Schloss Linderhof is the smallest of three castles built by King Ludwig II in Germany’s state of Bavaria in the mid to late 1800s. Simultaneously referred to as the ‘Fairy Tale King’ and ‘Mad King Ludwig,’ eccentric Ludwig is perhaps best known for having commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle, the so-called ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Disney Castle.’ He is said to have been obsessed with French culture, found inspiration in the architecture of Versailles, and reportedly wanted to infuse Bavaria with refined attractions. Linderhof Palace is the only one of his castles that the king lived to see completed.
In 1886, King Ludwig died under questionable circumstances, just days after he had been dethroned by the government on grounds that he was insane. Official reports maintained that the king died as a result of a suicidal drowning in a lake, but to this day, conspiracy theorists are quick to point out autopsy reports that the royal’s body didn’t show signs of drowning as there was no water in his lungs. A German author has even woven fact and fiction into a recently-released thrilled titled, The Ludwig Conspiracy.
In Oberammergau, where we’ve spent several months, King Ludwig is still fondly remembered. A street and cross country skiing race bear his name, and each year on the eve of his birthday, locals lug lumber to the top of a nearby mountain peak to erect a crown and cross, which they eventually set ablaze. While many people were reportedly infuriated that King Ludwig spent so much money on the sumptuous palaces, it is interesting to note how much tourist revenue they bring to Germany today.
When I was a baby, my parents first introduced me to Linderhof, but despite living in Heidelberg for more than ten years, I hadn’t returned until earlier this summer. On a hot afternoon that is rare for the mountainous area, Shawn and I spent a few hours strolling the grounds of Linderhof. We arrived too late in the afternoon to tour the palace interior and all the quirky outlying buildings (like the Venus Grotto in which the king was rowed over the lake in a golden swan boat ) but enjoyed a sneak peek of the palace’s elegant grounds.
Have you been to Schloss Linderhof or any of King Ludwig’s castles? Which one was your favorite?
Where in the World?
- Schloss Linderhof is located about 95 km (60 miles) southwest of Munich.
- Linderhof’s opening times vary by season, so check Linderhof’s official site to confirm the opening hours.
- If you’re visiting more than one of King Ludwig’s castles, consider the 14-Day Ticket, which might be more cost-effective.
- The Linderhof Palace brochure (pdf format) gives an overview of Linderhof’s history and the structures you’ll find on the grounds. Likewise, this brochure focuses on King Ludwig II and His Castles.
- To get to Linderhof independently, research the Bayern Ticket (website is in German, but you can use Google Translate). As of 2021, these tickets start at €25 for one passenger, and cost €8 for each additional passenger. You can use the Bayern Ticket for most trains, trams, and city buses, making it a good deal if you’ll be doing a lot of exploring in one day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
- Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Here is my round-up of hotels, organized by theme.
- If you need more trip-planning inspiration, this link contains an index of all my posts from Germany.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.
46 thoughts on “A Peek at Linderhof Palace”
Reblogged this on Just Go Places.
I have never been to King Ludwig’s castles – I must be mad!
Cute, Andrew. I’ve only been to two of his castles. When I was a little girl visiting Neuschwanstein (Schwan = swan, to create “New Swan Stone Castle”) I mistakenly said “Neuschweinstein” (Schwein = pig) instead. Oops. :)
Wow, Tricia, that was very interesting. I learned something about Germany and I got to see your beautiful pictures.
Gerard, how nice to hear that you picked up a few tidbits about Germany’s past via this post. Thanks for letting me know, and here’s hoping your week has been going well.
Wow! Looks insanely gorgeous.
Britt, we haven’t seen the interior yet, but the gardens certainly were. I can’t imagine counting this as one of several of my own castles, as King Ludwig did.
Money no object in those days, Tricia. It does look a very pretty second (or fourth) home :)
Supposedly, this was King Ludwig’s favorite of his castles. We’re contemplating riding our bikes here in the coming days to go on a more proper tour of the palace. I’m curious to see the Grotto and Moorish Kiosk, as they are quite unusual.
Speaking of nobility, are you tuning in to Downton Abbey tonight? I wish we could get it here in Germany!
If my husband will let me, but more likely I’ll have to catch it on I Player :)
Is that through the BBC or ITV?
I’m no expert (Mick has the remote control and I have the laptop- suits us both :) ) but Mick says both and that you should be able to watch it on your PC??? :)
Please thank Mick for sharing his advice, Jo. Alas, since we’re not in the UK, we’re not able to tune in via the computer. Patience is in order. :)
Looks like a beautiful sunshiny day. Those grounds and views are something to see. Can’t imagine this three or four times over. Definitely a fairy tale.
Lynne, it was one of those glorious days that makes it easy to forget about the rainy ones. :) And I’m with you about this kind of opulence times three our four! I’d certainly be content with this most ‘diminutive’ of King Ludwig’s abodes. :)
I love the old castles in Europe. Some fabulous photos once again. Keep them coming.
Darlene, me too! I especially like the more rustic ones. What are some of your favorites? Thank you, as always, for your encouragement, and thoughtful comments.
When I was in high school, I was an exchange student in Germany. My host family took me to see Neuschwanstein castle. Then, when my son was in high school, he went to Germany as an exchange student and his host family took him there, too. It’s been one of those funny connections between my son and I. So last Christmas, he painted a picture of Neuschwanstein Castle for me. I love it. And those connections make it my favorite castle.
