18 Best Things to do in Bavaria, Germany | Top Tourist Attractions

Planning to explore a German state but don’t know which one to start? Bavaria is a beautiful and most extensive state in Germany, rich in history, sceneries, and culture. The things to do in Bavaria were all outstanding and a must-see spot when checking out this pleasant fairytale state in the southeast of Germany.

It is a destination that is blessed with spectacular-ranging mountains and magnificent castles of all time. A place where the past and the present meet and blend, creating a classic destination.

Visiting Bavaria opens an opportunity to experience an incredible journey and memorable trip. To know more about Bavaria and its wonderful attraction, check out the list of best spots we have made for you below.

List of what to see and things to do in Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century palace situated on a craggy hill just above the Hohenschwangau village close to Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The literal translation of Neuschwanstein is ‘New Swan Stone Castle.’

King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the palace for a retreat (it is said he was a shy and reclusive king) and Richard Wagner’s honor. The Neuschwanstein Castle was meant to be the King’s private residence.

The castle was also built to be a recreation of Hohenschwangau castle, which was the king’s childhood home. Ludwig opted to fund the palace from extensive borrowing and his personal coffers rather than using public funds. The ground for the castle was broken in 1868 during the summer, but the foundation wasn’t laid till September of 1869.

By 1873, several parts of the palace were ready to be inhabited by Ludwig II. However, he did not live long enough to see the castle completed as he passed away in 1886. Shortly after the King’s death, the palace was opened to the public. The Bower and the Square Towers were finished in 1892, years after the public opening.

Since the castle’s opening, over 61 million people have paid a visit to Neuschwanstein. Every year, over 1.3 million people visit the castle, with about 6000 visitors per day during the summer. Neuschwanstein has become known as one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions. The castle is often referred to as “the castle of the fairy king.”

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace Bavaria, Germany

Address: Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Linderhof Castle is located in Southwest Bavaria, close to the Ettal village, Southwest Bavaria. The castle name is derived from Linde, which means mighty weeping willow in German.

The weeping willow has been in the Linderhof park since about the 15th century when it was first noticed in the Granswang valley, south of Bavaria, close to the Austrian border.

By the 19th century, King Maximillian II turned the place into a lodge for hunting, and in 1869, his son Ludwig II purchased the land to build a royal palace.

Linderhof is the only castle King Ludwig II of Bavaria saw completed in his lifetime. It is also the smallest palace out of the three he built. King Ludwig II, who ruled Bavaria from 1864-1886, began crafting building plans for his three palaces, Linderhof included, in 1867.

Schloss Linderhof was supposed to be built in resemblance to the king’s most loved palace – the Palace of Versailles. Although this lofty dream was not achieved due to financial constraints, Linderhof palace is still a stunning bastion filled with amazing wall paintings, beautiful tapestries, marble sculptures, and elegant furniture.

One of the most breathtaking places in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors. It is a magnificent room with mirrors covering almost everywhere. The reflections in the room are endless and provide a magic mirror experience.

Linderhof Castle Park is another incredible attraction. The park is sprawling and filled with beautiful greenery. The garden in the park has two fountain figures. One is of Fama, the fame goddess, and the other is Amor, the love god.

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English Garden

Address: Munich, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The landscape garden is also known as the English Garden or the English Landscape Park. It is a landscape “garden” style that began in the early 18th century in England. This style eventually spread through Europe and rapidly took over from the more symmetrical and formal Jardin à la française style that was the popular gardening style.

The English landscape garden offered a romanticized outlook of nature. The man behind this style was called William Kent.

He created and established this “informal style” of gardening to rebel against the overly formal architectural style of gardening. His inspiration was gotten and drawn from landscape paintings by Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain.

The English Landscape Park typically had swoops of softly rolling lawns nestled against groves of different trees and classical temple recreations, a lake, bridges, Gothic ruins, and other scenic architecture made to recreate the idyllic nature of the pastoral landscape. A distinctly significant work that held influence in this style was that of Lancelot “Capability” Brown.

As the 18th century drew to a close, the English landscape garden was beginning to be copied by the French garden and even the gardens owned by prospective Emperor Paul in faraway St. Petersburg, Russia.

