Monday, 27 May 2013

Beer, Bavaria, Bretzels, Bacharach and Berlin (Part 2)

I spent three days in Munich and in one of those days I went to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, south of Munich.

It was quite foggy and cold (about 7 degree Celsius) that day but I think it adds to the whole mystery and elusiveness of the castle and King Ludwig II's life.

King Ludwig II was well ahead of his time. The first stop was the Linderhof palace in the morning and its interior was decorated beautifully in a rococo style. Ludwig got his inspirations from Louis XIVand the Versailles in France. He lived a rather quiet and secluded life. At 18 and 1/2 years of age, he ascended to the throne after his father King Maximillian died. As a child he lived in Hohenschwangau Castle but dreamed of his own castles. He built as least 2 castles in his lifetime. The most famous of them is the Neuschwanstein Castle which he never got the chance to see or live because of his early death. In fact the name Neuschwanstein was not named by him. Neu means new, schwan means swan and stein means stone. Together it means New Swanstone.

We learnt of his obession with building castles. Even as an adult he led a very introverted life. In the dining hall of the Linderhof castle was a table that had a mechanism whereby he could lower it to the kitchen in the basement, hence doing away with the need of having servants bring him food and disturb him. Ludwig never married but had been engaged once. He was bethroed to Princess Sophie and postponed the wedding day twice. Finally, he called off the engagement and never got married at all.

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