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Visit the other castles of King Ludwig









Photo Gallery









Linderhof Palace,

Ludwig's favorite castle


View of the façade



The history of Linderhof castle – the name comes from a mighty weeping-willow, Linde in German, which is in the park for centuries – certainly since the fifteenth century, when its presence was remarked in the Graswang valley, in the south of Bavaria near the Austrian border. It happened to be in a farm belonging to the nearby Benedictine Abbey of Ettal. In the Nineteenth Century King Maximilian II turned it into a hunting lodge and in 1869 his son Ludwig II bought the land around it in view of building a “royal villa”.


Ludwig did not intend to build a luxurious ‘home’ where distinguished 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 the plans of architect Georg Dollmann were approved, the work began immediately and was completed by 1879. That same architect also built the castle of Herrenchiemsee.

In 1880 the beautiful garden surrounding the small castle with its perfect geometrical lines took shape, the fountains, the imposing statues and two pavillions of eastern taste, purchased at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867 and in 1878: The Moorish Kiosk (Maurischer Kiosk) with its striking peafoul throne and the Moroccan house (Marokkanisches Haus) sold by the Bavarian government when Ludwig’s death occurred in 1886, has been purchased again and returned to the park in 1998.


The hall of mirrors



Nor is this the end of surprises! In Venus’ grotto (Venusgrotte), inspired by Capri’s ‘Grotta Azzurra’, Ludwig loved to spend hours on end dreaming and thinking, lulled by the water in a small shell- like boat which can still be admired. The display of lights, supplied by the first power plant in the world (1878), adds magic to the place. Here, a scene of Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner, Ludwig’s favourite composer, is re-inacted. The Hunding's Hut (Hundinghütte) is the setting of the first act of the Valkyrie.

Inside, starting straight from the audience hall – we can see the gilt decorations, the imposing desk and the stucco work on the ceiling, representing the symbols of war, peace, music and painting – we understand that in spite of Ludwig’s desire to keep an atmosphere of privacy and intimacy in Linderhof, there co-exists the atmosphere of monuments and wealth, which in some cases maybe excessive, and typical of that rococo taste the Bavarian Sovereign was so fond of.

The most luxurious bedrooms in Munich's Residenz were taken as models for the bedroom, which measures about 100 square metres. The ceiling, however, entirely decorated with frescoes and dedicated to the apotheosis of the Roi Soleil, King Louis XIV of France, is Ludwig’s idea. At the centre stands the bed and an impressive baldachin in dark blue cloth, with Bavaria's coat of arms.


Venus’ grotto

Antonio Quarta


A typical example of rococo style and elegance is the hall of mirrors with white and gilt stuccos, consolles, decorations, putti holding lamps, and a number of paintings above the doors representing scenes of France's court life in 17th Century.

The ultimate form of the dining hall goes back to 1872; the ‘intaglios’ of white and gold panels are by Ph. Perron and represent the daily work of the personnel at the service of royal needs (hunting, fishing, agriculture and gardening). The enormous centrepiece on the table and the chandelier come from the Meissen manufacture. In the centre of the hall stands the famous table “Tischlein-deck-dich” (a table which sets itself), directly connected with the kitchens below through a special device created on purpose in order to avoid bothering the king while he was having his meals.

Ludwig’s night trips in the snow are famous and he even went as far as lake Plansee in Tyrol on gilt sledges completely equipped with electric lighting and created by the skilled woodcarvers at the Court. Today these sledges are kept in the castle of Nymphenburg in Munich.

One last oddity: the sovereign used to call Linderhof – his favourite castle, where he lived for a long time – Meicost Ettal, a name which reminds us of the phrase attributed to Louis XIV, “l'État c'est moi” (I am the State).



Practical information


Schloss Linderhof

Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal



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 grotto of Venus and 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 for a year.



Road map




Map of Linderhof




Ludwig II on iPhone



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