By the 19th century, the influence of the English landscape garden was still significant. Its influence affected how public gardens and parks were designed in different countries all over the world. It is also worthy to note that the English garden was focused around the English country home.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

Address: Alpseestraße 30, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Hohenschwangau Castle is situated in Southern Germany. It is a 19th-century building that was the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The castle was initially sold off by King Maximillian I Joseph of Bavaria in 1820. His grandson Maximillian II repurchased the castle when he became crown prince in 1832.

The castle had become rundown and decrepit by then. By February of 1833, reconstruction of the palace began and went on till 1837, and continuous building additions kept being made till 1855. Domenico Quaglio was the architect placed in charge of overseeing the project, and he was behind the neogothic design of the castle exterior.

Hohenschwangau Palace became the official hunting and summer home of King Maximillian and his wife Marie of Prussia and their sons Ludwig and Otto. It is said that the queen loved taking hikes in the surrounding mountains, and she set up an alpine garden filled with plants gotten from different parts of the Alps.

Ludwig later became King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and Otto also became King Otto I of Bavaria. The current exact location of the castle is in Hohenschwangau, a village close to Füssen in the Ostallgäu county of Southwestern Bavaria.

Over 300,000 visitors and tourists from different parts of the world visit the Hohenschwangau Castle every year. Other than Christmas, the castle stays open throughout the year. Guided tours are available in English, Czech, Japanese, French, German, Russian, Italian, Slovenian, and Spanish. However, self-guided tours are not allowed.

There are many great things to do in Bavaria one of them is to check out Hohenschwangau Castle and other cities like Munich, Cologne, and things to do in Mannheim.

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Ellinger Tor

Address: Ellinger Str., 91781 Weißenburg in Bayern, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

This city gate of Weissenburg is the most popular in Bayern, Germany. The gate is part of Weissenburg’s ancient city wall and dates back to the 14th century. In 1964 and 1967, the Ellinger Tor was on the Deutsche Bundespost Stamp. This gate is now part of the historic city council library.

The Ellinger Tor gate was the first part of Weissenburg’s city wall built approximately in 1200. The gate’s tower was constructed during the 14th century, while the upper area floor was built during the 17th century. The battlements and exterior appendages were finished around 1520.

Some of the Weissenburg town histories can be seen on the Ellinger Tor gate. On the right half part of the gate is the town’s first coat of arms from1241. The left part has the second coat of arms from 1481.

The half-white castle on the 1241 coat of arms signifies the city, while the imperial eagle signifies the king as well as his imperial immediacy. It can be seen that this particular coat of arms has a twin-headed eagle that was positioned between two small turrets that are white-colored.

Generally, the Elinger Tor is a fascinating and stunning gate with beautiful decorations seen from the side facing out of town.

The other side is equally beautiful but with sparse, simple aesthetics. It is nestled in a side street that may totally hide it from tourists walking downtown. However, visitors coming to Weissenburg via the B13 route will get a stunningly clear view of the gate.

Nymphenburg Palace

Address: Schloß Nymphenburg 1, 80638 München, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

The Nymphenburg Palace is located in Neuhausen-Nymphenburg, Bavaria, Southern Germany. This baroque castle and the adjoining Nymphenburg Palace Park make up one of Europe’s principal royal palaces. It has a frontal width of 632 m (2,073 ft.) (north-south axis) that exceeds even that of the Versailles Palace.

The Nymphenburg Palace used to be the main summer home for the past rulers of Bavaria, who belonged to the House of Wittelsbach. Inside the palace are baroque facades that measure an overall width of almost 700 meters.

Several rooms retained the original baroque design from when the palace was erected, while others have been renovated in neoclassical or rococo style.

The stone hall (Steinerner Saal) situated within the palace central pavilion is filled with decorations done by Francois de Cuvillies and ceiling frescoes designed by Johann Baptist Zimmermann and F. Zimmerman. Both of these designs combine to give the stone hall a very visually captivating appeal.

In addition to the central pavilion, the palace has the Northern pavilion with various wings and the Southern pavilion with various wings. The Southern pavilion used to house the Electress apartments when the palace was first built.

The famous Gallery of Beauties associated with King Ludwig I of Bavaria is hung in the Southern Pavilion. On the other hand, the Northern pavilion houses the chapel that has ceiling paintings of St Mary Magdalene and the Museum of Man and Nature.

Every year, the Nymphenburg Palace main building sees over 300,000 visitors. This palace is also used as headquarters for the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes.

