Wish I was there Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and the weather here has been completely craptastic. It will take most of the summer for the area to recover from the hail storm from Monday (see here for details-with advance apologies for being unable to extract the commercial before the video). All this tumultuous weather had me wishing I was back in Germany walking through incredibly appointed castles and drinking in all the culture. When I last visited there was a soft, gentle misty rain during part of my visit to this castle…so unlike Monday’s hell-breathing hailstorm, the current weather has made me wistfully wishing I was back there even more. So please join me on a magic carpet ride back in time to the spectacular Linderhof Palace, located about 15 minutes from Oberammergau in southern Bavaria.

Spectacular Linderhof in a misty rain

Of the three major castles that Ludwig II built, Linderhof was the smallest but the most spectacular and opulently appointed.  It was also the only one Ludwig was able to finish before his untimely death in 1884. The original building began as an alpine hunting lodge and added wings to it which later evolved into the current castle.  Ludwig ascended the throne in 1864 at the young age of 18 following the unexpected death of his father, Maximilian. Socially awkward, painfully shy, Ludwig was a dreamy-eyed but detail oriented Virgo and lived a tortured life whose real interests were in the arts, music and architecture, not governing. One way to detach himself from the harsh royalty reality was to create the ultimate fantasy world which served as a refuge from having to deal with royal duties.

In 1874, the original structure was moved some 200 meters away and work began on this spectacular palace at its present-day site. There were numerous building phases before its 1886 completion. Ludwig’s biography indicates a strong familial French connection with the royal House of Bourbon (his godfather was Louis XVI) so it seemed natural that design plans were strongly inspired by his infatuation with the Versailles Palace with a healthy dose of Wagnerian influences thrown in for good measure. Though smaller than its inspiration, it was nonetheless, equally as ornate and opulent. Linderhof cost the crown over 8 million marks, a gargantuan sum especially back in those days. It was the only castle Ludwig lived long enough to see completed. While photographs are not permitted inside the palace, there are a few snatched from the Linderhof Palace website. The exterior and garden photos are my own.

Situated on the south side and commanding  spectacular views of the surrounding area was the King’s bedchamber. One of the largest rooms of the castle, it boasted a special view of the grounds and woods Ludwig so loved with from an early age. Clad in signature blue color of Bavaria, the bed was flanked by two large candelabras and, as was typical throughout the palace, had an overabundance of intricately embroidered tapestries. Being quite a tall monarch, his bed was specially constructed to fit his well-over 6 foot frame. Set in an alcove on a low stair riser, it resembled an altar. The glass chandelier below held 108 candles.

View from the King’s bedroom

King’s bedchamber-courtesy of Schlosslinderhof.de website

Photo courtesy of Schlosslinderhof.de website

The dining room held a special feature in that the table could be lowered through the floor directly to the kitchen and then cranked up with meals allowing the king to not have to see any servants. Always dining alone, Ludwig was  self-conscious of the poor condition of his teeth according to the tour guide who said the king suffered from a “sweet tooth.” It has been reported that Ludwig led a very lonely life as the king. While the decor is far too overdone for my tastes, this room was breathtaking. The photo simply does not do it justice.

The outside exterior and gardens were equally as fabulous. Ludwig was well-traveled and fascinated by the mystical world of the Orient and insisted on incorporating many of those influences into the sprawling gardens, combining formal elements of Baroque style, Italian Renaissance gardens and formal landscaping of an English garden.

Cascade, Neptune fountain with music pavilion and pergolas

Linderhof Park, Eastern Parterre

Music Pavilion from top of the cascade

Pergola from cascade

Statutory near front entrance

Closeup of Naiad Fountain with Temple of Venus in background

Front entrance facade

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ludwig was so taken with the 300+ year old Royal Lime Tree on the right, he refused to remove it despite its asymmetry in the formal gardens. The gilt fountain operated solely through the pressure of the natural gradient, rising over 20 feet in the air at times.

The Hall of Mirrors, inspired by the same room from Versailles was far too dizzying to include a photo but you can check it out here. I didn’t stay in this room for too long fearing I’d become nauseous looking into mirrors reflecting mirrors to infinity. Ludwig reportedly slept during the day when sunlight could practically ensure a headache in the infinity mirrors but spent time in this room during the night when it was lit by candlelight, where it must have been dazzling with flickering lights. The room has massively large and continuous mirrors, centrally heated fireplaces with chimney pieces of lapis lazuli, ornamented rosewood veneer furniture, bronze figures, the ostrich down carpet in front of the alcove, and fine Carrara marble sculptures.

And last, but certainly not least, Ludwig built an artificial pristine cave with lake and waterfall at the castle modeled after a Wagnerian opera complete with electrical lighting provided by the first electric company in Bavaria. Remember this was the late 1800’s! As with all of his castles, Ludwig employed all manner of technology including electricity, finely appointed kitchens, central heat and dumb waiters.

