It’s impossible to visit Bavaria without running into at least one of “Mad” King Ludwig II’s extraordinary palaces. Schloss Linderhof, or Linderhof Palace, is one of these exquisite and unforgettable royal residences.
About The Linderhof Palace And Its History
Linderhof Palace was one of the many great creations of the “Mad King,” King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century. While it may be the smallest of his palaces, Linderhof must have had a special meaning to Ludwig.
This palace was the only one he survived to see in its completed grandeur. His untimely and mysterious death occurred in 1886; Schloss Linderhof was completed in the same year.
Linderhof’s beginnings go back to when Ludwig was a young boy who would go hunting on the grounds of the Königshäuschen (King’s Cottage) in Bavaria. He began Linderhof’s construction by first enlarging the cottage, only to tear it down and begin again from scratch.
Linderhof Palace is designed in the later rococo style, but evidently borrows aspects of the world-famous Versailles Palace in France. There are some elements that are close replicas of its French sister, such as a magnificent staircase, and symbols of the sun (from Louis XIV’s nickname of the Sun King) are everywhere.
Linderhof Palace Highlights And Features
The Hall of Mirrors
Much like its counterpart in Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors is an amazing room that is sure to delight its visitors. It held particular comfort for Ludwig, who had the sleeping habits of a vampire. As he was awake all night, he delighted in the thousands of candlelight reflections in this mirrored hallway.
While most guests won’t be invited to spend the night, you can still take in the luxurious and elaborate decor of this room, which includes lapis lazuli, amethyst, ivory, ostrich plume carpets, and an optical illusion of never-ending hallways.
Palace Garden And Park
A visit to Linderhof Palace is not complete until you have strolled about its wondrous gardens and parks. While outside, be sure not to miss this incredible structure, the Venus Grotto. This building was inspired by Wagner’s Tannhauser (one of Ludwig’s favorites) and decorated in changing colors and water. Legend says that the Swan King (i.e., Ludwig) greatly enjoyed taking his golden swan boat through this interesting, artificial cave.
There is also an incredibly intricate building, the Moorish Kiosk with its peacock throne, that Ludwig bought from the Paris Exhibition of 1867. Another exotic treat is the Moroccan House.
And just when you think you’ve seen everything in this lovely park, head on over to the Gurnemanz Hermitage and Hunding’s Hut, another Wagner-inspired structure.
Linderhof Palace Location And Opening Hours
Linderhof Palace may be found near the Ettal Abbey in the village of Ettal, near the city of Oberammergau, in southwestern Bavaria. For those of you who are staying in Munich, it’s a convenient day trip to visit Schloss Linderhof. Munich is only just over an hour away.
The street address, for navigation system lovers, of this Bavarian masterpiece is Linderhof 12 in Ettal. Use Autobahn A95 to Bundesstraße B32 towards Oberau. From here, follow the signs to the B23 or Ettaler Straße and onto the road ST2060. There is plenty of parking available at the palace for a small fee.
Public transport users can hop off their trains at the Oberammergau station, then take the bus (number 9622) to continue to Linderhof.
Linderhof Opening Hours
Linderhof Palace opens its doors in the summer months (April to October) from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The winter brings shorter hours, with visiting times lasting from just 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use a guided tour to visit the insides of the palace. So be sure to check availability ahead of time if you can. Schloss Linderhof is closed on selected holidays, usually around Christmas and New Years.
Web site: http://www.schlosslinderhof.de