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Address: Hofgartenstraße 1, 80538 München, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

This garden is situated right between the Englischer Garten and the Residenz in Munich, Germany. It was constructed in 1613–1617 under the orders of Maximilian I, Elector, and designed using the Italian Renaissance Garden style.

In the heart of this garden is the pavilion dedicated to the goddess Diana and constructed in 1615 by Heinrich Schön, the elder. From each arch in the pavilion is a path that leads away. The roof of the Diana pavilion (Dianatempel) is a sculpture replica of Bavaria made by Hubert Gerhard in 1623.

The eastern part of the Hofgarten is faced by the Bavarian State Chancellery (Staatskanzlei), accommodated in the old Army Museum. At the front of the Chancellery building is the war memorial (Kriegerdenkmal) established to commemorate the Munich citizens who died in action during the First World War.

Toward the northeastern corner is a square-shaped black granite memorial for the White Rose group members executed by the Hitler regime for non-violently protesting Nazi rule.

During the Second World War, the garden was damaged. After the war was over, it was reconstructed using a limited design that fused both the 19th-century landscape garden style and the formal original 17th-century design.

The Hofgarten is an incredibly popular place with tourists as well as residents. In the South of the garden close to the Residenz are flowers designed in 1853 by Carl Effner.

There are also arcades leading to the north and west, plus numerous wall paintings associated with Bavarian history. At the west of the Garden is the Court Garden Gate (Hofgartentor), leading to the Theatinerkirche.

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

Address: Burg 17, 90403 Nürnberg, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

The Nuremberg Castle is made of ancient fortified structures on a ridge made of sandstone and overlooking the Nuremberg historical center in Bavaria, Germany.

The castle alongside the city walls is regarded as one of the most intimidating medieval defenses. It signified the magnitude and strength of the Holy Roman Empire and the exceptional role Nuremberg played as an imperial city.

During the Middle Ages, the Kings of Germany had no capital but continuously traveled from one imperial castle (Kaiserpfalz) they owned to another. Eventually, the Nuremberg castle gained prominence over other palaces, and for centuries, many emperors and kings of Germany used it as their permanent seat of power and residence.

Nuremberg castle features three separate parts – the old Burgraves castle (Burggrafenburg), the Imperial castle (Kaiserburg), and finally, the building constructed at the eastern location by the Imperial City (Reichsstädtische Bauten). These fortified structures are estimated to have been built around 1000. Bearing this in mind, three main building periods have been identified.

The first is the castle that was built under Salian kings between 1027 to 1125. The second is a castle constructed under the orders of the Hohenstaufen emperors between 1027 to 1125. Finally, the palace’s rebuilding with extra additions and alterations during the late medieval centuries.

Some more alterations were done to the castle in the 19th century. Under the Nazi regime, the castle was changed back to its “original state” as part of preparing for the 1936 Nuremberg party rally. After the Second World War left most of the castle in ruins, it took about thirty years for it to be renovated and rebuilt to the current state.

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Bavarian Forest National Park

Address: Germany

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

The Nationalpark Bayerischer is a park within the Eastern Bavarian Forest directly situated on Germany’s border shares with the Czech Republic.

The Bavarian Forest National park was established on the seventh of October 1970. It was the first park in Germany that was national, and it takes up an area of 24,250 hectares. Along with the nearby Czech Bohemian Forest, the Bavarian Forest makes up the biggest forest contiguous area in Central Europe.


Address: Marienplatz, 80331 München, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Mary’s Square is situated in the center of Munich City, Germany. Since 1158, it has functioned as the main square in the city. Marienplatz used to serve as the location for tournaments and markets. Originally, Mary’s square was known as Markth (“market”), Schranne (“grain market”), and later Schrannenplatz (“grain market square”).

Once the Schrannenplatz shifted in 1853 to a new iron-and-glass Schranne close to “Blumenstrasse,” it became known as Marienplatz. The new name became official on the 9th of October, 1854.

Marienplatz got its name from a Marian column in the center of the square called Mariensäule, built in 1638, to commemorate the termination of the Swedish occupation.

This occupation happened because of the Thirty Year’s War. The Marian Column is capped by a Virgin Mary statue in gold, standing on top of a crescent moon as Queen of Heaven. This gold statute was made in 1590 and was originally situated in Frauenkirche.

