The perfect insight into the life of Bavaria’s Fairytale King: Schloss Linderhof (Linderhof Palace) was Ludwig II’s favourite and the place where he spent most of his time.
Located close to the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Ammergauer Alps, King Ludwig II created Schloss Linderhof as a place of retreat. He wanted it to be a palace for him and him alone, a wish that is clearly reflected in the size of the rooms. Linderhof is the smallest of the fairy-tale king’s three castles and the only one completed during his lifetime.
Schloss Linderhof was built from 1872 to 1878 and was designed to be a rococo-style royal villa after his original idea to build a magnificent Versailles-inspired palace had already been brought to life in Herrenchiemsee.
Ludwig II was a great admirer of the Sun King Louis XIV and longed for the return of French-style absolutism. His passion is reflected in the interior décor of Schloss Linderhof: Scenes from life in the palace of Versailles and portraits of French courtiers and mistresses adorn the ceilings and walls.
The admiration he felt for Louis was also expressed by an unusual habit he picked up in his later years: While Ludwig ate alone, he often held civilised conversations with a table of imaginary guests from the French royal court, such as King Louis XIV or Madame Pompadour.
The grounds at Schloss Linderhof are equally as impressive as the palace itself. The flower gardens that surround the palace draw on motifs from baroque and rococo garden design. The extensive park on the other hand is an English-style landscaped garden with groups of trees and winding pathways.
One of the park’s highlights is without a doubt the “Venusgrotte” (Venus Grotto), an artificial cave that was equipped with electrical lighting and heating. Sometimes Ludwig would have his staff row him across the lake in a gold-plated shell-shaped boat while musicians played in the background. Unfortunately, the grotto is due to remain closed to visitors until 2021 due to restoration work.
Visit Schloss Linderhof from Munich easily on a guided tour, by car via the A95 and the B2 or by train and bus using the inexpensive Bayern-ticket.