Venus grotto courtesy of Schlosslinderhof.de website

Linderhof floor plan of first floor courtesy of Schlosslinderhoff.de website

Well, that’s it for this edition of “Wish I was there Wednesday.” Hope you enjoyed the tour! Till the next time…

Live, love, bark! ❤︎

 

 

46 thoughts on “Wish I was there Wednesday

  1. Amy

    Hadn’t heard about your hail. It missed us and just kept heading west, I guess. What a magical place. I absolutely love going through old, majestic buildings.

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  2. Pooch Smooches

    Wow, fabulous photos. But, man, sounds like it was certainly true for ol’ Ludwig that money can’t buy happiness. All that gold in the dining room reminds me of visiting Versailles and the summer and winter palaces that we visited in Russia. Amazing places to visit – but also hard to think about all that wealth being spent on over-the-top splendor for a handful of homes while their people had next to nothing.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      That probably explains why I’ll never be rich (in gold that is). 😇 I always had a soft spot and sympathetic heart for Ludwig. I think he was misjudged and taken advantaged of by many people.

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  3. KB

    I could not agree more about the weather! It’s been in the 30’s and raining for days! I’d love to go Germany just about now… or back to the desert!

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  4. Cristina Crawford

    Oh you transported me back. Spent three years in Stuttgart Germany. Yep…I complained about the weather (one had to travel to Munich to start seeing the sun)…and, well, also the ugly shoes….compared to my beloved Italy!) but I loved…LOVED my long runs through vineyards and volksmarching in the hills and forests. Loved the castles and neat-as-a-pin streets and neighbors. I Loved the never-ending plates of schnitzel and zwiebelkuchen …and of course, my daughter was born there. And the same happened to me at Versailles; those mirrors made me incredibly dizzy. Danke Schon. Thanks for sharing. ❤️

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      1. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

        I would love to go to Bavaria. There are lots of Germans here in Wisconsin, but they’re really Bavarians. I have been told that, having grown up in Wisconsin, I would feel very at home there (and Paul would like the beer, so we’re all set).

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  5. Pit

    Great part of Germany there, isn’t it? But as to the weather: that’s not been good in Germany either the last few weeks: very cold and nasty. Not that bad hail, though. Talking of hail: hopefully no damage at your place! Our cousin’s back porch roof [she lives in Lakewood] was completely damaged: more holes now than roof.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      I would live in the Allgau or Bavaria in a minute. Love all the villages and fabulous cultural sites. Weather every where seems strangely weird lately. The damages nearby have blown me away. I don’t recall a storm like that with such large hailstones for probably 20+ years. I even got bruised on my leg from one hitting me!

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      1. Pit

        I agree: there are fantastic places to live in Germany.
        You got a bruise on your leg? Well, didn’t you know that you shouldn’t play soccer with hail balls?! 😉

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  6. dorysbackyard

    What wonderful memories!! They kickstarted some of my own. I visited Germany in the mid-90s and adored all of the castles…now I need to go find my photos!

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  7. My Golden Life

    I sooooo needed the escape this morning, so thank you for sharing it! I’ll have to come back for another visit later when I have more time to truly enjoy it.

    Sorry about your hail storm! We know all too well how bad they can be. We just had our roof replaced for the second time in 13 months because of hail storms.

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  8. lapaylor

    I wonder if seeing this ornate gold and tapestry and beauty became just background after a while. It’s so much detail I would be over stimulated. The Newport RI mansions are similar in ornate decor not scale of course. We just finished watching the series Versailles about Louis turning the hunting lodge into this kind of palace.

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  9. CarolMaeWY

    Thank you for this wonderful tour on this Wednesday morning. We needed the escape too. Sorry you had to experience hail. I thought of you and your babies when I saw the weather report.

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  10. edgar62

    Well that was an interesting storm front. We have had some hail but never to that extent – at least not up here. I do believe that have had a problem of three with hail in Adelaide. Any hailwe do get up here is very short lived.

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  11. easyweimaraner

    I don’t think that he had a screw loose (at least not more than other peeps) he created a new world and he did a lot of good things… he was the first one who paid for an insurance for his workers and his ideas like the flying berd or the floor heating were just great… no wonder that he was in the way of those who tried to stop all new things…

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  12. joyroses13

    Sorry about your hailstorm! We had one a few years ago that damaged our roof.
    I can definitely see why you want to go back, these pics are beautiful! I have always wanted to visit a castle. It is on my bucket list! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! So sad though that he wanted to eat alone. I can understand his “sweet tooth”, my family knows I have one !! BUT my teeth are in wonderful shape. 🙂
    Happy Wednesday to you, enjoyed the “tour”.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      Ludwig was a tortured soul. Raised by governesses, no connection with parents, a brother who was mentally ill from the get-go, and a life long struggle with his sexuality, I have always felt sorry for someone who was so bright, so creative. Glad you enjoyed the tour. 😉

      My roof was replaced late last summer. A bunch of homes caught it far worse than me-I say several windows busted up, skylights smashed and rear windshields completely destroyed. A dents on my car seem so almost inconsequential.

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