Presently, the Marienplatz is overlooked by the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall) to the North and the Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall, a renovated gothic style city hall) a tower and ballroom) to the East.

In the new city hall tower, the inspiration for the Glockenspiel was drawn from the tournaments held on the square grounds in the Middle Ages; and it attracts tourists of millions every year.

Moreover, the pedestrian area between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz is a packed area with many restaurants and shops. During the yuletide season, the Christkindlmark (Christmas market) opens up at the square selling Christmas drinks, foods, gifts, and goods.

On your way to Marienplatz, other destinations, and attractions of Germany, you might encounter German jokes from the locals or the tourist guide that bring more joy to the tour.

Nepal Himalaya Pavillon

Address: Martiniplatte, 93109 Wiesent, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

This is an exhibition pavilion of the Nepalese that is now found in Hanover after the expo of 2009. This pavilion was bought by a patron and was later rebuilt in Wiesent in the upper Palatinate district, which is in the Regensburg district.
The Nepalese pavilion was set up in 2000 for the Expo 2000 held in Hanover from June to October 2000.

About 178 nations and international organizations attended the Expo. The pavilion has a 22-meter-high-tower with intricate carvings done by about 800 Nepalese artisans. The building was a major attraction amongst other pavilions at the World’s Fair and had about 3.5 million visits.

At the end of the exhibition, the pavilion was bought by the manufacturer Heribert Wirth. The building was later broken into separate parts and rebuilt into the original in Wiesent, Upper Palatinate. Since July 15, 2003, the building has been opened to the public.

The operators reported that the building remains the only site where Hindus and Buddhists can be found together in one structure. Different gardens are surrounding it. There is also a tea house, a Nepalese carillon, and a large pond with a gigantic figure of Buddha.

Visitors and tourists can get access to the building from mid-May to October within opening hours. The revenues from this building are then forwarded to the Water for the World Foundation, and the money is used to provide water projects in the Third World.

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Schleissheim palace complex

Schleissheim palace complex

Address: 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

This palace comprises three different palaces located in a splendid baroque park right in the Oberschleissheim village, Munich, Bavaria. The palace served as a summer house for rulers of Bavaria who belonged to the House of Wittelsbach.

There is the Old Schleißheim Palace, Lustheim Palace, and the New Schleißheim Palace. Schleißheim old palace began as a Renaissance-style country house alongside hermitage established in 1598 by William V.

There are two courtyards within this palace known as Maximilianshof, the interior courtyard, and Wilhelmshof, the exterior one. By order of William’s son Maximilian I, the structures were expanded between 1617 – 1623 by Hans Krumper and Heinrich Schön to create the supposed old palace.

Enrico Zuccalli built Lustheim Palace in 1684 – 1688 to be an Italian-styled garden villa for King Maximilian II Emanuel and Austrian princess Maria Antonia, the first queen. Lustheim is situated on a circular-shaped island and functions as a point de vue of the end of the baroque-style court garden.

This palace has double stories with a mid-section overlooked by a belvedere that offers an extensive outlook of the neighboring countryside.

The New Schleißheim Palace is situated between the other two palaces, and it was built between 1701 – 1704 because the elector was expecting the crown.

However, due to Max Emanuel losing Bavaria for a couple of years during the Spanish Succession War, construction of this palace was halted. Eventually, Joseph Effner expanded the structure to become a prominently remarkable Baroque palace in 1719–1726, but just the major wing was finished.

Munich Residenz

Address: Residenzstraße 1, 80333 München, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

The Munich Residenz is situated in Central Munich, Germany, and it used to be the royal palace for Wittelsbach monarchs ruling Bavaria. It is the biggest city palace in Germany. The group of buildings that make up this building has 130 rooms and ten courtyards.

The three primary parts of the complex are the Alte Residenz (Old Residenz; toward the Residenzstraße), the Festsaalbau (toward the Hofgarten), and the Königsbau (close to the Max-Joseph-Platz). The Festsaalbau has housed the Cuvilliés Theatre since the rebuilding of the castle after the Second World War ended.

It also holds the Hercules Hall (Herkulessaal), which is the main concert arena for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. At the east flank are the Byzantine Court Church of All Saints (Allerheiligen-Hofkirche), which faces the Marstall – the old Court Riding School and royal stables.

