All About Hohenschwangau Castle You Should Know

Near the fairytale Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau Castle is where King Ludwig II grew up.

This castle is the smallest of Ludwig’s creations and has a unique homely atmosphere that sets it apart from other famous castles. 

What makes it more visit-worthy is its history of being a part of the war between Napoleon and the Austrian succession.

In 1832, the crown prince of Bavaria discovered the ruins of the castle during a hike and he immediately decided to buy it and transform it into a romantic summer palace.

You can see this custard-yellow on the Western side of Hohenschwangau village, and on the eastern side, you will find its famous sister, Neuschwanstein Castle.

Hohenschwangau Castle Hours

The castle is open to visitors during specific hours, which may vary depending on the season.

Summer opening timings (April to Mid October): 10 am to 4 pm
Winter opening timings (Mid-October to March): 9 am to 5 pm

Also, remember it remains closed on the 24th, 25th, and 31st of December and the 1st of January.

Where is Hohenschwangau Castle located?

Hohenschwangau is located in Schwangau, in Bavaria, Germany.

It is situated in the picturesque foothills of the Bavarian Alps, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

The castle’s idyllic location near Alpsee Lake adds charm and allure.

Hohenschwangau Castle location

Hohenschwangau Castle interior

There are over 90 paintings welcoming you inside the castle, and the walls will tell you their own story. 

Almost all the Hohenschwangau Castle interior walls and ceilings in this 10,763 square feet castle have scenes from German mythology or medieval legends. 

Many love swans; since they are the bird depicted on the arms of the king’s coat. Hence, there is even a chamber called The “Hall of the Swan Knight.”

Also, many of the walls are painted by an Italian painter and architect, Domenico Quaglio.

“The Hall of Heroes and Knights” is the largest room covering the largest width of the Hohenschwangau Castle. 

Take a guided Hohenschwangau tour of the castle to roam at your leisure and learn about the architectural significance of the paintings and furniture there.

Note: The tour takes approximately 35 minutes and only a few rooms are displayed to the public.

Moreover, you can not take any photographs inside the castle. 

The architecture of Hohenschwangau Castle showcases a unique blend of Romantic and Gothic styles.

This castle features towers, battlements, and picturesque facades, creating a fairy-tale-like atmosphere.

Moreover, stepping inside Hohenschwangau Castle, you’ll be transported to a world of opulence and grandeur.

The interior boasts lavishly decorated rooms, intricate woodwork, and magnificent frescoes that depict mythological scenes.

Visitors can explore the castle’s various chambers, including the Throne Room, King’s Bedroom, and the exquisite Tasso Room.

The Surrounding Gardens and Scenic Beauty of Hohenschwangau Castle Inside

This castle is enveloped by meticulously maintained gardens, adding to its charm.

Stroll through the vibrant flower beds and manicured lawns, and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings.

The breathtaking views of Alpsee Lake and the towering Alpine peaks make the experience unforgettable.

The History of Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle interior
Image: Dmitry Rukhlenko (Canva)

Hohenschwangau meaning The High District of the Swan has a captivating history that dates back to the 12th century.

Initially constructed as a fortress to protect the region, it later became a summer retreat for the royal family of Bavaria.

Its strategic location provided a vantage point for guarding the region and controlling trade routes.

Over the years, the castle changed hands multiple times. It was passed on to noble families, including the Knights of Hohenstaufen and Weitnau.

In the 19th century, Hohenschwangau Castle gained prominence when King Maximilian II of Bavaria discovered the ruins during a visit to the area.

Captivated by its scenic surroundings, he purchased the property in 1832 and initiated its restoration.

King Maximilian II transformed Hohenschwangau Castle into a summer residence for the Bavarian royal family.

The king, his wife, Queen Marie, and their two sons, King Ludwig II and King Otto, spent their summers in the castle.

Following King Ludwig II’s death in 1886, Hohenschwangau Castle history remained under the ownership of the Bavarian royal family.

It was carefully preserved and later opened to the public, allowing visitors to experience the grandeur of Bavarian royalty.

