he had some actual middle-ages castle ruins removed to make way for his idealised version. He also had two other hugely expensive palaces underway, refusing requests to reduce spending, when he was declared insane and moved to an asylum where he promptly drowned under mysterious circumstances.

    Unfortunately the Marienbrücke (Queen Mary's Bridge), which normally has the best views, was closed for renovation, so I guess I'll have to come again another time!

    The area also had another castle (Hohenschwangau, #6) that, confusingly, was built on the site of the old Schwanstein castle, while Neuschwanstein was built on the site of the old Hohenschwangau castle, so they effectively swapped names.
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  • Day19

    "I thought it would be bigger"

    September 29, 2015 in Germany

    Today we went to see the "Disneyland castle", which is actually the Neuschwanstein Castle but its better known as the Disneyland castle because ol' Walt modelled his of this one. It was ok. Bit eh really. Looked better from further away. When the king died they stopped construction. They probably should've ket going. But nice all the same.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Hohenschwangau, Хоеншвангау

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