Random Memories of Germany-Our Favorite Castles

16 Aug


Judy Wills

As I mentioned last time, we visited quite a few castles while in Germany – and some in other countries.  But I think our favorites were the ones built by Ludwig II – named “Mad King Ludwig” by many.  But he was a great castle-builder!

King Ludwig II of Bavaria

I want to preface this post with a statement that a lot of what information and pictures I am presenting is from pamphlets we purchased when we toured Neuschwanstein all those years ago.  Some are our own observations and pictures, but some of the more “technical” information is gleaned from those pamphlets, and a few items from Wikipedia and Google search.  So…..

King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is the king who built these three castles.  Neuschwanstein was the first built, (1869-1886) taking 17 years to complete, and was not completely finished at his death in 1886.  Linderhof only took four years to build (1876-1878).  And the final castle, Herrenchiemsee, was eight years in the building, 1878-1886.  It was not completed at the time of Ludwig’s death in 1886, under mysterious circumstances.

I think the most impressive of all Ludwig’s castles, is Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swan Castle), in Bavaria – at least to me.  We visited it many times during the six years we lived in Germany.  We were fortunate, during our first tour of duty (1967-1970) that when we toured the castle, we were allowed to enter places that are now off-limits to tourists.

1968 – from the walking path

1982 – walking up to the castle

1982 – an interesting view of the castle

I have researched the information on the castle, but have not found any mention of what we were told when we first visited – that it was built as a “soldier’s castle.”  I have seen instances of it being called a “Knight’s Castle” so that might mean the same thing.  It is a bit austere compared to Linderhof (see my previous post of August 9, 2020), but I found it fascinating!  Lots of wood and marble, much more space than Linderhof.

Not having lived in a really cold climate, I was amazed at the heating system there. As early as 1884, the castle was centrally heated by warm air from the cellar and the ground floor.  Hot air flowed through air-shafts to the rooms of the upper stories.  Near the kitchen were four big stoves for heating the entire castle, but they were in use only in autumn and spring.  Therefore, in each room there was a tiled stove, used for heating the rooms.  Beautifully done.

The kitchen was quite modern for that time.  Besides hot and cold running water, a grill and fully automatic turning spits for game and poultry.  Rising hot air in the chimney turned a turbine in a broad tube above the spit, and this movement operated the spit over a gear (an invention by Leonardo da Vinci).  Amazing

The Kitchen

There was hot and cold running water throughout the castle.  It was supplied by a source emerging 600 feet above the castle, so that its natural pressure is sufficient to supply the whole castle – even its uppermost rooms, with water.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Random Memories of Germany-Our Favorite Castles”

  1. divoran09 August 16, 2020 at 3:32 pm #

    Castles are an amazing thing. I’m glad you have your own to visit just down the road.


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