Hohenschwangau castle

Hohenschwangau Castle was mentioned the first time in records of the 12th century.

Until the 16th century its owners were the knights of Schwangau. During the following time it changed hands a couple of times and was partially destroyed during different wars.

In 1832 the later King Maximilian II., father of King Ludwig II., acquired the ruin and had the castle rebuilt according to original plans. After its completion it used to be the summer and hunting residence of the Bavarian royal family. In his whole life, the famous Bavarian King Ludwig II. spent a few weeks each summer in Hohenschwangau.

Since 1923 the Wilttelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds owns Hohenschwangau Castle.

© Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds München, Fotos: Thomas Günter


A romantic summer and hunting castle

At the age of 18, Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria discovered the scenic Hohenschwangau castle ruins, known at the time as "Schwanstein", on a hike. Spontaneously he decided to buy and rebuild it. Between 1833 and 1837 he had a romantic castle built on the remains of the medieval castle.

He entrusted his art teacher, the architecture and theatre painter Domenico Quaglio (1787-1837) with the construction management. With Hohenschwangau Castle, he created a model for many other buildings.

The interior and exterior design, the furnishings of the rooms and the more than 90 wall paintings are coordinated and blend into a harmonious whole.

The complex, as created by Maximilian and his artist-architect, has been preserved as an extraordinary architectural monument from the Romantic era.

In 1842 Maximilian married Princess Marie of Prussia. Marie (1825 - 1889), a niece of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. and granddaughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm II. She loved Hohenschwangau and the contrasting landscape of the area.

The Bavarian royal family spent many weeks a year in Hohenschwangau. The castle chronicle, written by the respective castellan, enumerates princely guests, reports on festivals, splendid jousting, mountain fires glowing from far and wide, and excursions and "parthias" of the royal family. While Maximilian, a passionate hunter, used the stays for hunting trips in the area, Queen Marie preferred mountain hiking and fishing.

Anyone interested in the life of their son, King Ludwig II, his being, his almost mystical imagination and his buildings, can in Hohenschwangau guess the origin of his interests in legends and myths. Here the enthusiastic king found many stimuli in his childhood.


The vacational domicile of the royal highnesses


For centuries, Hohenschwangau Castle was used by the royal family as a holiday residence.


In the Museum of the Bavarian Kings you can learn more about the history of the Wittelsbach family.