Castles & Palaces

Linderhof Palace – Ludwig II's most fanciful scheme

Ettal: Linderhof Castle ©Lookphotos (Thomas Stankiewicz)

Of the four palaces that Ludwig II had built, Linderhof is perhaps the most inventive as a small yet perfectly formed summer castle in a remote location in the Graswang Valley.

Linderhof Palace in the Graswang Valley of Bavaria is the only palace that Ludwig II lived to see finished and he stayed there often. Visitors approaching the palace are met with a fantastic fairytale scene complete with an artificial grotto with illuminated rocks surrounding a lake. A gently rocking boat sits atop the water and a romantic allegory is painted onto a rock face. Linderhof Palace was based on the Königshäuschen hunting lodge commissioned by Ludwig's father, King Max II.

In 1874, Ludwig had the Königshäuschen demolished and a vestibule and staircase added to the royal villa along with a hall of mirrors and tapestry rooms. It was only at that point that the building could be assumed as the focal point of the palace complex. Now it looked like a stately home in keeping with French palaces from the outside. Linderhof Park is a prime example of garden design based on historicism, with its Italian-inspired Renaissance style reflected in the terraces and cascades.

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