Linderhof Castle is the smallest of the three castles of the fairytale king Ludwig II and also his favorite castle. This is also where he stayed by far the most often. The castle is located in the Upper Bavarian municipality of Ettal and, together with its magnificent castle garden, is a very popular sight that fascinates hundreds of thousands of people every year.
With Linderhof Castle, the fairy-tale king Ludwig II created for himself a private domicile of incomparable beauty. The "Royal Villa", as the castle is also called, is magnificently furnished in the rococo style and was built in several construction phases between 1869 and 1886. It is reminiscent of one of the typical 18th century pleasure palaces, but has no direct model. Just as impressive as the palace itself is the associated palace garden with various exotic park buildings such as the Moroccan House, the Hunding Hut or the Venus Grotto. Each structure is an attractive sight in its own right. Together, the palace and gardens form a beautiful and artistic 19th century ensemble. Linderhof Castle can be visited by visitors every day. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world come here to marvel at this great sight.
The history of Linderhof Castle
In 1790, where the castle stands today, a simple farmhouse was built, which Maximilian II, the father of Ludwig II, had converted into a hunting lodge in the middle of the 19th century. The so-called Königshäuschen was a simple wooden house built on a stone base. A few years after Ludwig II became King of Bavaria in 1864, he began to plan some castle projects. For example, the first designs for the world-famous Neuschwanstein Castle were created during this time, and construction began in 1869. Ludwig also started planning the New Herrenchiemsee Palace during this period. As far as Linderhof was concerned, the king initially only ordered an extension to the Königshäuschen, for which he engaged the architect Georg von Dollmann. In 1870, he added an east wing to the existing building. This was followed a year later by a west wing and a central connecting piece that linked the two buildings. These renovation measures had already made the original king's house superfluous. However, Ludwig II did not want to have it torn down yet, as many memories and emotions connected him with it. In 1873, a stone wall was built around the castle and a roof was erected. Finally, one year later, the actual royal house was dismantled and moved to its current location - about 200 meters west of the castle. In the following years, a southern wing and finally the bedroom wing were built. In 1886, the castle was finally finished as we know it today. The impressive facades of Linderhof Palace were designed in the historical style with borrowings from the Rococo period.
The rooms in Linderhof Castle charm with abundant luxury, glittering gold and ornate paintings and murals. They are splendidly furnished in the neo-rococo style. The largest room in the palace is Ludwig II's bedroom, which is of course also luxuriously and artistically furnished. In terms of design, it is reminiscent of the bedroom of the French Sun King Louis XIV, whom the fairytale king greatly admired. However, different shapes and colors were used for the bedroom in Linderhof Castle than for the French model. In addition to the bedroom, the Hall of Mirrors is also relatively large. The other rooms, however, reveal that the castle was intended to serve King Ludwig II alone. With this magnificent building, he wanted to create a private retreat where he could linger undisturbed. This fact is impressively underlined by the so-called "Tichschleindeckdich" in the dining room. By means of a mechanism, the king could lower the dining table one floor down into the kitchen. There it was set by servants and maneuvered back up into the dining room. This kind of dumbwaiter allowed Louis II to eat in peace without having to surround himself with his servants. In addition to the bedroom, which resembles that of the French Sun King, there are other details scattered throughout the palace that show Ludwig's devotion to the French royal family. On the ceiling of the dining room, for example, there are ornate paintings depicting scenes from life at the court of Versailles.
The Palace Garden
The impressive and beautiful palace garden was completed in 1880 under the direction of the Bavarian court gardener Carl von Effner. The garden bears many similarities to typical Baroque and Rococo gardens, while the large park all around, with its groves of trees and winding paths, is modeled on English landscape gardens. There is plenty on offer here for the visitor's eyes: Beautiful terraces with pools, geometric flowerbeds, numerous fountains, statues and extravagant structures adorn the garden.
The various park buildings are very special attractions. The Moorish Kiosk, for example, is a pavilion with a golden central dome and small minaret towers. Ludwig II bought the structure after it was originally built as Prussia's contribution to the 1867 World's Fair. The fairy-tale king expanded the interior to include, among other things, a noble marble fountain and a luxurious peacock throne. Also worth seeing is the Moroccan House, furnished in oriental style, which Ludwig II acquired at the aforementioned World's Fair in Paris. The Hundinghütte is a romantic log building based on a scene from the Wagner opera Walküre. Also based on a scene from a work by Wagner is the "Hermitage of Gurnemanz," a hermit's hut on the edge of the palace garden. Particularly worth seeing is the impressive Venus Grotto, which is painted with landscape paintings and scenes from the opera Tannhäuser. It has a built-in electric lighting system, an artificial pond and a waterfall.
Linderhof Palace is open to visitors all year round, except on some holidays. However, the park buildings, with the exception of the original King's House, are closed during the winter months from October to March. A guided tour of the castle is only possible and lasts about half an hour. Special guided tours for children are offered for young visitors to the castle, and during the main holiday season in the summer there are regular interesting family events, where young and old are offered a lot to do around the castle. Linderhof Palace and the adjacent gardens are an imposing work of art and a beautiful sight that should not be missed. Here you can marvel at the splendor in which a real king of the 19th century lived. Not only people interested in history and culture will get their money's worth when visiting Linderhof Castle.