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König Ludwig der 2. von Bayern (King Ludwig II of Bavaria)

Linderhof Palace (1874 to 1878)

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Schloß Linderhof bei Ettal Abtei (Linderhof Palace near Ettal Abbey)

The German word "Schloß" means castle, as in palace. The English translation for this word should be "palace", if someone of nobility lived there. Linderhof is the only completed castle and Ludwig frequently spent 7 to 10 day periods here.

  • Facts and figures about Linderhof:
    • Basic information
      1. Names for Linderhof:
        • The name came from a family called "Linder," who used to cultivate the farm (Hof), which had existed where the palace was built.
        • Ludwig called Linderhof his „Königshaus" (King’s House).
        • Today the palace is called "Royal Villa."
      2. Location and access:
        • The palace is located in the Ammergauer Alps near the Ettal Abbey, which is 9 miles from the Bavarian town of Oberammergau.
        • Access to the palace is through the Grasway Valley (Graswang).
      3. Style:
        • Although it was built in 1870, it shows a combination of a definite Bavarian Baroque and Italian Renaissance style.
        • Behind the Baroque façade is a Rococo with motifs from the age of Louis XV of France.
        • Linderhof is small and intimate as opposed to vast and heavy like Neuschwanstein, or lavish and impersonal like Herrenchiemsee.
      4. Usage
        • The palace is a „Jagdhütte," which means hunting lodge.
        • The German word „Schloß" means both castle, as in palace. The English translation should be "palace", because Ludwig frequently 7 to 10 day periods here.
        • Linderhof is the only one of Ludwig’s castles that has an air of domesticity about it and looks and feels like it is a house where one could really live.
      5. Why was the palace built?
        • Originally Ludwig’s plan was to build this hunting lodge and cottage.
        • Ludwig built it where his grandfather used to rest under a huge linden tree while on hunting trips in the Alps.
        • As it turned out later, it was his first and the only castle completed.
    • Construction and the palace building itself
      1. When was it built?
        • Construction of the palace began in 1874 and completed in 1878.
        • The palace was built by the Bavarian people.
        • Linderhof was the only castle completed in his lifetime.
      2. How much did the palace building cost?
        • The cost of construction was 8,460,937 Marks (about $250,000,000 dollars today)
        • Building costs were paid by the Bavarian government.
      3. Who lived in the palace?
        • As Linderhof was Ludwig’s second palace, it was also his favorite.
        • Ludwig stayed there regularly and spent much time alone there.
        • During the winter, Ludwig would take private sleigh rides nightly through the neighboring countryside, accompanied by a rider and coachmen.
      4. How many rooms are in the palace?
        • Linderhof, in comparison to other palaces, has a rather private atmosphere.
        • The palace has 10 rooms, but only 4 have a real function.
  • Description: The palace forms a perfect unity with the countryside.
    • Interior of the palace:
      1. Since there were no cameras, family portraits and major events, such as weddings, battles, etc., were painted on the walls and ceilings.
      2. The decorations inside had a Versailles theme with lavish adornments, with beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings, with porcelain and gold fixtures, with full mirrors, and with exquisite furniture.
      3. The palace had the largest chandelier in the world at that time.
        • Today it has electric light bulbs.
        • At that time, when the candles burnt down, it had to be lowered to replace them.
    • Special features show that the palace was so advanced for its time.
      1. It had the first air conditioner.
        • The palace was built in front of a staircase of mountain water.
        • It forced a gush of fresh air through windows and doors.
      2. The dining room had a "self-serving table," which was lowered to the kitchen by a disappearing dumb-waiter, food placed on the table, and raised up to his dining room, so that the shy king could remain undisturbed during his meal times.
      3. Heaters were hidden in the corners of rooms for providing warmth.
      4. The palace is surrounded by formal gardens and a landscape park.
  • Linderhof Palace today:
    • Status
      1. Linderhof, next to Neuschwanstein, is one of the major Bavarian castle tourist attractions of Germany today.
    • Maintenance and upkeep
      1. The Bavarian government maintains the palace today.
    • Tourist attraction
      1. Every year millions of people visit Ludwig’s castles, as they are a tourist magnet in Bavaria.
      2. With 1.5 million visitors per year, Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle in Bavaria, but the other Ludwig castles also attracted a lot of visitors: more than 400,000 people visit Linderhof and more than 376,000 visited Herrenchiemsee.
      3. In the summer, people can spend a night at Linderhof Palace with the Bavarian fairy tale king on "King Ludwig Night," his birthday, August 25