The Munich Residenz castle constructed in 1385 was the first part of the current complex called the Neuveste. The different rulers expanded the palace to make a bigger complex assembled over several courtyards from these structures.

Under King Ludwig III, who ruled from 1913 – 1918, modern technical additions such as lighting and central heating were fixed up in the palace.

When the monarchy ended in1918, the residence was disbanded as a government seat and became an interior design museum which was opened to the public in 1920. World War II came, and most of the upper palace story and multiple ground floor vaulted rooms were destroyed.

However, most inventories that could be moved had been previously moved to safe storage space. In May 1945, a building office was established on the residence to handle the rebuilding of the complex to preserve its splendid historical and cultural value. This rebuilding spanned several decades.

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Danube Gorge

Address: Asamstraße 22, 93309 Kelheim, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The Danube Gorge is located close to Weltenburg; it is pronounced as Donaudurchbruch bei Weltenburg in German. It is a narrow part of the Danube Valley in the Lower Bavaria county of Kelheim.

This place has been regarded as a rich natural reserve as well as a geotope. This part of the valley is officially referred to as Weltenburg Narrows (Weltenburger Enge).

The Weltenburg Narrows is found between the Lower Bavarian section of the River Danube and lies between two towns: Weltenburg Abbey kd Kelheim. This natural reserve covers about 560 hectares and is about 400 meters wide and 5.5 kilometers in length.

The Gebiet is a rich natural reserve and has the catastre number NSG200.002. King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1840 had designated the area as a natural monument.

This natural reserve has been in existence since 1938, and it got the European Diploma on 5 March 1978. It is also part of the Natura 2000 network and well-protected area of DE7136301, Weltenburg Narrows and Hirschberg, and Altmühlleiten.

Additionally, the area has a geotope no. 273R005. The Weltenburg Narrows got an official seal by the Bavarian Minister for the Environment in 2002 as one of Bavaria’s most beautiful geotopes. The Danube Gorge got listed as one of the 77 outstanding national geotopes of Germany in 2006.

Falkenhof Schloss Rosenburg

Address: Schloßweg 7, 93339 Riedenburg, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

This castle is situated in Rosenburg, Germany. Here, the birds are presented twice a day at 11 am and at 3 pm. Visitors and tourists get to witness firsthand the incredible skills of the castle’s birds of prey against a stunning background of the old preserved castle.

After the air show or even before, visitors are offered the chance to get more insight into the various birds of prey through a guided tour of the Falkenhof castle grounds. More information on falconry can be gotten from the castle museum.

As well as the history of birds of prey and falconry, the museum offers knowledge on native fauna. Tourists who wish to find out more about the history of Count Rosenburg and Count Risenburg will also find it in the museum.

At the Falkenhof Castle, falcons, vultures, eagles, and several local birds of prey are housed in the scenic courtyard through the season. Several of these bird species have gone extinct in the Altmühltal for decades, if not more. The current animals residing at Rosenburg all result from deliberate breeding.

Most were born at the breeding center specially established for this objective. In the Falkenhof Castle courtyard, visitors will find Eagle species such as the bald eagle, imperial eagle, predatory eagle, fish eagle, golden eagle, short-toed eagle, and European white-tailed eagle.

The species of Buzzards residing there as well include the eagle buzzard, common buzzard, blue buzzard (aguja), and king owl buzzard.

The museum does not get any state support or subsidy but is financed completely through visitor entrance fees.

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Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Address: Alte Römerstraße 75, 85221 Dachau, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Dachau used to be a concentration camp that opened on 22 March 1933 and was originally meant to accommodate political prisoners.

The camp is situated on the lands of a deserted munitions factory just northeast of the old town of Dachau, nearly 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in Bavaria, South Germany.

After Heinrich Himmler opened it, it expanded its objectives to incorporate forced labor and imprisonment of German, Romani, and Austrian Criminals. Jews and foreign nationals in countries occupied or invaded by Germany were also sent to this camp.

The Dachau camp organization escalated to include almost 100 sub-camps, which were mainly Arbeitskommandos or work camps located all over Austria and South Germany.

In April 1945, the principal camp was invaded and liberated by American forces. Before the liberation, prisoners existed in a constant state of fear of terror detention and cruel, inhuman treatment such as floggings, pole or tree hanging, standing cells, and standing at fixed attention for overly long lengths of time.

