Take a tour at Linderhof Palace the Royal Villa of Ludwig II
Today I’m taking you to a wonderful visit to Linderhof Palace. Known as the favorite, and the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II. Originated as a hunting lodge belonging to his father Maximilian II – the Königshäuschen.
Linderhof, the name comes from a mighty weeping-willow. Linde in German, which is in the park for centuries. According to its history, King Ludwig build this small palace inspired by Versailles, the palace of the French Sun-King Louis XIV (who was an idol for Ludwig)
The palace was then finished with the Hall of Mirrors and Staircase and decorated in the style of the “second Rococo” period. Linderhof Park was completed from 1870 to 1880 from designs by Carl von Effner.
Enclosing the palace are imitation baroque gardens and terraces and cascades in the Italian Renaissance style.
It is considered one of the most beautiful creations of historicist garden design, designed by Court Garden Director Carl von Effner.
Check out my recent post on Things to do in Liechtenstein, Vaduz.
The creation of Linderhof Palace
When Ludwig II became King in 1864, he inherited the so-called Königshäuschen from his father. In 1874, began his building activities in by redesigning his rooms in the Munich Residenz. And laying the foundation stone of Neuschwanstein Castle.
He decided to tear down the Königshäuschen and rebuild it on its present-day location in the park.
Later in 1868, he was already making his first plans for Linderhof. However, neither the palace molded on Versailles that was to be sited on the floor of the valley nor the large Byzantine palace.
Ludwig did not expect to build a luxurious ‘home’ where special guests could be welcomed. But merely, a place of refuge for himself on the model of Versailles’ Petit Trianon. Which was the refuge, ‘lieu of divertissement’ and relaxation of Queen Marie Antoinette.
After a while, the plans of architect Georg Dollmann were established, the work began immediately and was completed by 1879. That same architect also built the castle of Herrenchiemsee.
Thus, in 1880 the beautiful garden encircling the small castle with its perfect geometrical lines took shape, the fountains, the imposing statues and two pavilions of eastern taste.
It was the last day of our stay in Germany, and we have to go back to Belgium after, but in the last minute, we decided to visit Linderhof as it was already planned the day before.
Getting to Linderhof Palace was very easy, we followed our car’s GPS, and for about 2 hours we finally reached our destination.
Since the temperature was low, under 10 degrees, there was still snow all over the place. We entered the park and paid about 3,50 euros for the parking and found a parking space for our car.
I hesitated at first, I thought, I could go out without my winter coat, but, I ended up wearing it, cause it was really cold.
At the Park
As I have mentioned above, the palace is surrounded by formal gardens that are subdivided into five sections that are decorated with allegoric statues of the continents, the seasons and the elements.
The northern part is characterized by a waterfall of thirty marble steps. At the bottom end of the cascade is constituted by the Neptune fountain and at the top, there is a Music Pavilion.
As you go to the center of the western parterre, it is formed by basin with the gilt figure of Fama. In the west, there is a pavilion, you will also see the crowning of the eastern parterre, a wooden pavilion containing the bust of Louis XVI.
The water parterre in front of the palace is dominated by a large basin with the gilt fountain group Flora and puttos. The fountain’s water jet itself is nearly 25 meters high.
Note: We visited in early summer, so there’s still snow and fountains are not working, since the park is filled with snow.
Tour on the Park
Arriving in the park, we first bought our tickets for the palace tour. We did a prompt stroll at the park even if it was covered with snow. Accordingly, the landscape garden covers an area of about 50 hectares and excellently united with the surrounding natural alpine landscape.
There are some few landmarks and buildings to visit when you do your tour in Linderhof Park. You can visit the Swan Pond, Moroccan House, Royal Lodge, Water Parterre, and a royal lime tree.
There’s the Terrace Gardens, Temple of Venus, St Anna Chapel, Eastern. And Western Parterre, Neptun Fountain with cascade and pergolas.
Don’t forget the Music Pavilion, Venus Grotto, Moorish Kiosk, Former quarters of the building site supervisory staff. Forbidden Gate, Hunding’s Hut, and Hermitage of Gurnemanz.
Places you should visit in the Park
Due to the unpleasant weather, the whole park was not available to tour. There were some places that we are limited to visit. Even though we are allowed to visit every inch of the park. We cannot still visit everything since we have to drive back to Belgium that the same day.
I strongly recommend you to visit the Venus Grotto. It is an artificial dripstone cave with its lake and waterfall was modeled on the Hörselberg from the first act of the Wagner opera Tannhäuser.
The Venus Grotto features a Royal Seat, a Lorelei rock and a gilt boat in the shape of a shell.
But unfortunately, the Venus Grotto is currently closed due to the extensive restoration work in and around. On the other hand, you can peacefully visit Moorish Kiosk. Which features a magnificent chandelier glass, a marble fountain, and the sumptuous Peacock Throne.
Visiting the Linderhof Palace
Compared to the two other King Ludwig II castles that we have toured, Linderhof Palace has a different vibe than the other two. After retrieving our tickets for the Palace visit, and stroll in the park. We directly went to the meeting place for the guided tour of the palace.
The tour guide was already waiting for us, it was a short man wearing a suit calling for us to hurry up, cause the tour will start soon. Without knowing our tickets schedule time, we have joined the group and started the tour.
We started our tour in at the entrance hall, the place looks very cozy and luxurious. There was a huge statue of a swan. According to our guide, if the swan is in the reception hall, it means that Kind Ludwig II is in the villa.
Before I tell you everything that happened, I must inform you that visiting the palace is possible only with the guided tour. Taking photos or videos is strictly not allowed, so please, if you’re visiting the Linderhof Palace, make sure to respect and follow the rules.
We visited almost every room in the palace. There were some incredible discoveries for me; like the movable table of King Ludwig II, that’s connected to its kitchen.
There were also some secret passages that only the maids can access since maids are not allowed to stroll free whenever there’s a guest in the palace.
Another interesting fact that our tour guide shared with us is that the maids of the palace had to wait at the cabinet area before entering the kings’ room.
There are times that they have to wait many hours until the king orders them to enter his chamber. (The cabinets doesn’t have warmer or heater)
My Favorite Part of the Tour
We went from the Bedchamber, Pink and Lilac Cabinet, Dining Room. Audience Chamber, Blue and Yellow Cabinet, Eastern and Western Tapistery Chamber and not but not the least the Hall Mirrors.
The palace was filled with some unimaginable architecture and decoration set. One of the most that I’m impressed of was the marble, the parquet floor, and lastly the mirror chamber.
The guided tour was very helpful and fun. I learned a lot of things about the palace and its treasured history. I prefer the guided tour than the audio tours that I had in Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles.
If you have to visit the Schwangau area or even in Munich, Linderhof Palace is a must-visit place that you’ll surely enjoy.
Open to the public: April-Mid October from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Mid October-March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Pavillions are open only from April to Mid October
Closed on January 1st, Mardi Gras, December 24th, 25th, and 31st
How to get there: Go by train to Oberammergau, then take the bus 9622 to the Castle.
Tickets: If you wish to visit several castles and state palaces in Bavaria, the best solution would be to buy a Pass for two weeks or a year.
Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal
Linderhof Palace the Royal Villa