Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Alpsee and Schwansee lakes and close by the Austrian border, the magnificent Hohenschwangau Castle (Schloss Hohenschwangau) is a dramatic gothic fortress dating back to the 19th century. The sister castle to the world-renowned Neuschwanstein Castle (the famous blueprint for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle), Hohenschwangau is a popular stop on the German Castle Trail and is often visited on day trips from Munich or nearby Füssen.
Hohenschwangau Castle was built in 1832 on the site of the 12th-century Schuangau fortress and is celebrated for its striking interior décor, including a series of paintings by Domenik Quaglio depicting key events in German history. Built by King Maximilian II of Bavaria, the palace is notable as the childhood home of his heir, the future King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Ludwig would later go on to build a series of fairytale castles, including Neuschwanstein, and while Hohenschwangau’s sprawling ruins don’t quite match their majesty, their influence is inherent.
The castle is now open to visitors and offers breathtaking views over the Alpsee and its surrounding mountain valleys, but to fully appreciate the setting, take a boat trip on the lake or hike one of the many trails that skirt the foothills of the castle.