The last time I was in Munich was my sister’s wedding back in 2005, and I only got to spend 1 day with my friend Robert. This visit he invited us to see the famous castle that inspired Disney.
Before going to Neuschwanstein, we made a stop at Wieskirche, a Catholic church that’s still being used. In German, Wieskirche means “The Pilgrimage Church of Wies”. It is an oval rococo church, designed in the late 1740s by Dominikus Zimmermann, located in the foothills of the Alps. From the outside, it looked like an ordinary white church. Once you walk inside, it is an amazing interior.
It is said that, in 1738, tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Saviour. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In 1740, a small chapel was built to house the statue but it was soon realized that the building would be too small for the number of pilgrims it attracted, and so Steingaden Abbey decided to commission a separate shrine. Many who have prayed in front of the statue of Jesus on the altar have claimed that people have been miraculously cured of their diseases, which has made this church even more of a pilgrimage site.
Construction took place between 1745 and 1754, and the interior was decorated with frescoes and with stuccowork in the tradition of the Wessobrunner School. The Wieskirche was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983 and underwent extensive restoration between 1985 and 1991.
Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein
Robert booked us tours for both castles. The first tour was the not so pretty castle owned by the Royal Family, Schloss Hohenschwangau, the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. This castle sits lower on the hill, and is not as ornate as the neighboring castle, Schloss Neuchwanstein. Photos were not permitted inside, but here’s photos from the grounds.
After the tour, we walked the area in between the 2 castles and found a place for lunch before heading to our next tour at the Disney inspired castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein. The area in between the 2 castles was so tranquil and beautiful, and from the restaurant, you can see the Alps.
Before heading inside to Schloss Neuschwanstein, we went to view the castle from Queen Mary’s Bridge, a suspending bridge located across from the castle. Visitors could take pictures of the exterior, but not the inside of the castle.
In English Neuschwanstein means “New Swanstone Castle”. It was a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace commissioned by KingLudwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner, and he paid for the castle from his own funds.
King Ludwig II died in 1886. At the time of Ludwig’s death the palace was far from complete. He slept only 11 nights in the castle. The external structures of the Gatehouse and the Palas were mostly finished, but the Rectangular Tower was still scaffolded. The interior of the royal living space in the palace was mostly completed in 1886; the lobbies and corridors were painted in a simpler style by 1888. Had it been completed, the palace would have had more than 200 interior rooms, including premises for guests and servants, as well as for service and logistics. Ultimately, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were finished, and no visitors ever stayed the night.
The complete name is Hofbräuhaus am Platzl and its a beer hall originally built in 1589 by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I as an extension of the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München brewery. The general public was admitted in 1828 by Ludwig I. The building was completely remodeled in 1897 by Max Littmann when the brewery moved to the suburbs. All of the rooms except the historic beer hall (“Schwemme”) were destroyed in the World War II bombings.
We started off in the main hall, where the tourists and the lively music are played. There is an area where you can lock up your personal stein, and there’s a waiting list to claim a locker.
Then we left the Hall and went outside to an different entrance, which led upstairs to other dining area. Apparently, this is where the locals go to socialize. While looking over the menu, we ordered a small and “regular” beer.