Herrenchiemsee Palace may be Ludwigs masterpiece
Neuschwanstein is inherently more popular than Herrenchiemsee Palace, Neuschwanstein is a similar figure to Walt Disney’s castle. Easy access to public transport and a palace in popular tourism play a large part in keeping Neuschwanstein Ludwig’s most popular creation. Herrenchimsee nonetheless is a great way to spend a day trip from Munich.
In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria bought The Herreninsel Island as the location to build his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee Herreninsel Island lies 60km from Munich. Far enough away but close enough so Ludwig could commute to the sights of Munich as required. Once in Munich Ludwig had the Royal Palace of Schloss Nymphenburg to reside in.
If this amazing palace was built today, as of 2013 it would have cost in excess of 250 million dollars. Called the Bavarian Versailles Herrenchimsee Palace is modelled on The Palace of Versailles in France. Ludwig built Herrenchimsee in honour of King Louis XIV of France. For Ludwig imitation was the kindest form of flattery. Construction of Herrenchinsee Palace began in 1878 and continued to Ludwig’s death in 1886.
One of the great shame’s of Ludwig’s death was that it left both Herrenchinsee and Neuschwanstein were unfinished.The palace was still far from complete at this stage and sections were actually destroyed. The greatness of these sites and Ludwig’s vision were never fully realised for us to see and experience. If finished Herrenchinsee would have been a masterpiece and rightly taken its spot as King Ludwigs finest royal residence.
The highlights of the interior include the large State Rooms, the State Staircase, the State Bedroom and the Great Hall of Mirrors. The Hall of Mirrors was amazing and worth a visit to Herrenchiemsee just to view this room alone. If you been to Versailles and viewed their Hall of Mirrors the version at Herrenchinsee will be instantly familiar to you.
The Hall of Mirrors and the facade of Herrenchinsee Palace is where this palace is most like Versailles. The King’s own rooms were in the intimate Small Apartment. Herrenchiemsee was designed in the French rococo style built in the classic shape of a palace with a long, front facade.
Some of my most treasured memories of Herrenchimsee are of the gardens and fountains of this palace. The fountains were like nothing I had experienced before and dominated the landscape the was viewable all the way to the water. The sculptures that are these fountains are like something you would see in Rome by Bernini or some other famous sculpture. The gardens have a central corridor leading from the front of the Palace to where the purpose dock for the royal ferries was to arrive. On either side of the corridor are rectangular water features with an amazing fountain in the centre. One could sit look and stroll this amazing area of the palace grounds for hours. There is a cafe onsite where you can enjoy a beverage and just take in your surrounds. Being in Bavaria I thought a traditional Bavarian weissbier was in order. I sat in the warm summer sun in an amazing place with my family and fully enjoyed a great beer.
Herrenchiemsee Palace main downfall is that Ludwig died before construction was complete leaving 50 of 70 rooms unfinished. Herrenchiemsee, do yourself a favour and make the effort to see Herrenchiemsee Palace it’s the equal of Neuschwanstein and the crowds are much smaller
From Prien station, there is a special Chiemsee train to the Prien/Stock boat pier which runs during the summer season.
The pier is otherwise about a 30-minute walk from the station.
The boat ride over to the island is amazing. Cruising across the clear blue water of this Bavarian lake is a great experience. The Alps in the background rise up tho great the horizon with snow covered peaks.
Family Travel Tip: Horse and cart rides are available from the pier through the forest to Herrenchiemsee Palace. The rides are available in the summer months. The carridge rides takes around 15 minutes and costs 3.50 euro for adults and 1 euro for kids. Our kids loved the horse and cart ride.
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