Today, Hohenschwangau stands as a testament to Bavaria’s rich history and architectural splendor.

It is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who are eager to explore its historical significance and immerse themselves in its enchanting atmosphere.

How to reach Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau is only 20 minutes away from the ticket center.

You can walk up and down or take a carriage if you do not want to walk.

If you want more ways to travel from Hohenschwangau to Neuschwanstein Castle, read our article on How to reach Neuschwanstein Castle.

Hohenschwangau Castle Facts

Hohenschwangau holds great historical significance as it was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who went on to build the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle nearby.

This castle showcases a unique blend of architectural styles, including Romantic and Gothic elements.

Its long history dates back to the 12th century when it was built as a fortress.

Over the centuries, it underwent various renovations and expansions, eventually transforming into a summer residence for the Bavarian royal family.

Hohenschwangau was primarily associated with King Maximilian II, who purchased the ruins in 1832 and began its restoration.

It houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts, including furniture, artwork, and decorative items.

Visitors can explore special chambers, including the Throne Room, which reflects the grandeur of the Bavarian monarchy, and the Bedroom of Queen Marie, adorned with delicate furnishings and elegant décor.

It occasionally hosts cultural events, such as concerts and exhibitions, further enhancing the visitor experience.

Along with the neighboring Neuschwanstein Castle, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Castles of King Ludwig II.”

These fascinating facts make Hohenschwangau Castle a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, architecture lovers, and anyone seeking a glimpse into the enchanting world of Bavarian royalty.

Unfortunately, of 1.3 million visitors, only 3,00,000 people make it to Schloss Hohenschwangau, which is a real shame.

So, if you plan your trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, add Hohenschwangau Castle to your itinerary. 


Is Hohenschwangau Castle worth visiting?

It is worth visiting the Hohenschwangau as it is enchanting with exciting interiors.

This castle is close to the beautiful Neuschwanstein castle and one of the Royal castles in Germany. 

If you have the famous Disney castle on your list, take advantage of this one, as Hoheschwangau Castle also has a rich history.

What are some fun facts about Hohenschwangau Castle?

It was first mentioned in the 12th century when the knights of Schwangau owned the Castle for about 400 years.

As the castle was damaged in the war, the knights left it, saying it had become useless and too weak for a defense system.

However, Crown Prince Maximilian fell in love with the idyllic locations and bought the ruin to build a castle.

Why is Hoheschwangau Castle so famous?

Hoheschwansgau Castle is famous because it served as the King’s residence during summer and hunting seasons.

During these seasons, some of the most famous royals, like Maximilian, Marie of Prussia, Ludwig II of Bavaria, and Otto I of Bavaria, took shelter in this castle.

The castle was also the childhood home of King Ludwig.

How long does it take to see Hohenschwangau Castle?

During the Hoheschwangau Castle tour, you will take about 45 minutes to cover the entire building.

As the castle is extensive and rich in history, going through the entire monument will take longer but will surely be worth it.

You can also cover the Hohenschwangau castle tour with Neuschwanstein Castle and two royal castles in one day.

What does Hohenschwangau mean in English?

Hohenschwangau in English means the High District of Swans, and the castle derived its name from the neighboring Swanesse.

It is an Alpine lake where Crown Prince Maximilian’s Queen Marie would take her two sons to the Lake to feed the swans.

The swan, in turn, became an essential motif in the life of King Ludwig II.

Who lives in Hoheschwangau Castle?

A 19th-century southern German Castle, Hoheschwansgau, was built by King Maximilian of Bavaria.

King used it only during the summer and hunting seasons, and soon it became Prince Ludwig’s future childhood home too.

Also, Queen Marie continued to live in the castle even after her son ascended the throne and lived there until her last days.

How can you reach Hohenschwangau Castle easily?

The easiest way to reach Hoheschwangau Castle is by horseback.

You can even walk up to the castle, as it is just 20 minutes from the ticket center.

But the most straightforward way is to get there by horse carriage to avoid walking in the hot sun.

You can reach there by carriage in just 10 minutes.

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Aashima (1)
About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.