The Weekly Postcard: Hohenschwangau Castle

If it wasn’t for the glorious and world renowned Neuschwanstein  just a stone-throw away, the Hohenschwangau Castle might have never achieved its fame. Schloss Hohenschwangau, as the Germans call it, is best known as the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The castle was built by King Maximilian II, Ludwig’s father, on the ruins of the Fortress Schwanstein.



The king discovered the place while wandering around the beautiful area of Schwansee (Swan Lake) and decided to create a fairy tale castle with decorative towers and turrets, portals and crenellated parapets. He rebuilt the old fortress in the style of a medieval castle and decorated it with scenes from medieval legends, choosing the swan as its emblem it. Hohenschwangau translated literally means “High County of the Swan.”


It is however unfair for the beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle to be so close to the flamboyant Neuschwanstein and always be compared to it. The much older Hohenschwangau has its own architectural merits and shares the same magnificent setting as its famous sister, overlooking Schwansee (Swan Lake) and the beautiful valley below.


View of the Schwansee (SwanLake) from Hohenschwangau castle

The castle is surrounded by a beautiful garden with swan fountains. The exterior is stunningly beautiful, painted with a striking dark yellow color. The view from many windows give a truly dazzling view of the scenery around. As opposed to the opulent Neuschwanstein, this castle is less ornate but feels warmer and has a more homy atmosphere.

Walls are filled with beautiful paintings, and it’s a place you feel like you want to live in. This is probably because it was actually used as a residence. The castle has many elaborately painted rooms, but the one that stands out the most is the Hall of the Swan-Knight that depicts scenes from the classic tale of Lohengrin, the Swan-Knight sent in a boat pulled by swans to rescue a maiden who can never ask his identity.

Schloss Hohenschwangau is a really special site that will help you better understand the evolution of King Ludwig’s personality and how he came the neighbouring Neuschwanstein came to exist.




31 Comments on “The Weekly Postcard: Hohenschwangau Castle

  1. Bavaria is where my family lives and we have been to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau multiple times. Hohenschwangau is beautiful in its own right and is much homier than Neuschwanstein. Lovely images, Anda.

  2. I’ve never been to Bavaria but I am planning a trip there this fall so the timing of your post is perfect. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Anda, Hohenschwangau is certainly worthy on its own, but I’ve never been inside and that’s because Neuschwanstein always steals the limelight. Maybe someday. Love your photos.

  4. I, probably like most tourists, visited Neuschwanstein castle, but not Hohenschwangu Castle. Your article makes me curious about how Hohenschwangu looks on the inside, especially since you said it felt like a comfortable place to live. I didn’t have that same feeling about Neuschwanstein. Although, the outside was just gorgeous, especially in the snow!

  5. Hohenschwangau Castle looks gorgeous, we have to make sure to visit it when we go to visit Neuschwanstein castle someday!

  6. What a charming castle, that I, like so many others, have missed. Thanks for sharing these photos. Fairy-tale castles like this always make me smile.

  7. Wow! Hohenschwangau Castle is incredibly beautiful and that view is incredible. Judging from your photos, it doesn’t look nearly as crowded at the Neuschwanstein castle. I’ll be sure to pay a visit to Hohenschwangau the next time I’m in Germany. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Hohenschwangau castle looks magical, like something from a fairy tale. Ah those feisty Bavarians sure know how to make decent buildings 🙂

  9. Thanks for the introduction to Hohenschwangau Anda – I only spent a few days in Munich while in Germany, so I’ll admit to being one of those who took the trip to see Neuschwanstein but then didn’t take in any other castles. I would love to get back and have the opportunity to explore more and take in Hohenschwangau, especially as you say some people like this more!

    Thanks for the inspiration – hopefully Germany can be on the list for 2016 🙂 … I went in winter last time, so hopefully maybe summer this year.

  10. I have been in the vicinity of Neuschwanstein Castle a couple of times before but my travel has been for work and heavy commitments have not permitted exploring time. I still plan to visit the castle, however, I will now also add Hohenschwangau Castle to my tour.

  11. I haven’t been to Germany but both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles are on my must-see list! Both of them look so magical and I’d love to learn more about the history of each castle! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. I’ve only visited Neuschwanstein (like many visitors), but would love to also visit this castle if I return one day. It’s a pity that photography is forbidden inside both of the castles!

  13. I saw this castle from afar when I visited Neuschwanstein. Too bad we didn’t stop since it looks like a good place to take a stroll and, like you mentioned, learn more about King Ludwig’s (a very interesting character).

  14. That’s a part of Bavaria we haven’t been to yet. Coincidentally, when I mentioned Schloss Hohenswangau to Dan, he knew about it. Apparently both castles were already on his list of things to see when we finally get there.

    I know you said that photography isn’t permitted inside, but someone managed to finagle it. I found a wonderful YouTube video that will convince almost anyone that they shouldn’t overlook it ( I hope you get a kick out of seeing it again.

  15. I did not go inside this castle as spent the afternoon (after visiting Neuschwanstein) boating at the Alpsee lake. There is a great view of both castles from it. The whole area around the 2 castles is truly magical! Wonderful images as always, Anda!

  16. As always, your photos are beautiful. One of these days I’m going to make it to Hohenschwangau. I’ve been to Neuschwanstein a few times (not my favorite to be honest) but when traveling with friends and family, it is where they want to go. I love Linderhof!

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