King Ludwig

The general consensus is that King Ludwig was crazy. In the mid to late 19th century he set about to build three different opulent castles. The best know of the three is the one Walt Disney copied with the Fantasyland castle in California.

The Lake at Herrenchiemsee

The Lake at Herrenchiemsee

We set off in the morning to visit Herrenchiemsee.  It is located on an island on lake in Bavaria just south of Munich. We set out on the autobaun and travel along at pedestrian speeds for Germany because the Saturday morning traffic is so thick it holds the speeds down to around 100 or 110 kph.

We arrive in Prien, Chiemgau a touristy town. It is not overrun with people but it is busy. There are several lake size tour boats that ply the waters of Lake Chiemsee. One of the stops is at the island that King Ludwig bought in 1873. He had grandiose ideas for all three of his castles. His ‘hero’ king was Louis XIV of France. So Herrendhiemsee is full of references and innuendo to his hero. There are rooms that are copies of rooms in Versailles. There are portraits of Louis, with a sort of 19th century photoshoped image that made him look younger and slimmer then he actually was.

Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee

Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee

The castle decoration is in the Barque and Rococo styles, meaning quite fussy and curvy detailing. Tons of gold, 5 kg of gold leaf in total was used to decorate the rooms that were finished before he died. Every one of the  public rooms shone and glistened. His private chambers are still very fancy but he held back and not as much gold is on display. The great hall is jaw dropping. An audible and collective “aahh” could be heard as the group entered the room.

Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee

Maybe this king was crazy, maybe not, but he sure knew how to spend money. The palace was never finished. Ludwig died before he could deplete the money in the royal coffers but what is completed is very well preserved and is an attraction worth a visit.

Sorry there are no pics of the inside as photography is verboten.

Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee

Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee

It was quite a relaxing not hurried day as the trip is far and takes the entire day. The ride home was quite a bit quicker as the traffic was less and traveling, at times, up to 180 kph cuts down travel time considerably.

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