This is where the story of the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle actually begins.
In the Schwangau region, you will find two castles:
- Hohenschwangau Castle
- Neuschwanstein Castle
Both castles can of course be visited on the same day or you can visit one in the afternoon and the other one the next morning while staying in Füssen or in the village of Hohenschwangau.
Where is Hohenschwangau Castle located?
This castle, which is actually located just below Neuschwanstein Castle, was built way before. It dates back to the 12th century and was originally known as “Schwanstein Castle”.
The history of Hohenschwangau Castle as we know it today begins when Ludwig’s father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria, bought the ruined castle and renovated it during the years 1832 to 1836.
In fact he transformed the feudal ruins of this former castle of the lords of Schwangau into a magnificent neo-Gothic castle.
The interior of the Hohenschwangau castle is simply STUNNING! Murals on all the walls tell the story of the battles and the history of this former castle. The furniture is in the Biedermeier style and fits perfectly into the knightly style of this castle.
The nickname of this castle is the Romantic Castle, because it is where the Romantic Road ends. This is one of the most famous routes to discover the landscapes and cities of Bavaria.
How to visit Hohenschwangau Castle?
We recommend that you spend the night close to the castles, either in the village of Hohenschwangau or in the town of Füssen.
Hohenschwangau Castle is open all year round from 9 am to 6 pm during the summer months (from April 1st to October 15th) and from 10 am to 4 pm (between October 16th and March 31st).
There are only a few days when the castle is closed: on Mardi Gras and during the Christmas holidays: December 24, 25, 31, and January 1st.
Access to the castle
As for Neuschwanstein Castle, there is no parking lot right at the castle entrance. You will have to park at the P4 parking lot in Hohenschwangau.
From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the castle gates.
Tickets and prices
There are two ways to buy your tickets to Schloss Hohenschwangau:
- Buy your tickets on the same day in Hohenschwangau (be careful, it may be crowded if you don’t get there early before the ticket office opens)
- Buy your tickets online to have them ready for your visit. Even if you buy your tickets online, you will still have to pick them up at a special ticket office at the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau.
The story of Schloss Hohenschwangau
As mentioned above, the father of Ludwig II of Bavaria, Maximilian II, bought the ruins of the former castle of the Lords of Schwangau and built his summer residence there.
With its neo-Gothic style and visible towers, the castle is unique.
Ludwig II also lived in this castle during the construction of Neuschwanstein, as he came to monitor the progress of the construction during the summer. He even had a telescope in his room so that he could see what was going on at the construction site in Neuschwanstein without having to actually be onsite.
The big advantage of this castle compared to Schloss Neuschwanstein is that it is fully furnished! There are several very well-preserved rooms such as Ludwig II’s room, but also a guest room for Richard Wagner.
In the central room, we even find a piano that the composer probably used.
However, the castle is less richly decorated than Neuschwanstein.
But the visit is worth it, especially if you are in the region and are already going to visit Neuschwanstein. It allows you to make the link between the two castles and to better understand the history of Ludwig II, the mad king.
Of course, fewer people actually visit this castle than the one in Neuschwanstein, but in our opinion, it is still worth a visit just for the sake of the wall paintings in Ludwig II’s room representing naked women, the telescope, but also the piano and the starry sky ceiling (the stars can be lit with oil lamps using an ingenious system).
But don’t forget to purchase your tickets for Neuschwanstein!
With 1.5 million tourists visiting this castle every year, it is the most visited castle in Europe with up to 8000 tourists visiting every day. Furthermore there is a limited amount of tickets available every day.
There are two ways to buy tickets to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle:
- On the day directly at the Hohenschwangau ticket office.Tickets are only sold for the same day. It is not possible to buy a ticket there for the next day for example. This means that this can be risky because sometimes, you have to wait in line for more than 3 hours at the ticket office (and you are not even sure to get a ticket for the same day if you are not among the first ones at the ticket office).
- You can also book a guided tour directly online.This will allow you to buy your tickets in advance and to book the time slot of your choice. This is the best option if you want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle without waiting for several hours or having to postpone your visit to the next day.