Juliann, it’s wonderful that you and your son have those enriching experiences in common. Perhaps a third generation of your family will follow in your footsteps someday? In what city were you an exchange student?
Though I was never an exchange student, my family hosted four when I was in high school. They quickly became my international brothers and sisters.
I bet the Neuschwanstein Castle painting has already become a family heirloom. That’s special. Thanks for sharing your anecdotes.
Tricia, what a wonderful post, me as a Bavarian enjoyed it the most. King Ludwig was a real different character and kind of ahead of his time. He really enjoyed Arts and the beauty of live….. as he was suppoused to get married to a beautiful woman in his line of kingdom, he finally came out to be choosing a different gender in his love live…. I just recently watched a movie about his live, and I learned more about his sufferings as a king, which was not really easy for him. His ” craziness as he has being called” turned out to have created great buildings and supporting Arts ! I think Bavarians deny the fact that their king was gay…..Yes there is still a mystery about his death, but following different informations, it seems to be to that he ended his life on his own. Probably another denial of the Bavarians??!! Hope you are enjoying the Beauty of Fall where you are.
Cornelia, thanks for sharing your thoughts about the man behind Linderhof and so many of Bavaria’s other architectural treasures. When we first got to Oberammergau, we were surprised to find that he’s still so beloved here. Your comments help explain why.
We are actually lucky enough to be enjoying fall here in O-gau. We’ve been trying to make our way to the tops of the local mountains. On Monday, we went up to the Laber via the cable car, and yesterday we ascended the Aufacker. Did you do much hiking in this area when you were growing up?
Indeed; it’s easy to see why King Ludwig would choose this as this setting for his favorite castle.
I love Ludwig! Linderhof is nicer than Neuschwanstein in my eyes. Great pics!
I must agree with you, Laura. Both have superb settings, but I like Linderhof’s more modest scale. :) Even modest isn’t quite the right word to describe such splendor!
Have you been out and about enjoying the sunshine these past few days? We made it to the top of two Ammergauer mountaintops this week – by cable car (cheating) and by foot – and find ourselves missing the sun today.
Hello sorry for my late reply. I try and make the most of the sun too when it shines here as the winters are so dark. You need all the Vit D you can get! How long are you staying in this area for? I hope you enjoyed your travels I must say I am very jealous.
Laura, it looks like we’ll be here through early December. We’re technically taking a travel break, enjoying time with family and seeing bits of the area. Are you still Malta-bound soon?
We got back two weeks ago, had two lovely weeks there. Staying put until Xmas when we will go to England for a couple of weeks. So maybe we should meet up soon for some local sightseeing!
Looks like a very nice place.
Hi Tricia, I visited Linderhof when I was a child. Now I must find those old photos…I also wrote a book report about King Ludwig when I was in the sixth grade. I wanted to live in a castle too! ;) Your Linderhof photos are beautiful. Cheers, Ruth
Ruth, it would be fun to do a post interspersing the photos from your childhood and adult visits. Did you go to school in the U.S. or Germany? Like you, I also visited Linderhof as a little one, though I was still in a stroller at the time.
Hi Tricia, I went to school in Germany for three years. I thought about a post with Munich photos from the ’70s and today. That might be fun. Do you have photos of you as a child at Linderhof?
Ruth, I’ll have to find some of our vintage shots from Linderhof. I was just a baby (born here, but didn’t visit Linderhof during elementary school visits). What a great experience for you to have been a student here for three years!
Nice pics, brings back memories :)
Linderhof is definitely the prettiest of the lot! Neuschwanstein, could have been, I guess, had they managed to finish it.
I took some pictures of the Starnberger See a few weeks ago, where King Ludwig drowned. There’s also a pic of the lake’s only island, Roseninsel, where he and Empress Sissi, for whom he built Linderhof, were said to have conducted their affair.
Thanks for sharing your set of images from the Starnberger See, as well as some more insight about him. Knowing more history about the creators certainly makes the structures come alive!
No, thanks for posting yours! I like to see images from my home region I’ve not got many (they’re all in my head, lol) and I only started taking some this summer. But I don’t get back there very often…
I’m glad they gave us a reason to connect. :) In what part of Bavaria are you originally from?
A teensy village near Fürstenfeldbruck, east of Munich.
I see that’s not that far from Oberammergau. Can you recommend any favorite spots to visit in this part of Germany?
No, not far at all.
It’s difficult to make recommendations, it’s all so scenic!, especially down by the alps. You can’t go much wrong ;-)
The Walchensee is beautiful.
Here are a few pics from the Kochelsee, which is right next to it, but the Walchensee is nicer.
Belated thanks for sharing the recommendations to see these picturesque two lakes. I’ve made note of them (especially Walchensee) for next summer.
…Would you believe we had quite a ‘delivery’ of snow last week here?!
Eeek, snow!!! None here in Spain, phew :)
I’m happy to report that ours has melted here and we have sunny skies here. I’m with you – I like traveling to the snow, but not fond of living with it often. :) It is gorgeous from time to time though. Enjoy the rest of your week!
Yes, fresh, powdery snow is very pretty. But the dirty slush it turns into, and then there’s black ice… not my thing.
A delightful post. Makes me feel as if I have been there! In fact, I have not. But it does remind me of a visit to Schloss Mirabell way back in the heady days of my inter rail trip (in 1987!).
Thank you, Rachael. I’ve been to Salzburg several times, but have never visited Schloss Mirabell. I’m guessing some of the Sound of Music scenes must have been filmed there? Your inter rail trip sounds like great fun – how long was it?