32,000 deaths were documented to have happened at the Dachau camp, and thousands more are undocumented. About 10,000 prisoners out of the 30,000 at the camp were seriously ill when the camp was liberated. After the war was over, the Dachau grounds were used to accommodate SS soldiers awaiting trial.

After 1948, it was used to hold ethnic Germans that had been sent out of Eastern Europe and were waiting to be resettled. Finally, the camp was closed down in 1960. Today, there are numerous religious memorials in the Memorial Site, and it is open to public visitation.

Burg Ehrenfels

Address: Pfarrer-Fichtl-Straße 10, 93176 Beratzhausen, Germany

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The Ehrenfels Castle is a mainly ruined castle on the hillside over the Rhine Gorge close to Rüdesheim’s Rhein in Hesse town in Germany. It is situated right on the precipitous eastern riverbank amongst stretched-out vineyards. There is a grape variety called Ehrenfelser that gets its name from the castle.

The Ehrenfels Castle was constructed (rebuilt) around 1212 under orders from the Archbishop of Mainz Siegfried II von Eppstein. The castle possesses features common with late medieval castle design that typically has prominent flanking towers and high shield walls.

The castle walls go up to about 20 meters while the conspicuous round towers stand at 33 meters. Before it became a ruin, it used to house the Mainz Cathedral treasures and was the venue for the appointment of Konrad II, Archbishop of Mainz.

Alongside the supposedly called “Mouse Tower,” Burg Ehrenfels made up a significant collection of excise buildings and aimed to regulate Rhine navigation at “Binger Loch.” This regulation and control through tolls was the work of the Archbishop of Mainz.

He employed Burgmannen as staff in the castle and the toll post. The major reason for the castle functioning as a Rhine control tower was to strategically hit back at the regular attacks from Elector Palatine Henry V, the Imperial vicar of Franconia, who continuously tried hard to reduce the influence and authority of the Mainz archbishop.

However, during the Thirty Year’s War, the Ehrenfels Castle was severely damaged; then, during the Siege of Mainz in 1689, French troops’ final decimation was carried out commanded by Lieutenant General Nicolas Chalon du Blé.

Presently, the ruins can only be accessed from Rüdesheim through a hiking route within the vineyards. However, the interior of the ruined castle is open to visitors only by prior scheduled guide tours.

Herrenchiemsee New Palace

Herrenchiemsee New Palace Things to do in Bavaria

Address: 83209 Herrenchiemsee, Germany

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Herrenchiemsee is a group of several royal buildings situated on Herreninsel, the biggest island on the Chiemsee lake in Bavaria, Germany. Alongside the nearby isle of Frauenchiemsee and the unoccupied Krautinsel, they all make up the Chiemsee municipality, situated nearly 60 kilometers southeast of Munich.

The island was previously the location of an Augustinian monastery before King Ludwig II of Bavaria purchased it in 1873. Ludwig II had the grounds renovated into a living residence, and it became known as the Altes Schloss (Old Palace).

From 1878 and forward, he arranged for the Neues Schloss (the New Herrenchiemsee Palace) to be built in the likeness of the Versailles Palace model.

The Old Palace, also known as the Herrenchiemsee Abbey, is a Baroque monastery building constructed between 1642 – 1731. During the German Mediatisation, the Abbey became secularized in1803, and the Chiemsee diocese was totally disbanded in 1808.

The island was sold off, and different owners destroyed the cathedral and sold off the interior. The abbey was transformed into a brewery.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the island in1873. He directed the remaining buildings to be renovated for his personal use. That complex eventually became the Old Palace he stayed in a while supervising the New Herrenchiemsee Palace construction.

The building of the New Palace started in 1878. King Ludwig II oversaw the construction progress as the new royal home was intended to be a Versailles homage as well as the king’s new private residence.

However, despite this intent, the New Herrenchiemsee Palace was never built to accommodate a royal household of over a thousand. King Ludwig himself was only able to enjoy the new palace residence for just a handful of days in September 1885.

Herrenchiemsee was the last and biggest of the king’s building projects. However, it remained unfinished when the king died, and presently, it is managed by the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes. The Herrenchiemsee is open to public visitation and is a key tourist site.

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Updated: June 8, 2021 — 9:42 am

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The German Tourists

We are The German Tourists. We love everything about German food, beer and travel. So, why not provide you all the information that we've learned and explored in Germany along the way.