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Royal castles

Royal castles

Schloss Berchtesgaden

Berchtesgaden Royal Castle

Over 8 centuries the royal castle was extended and enlarged over and over again. The old parts of the building are largely intact still, thus the diffferent styles from romantic to gothic and baroque to rococo and biedermeier can still be admired. A guided tour through the  castle is like a journey through the history of art. The former Augustiner Canons Monastry was the seat of the government of the Berchtesgaden Landlords from the 12th to the 18th century. The Bavarian kings lived there when they came to Berchtesgaden for hunting. Since the secularization the Wittelsbach family used it as their residential palace. Crown Prince Rupprecht richly decorated it with ceremonial armour, swords, hunting rifles and pistols, which you can admire in the 3 armouries. Here you will find many hunting trophies including the strongest Bavarian deer with antlers of 18,3 kg. In the big dining room valuable porcelain of the manufacturers Nymphenburg, Frankenthal and Meißen is showed.

Masterpieces of late gothic sculpture from the 15th century, among which two original big altar pianos of Tilmann Riemenschneider can be admired in the gothic hall. Two Renaissance banquet rooms are decorated with tapestries, paintings and Italian furniture from the 16th century. The "Rehmuseum"(deer museum) in the stables of the castle shows the scientific exploitation of game research of Duke Albrecht von Bayern on 360 m²,  for which he received the status of honorary doctor. The guided tour ends in a rose garden with a view of the impressive Watzmann-massif.
Schloss Berchtesgaden Schloss Berchtesgaden Schloss Berchtesgaden Schloss Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Hohensalzburg Fortress, the symbol of the city, is the biggest and best-preserved fortress in Europe. The fortress, built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard served to protect the clergy and the people of Salzburg. It is situated on a city mounatin, the  Festungsberg (Fortress Hill), above Salzburg and it can comfortably be reached with the Festungsbahn-lift, which runs every 10 minutes. On foot the climb will take you about  half an hour.
 
From the fortress you have a wondeful view of Salzburg and the surrounding countryside. The outer fortifications can be visited without a guide; for a visit to one of the internal parts of the castle (salt storage, torture room, warrior tower, battlements, Salzburger Stier (pipe organ) a guided tour is offered; the internal rooms on the higher floors (royal apartments, museums) can also be visited without guide.
 
At the fortress you also find the Museum of the Archduke Rainer Regiment. In the summer months a so-called "special guided tour" in German and English is offered since July 2009. Costumed castle staff "abducts" the visitor for a walk through the 16th century. You have to pay extra for this tour. There are concerts offered at the fortress frequently as well and the Salzburg Summer Academy offers courses here as well.
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Hellbrunn Castle - Salzburg

Markus Sittikus, king and archbishop at the same time, had the summer palace built in Italian style from 1613 to 1615 . An architectural juwel on the southern outskirts of Salzburg was created, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings north from the Alps. 


The world's best preserved fountains of the late Renaissance with many water jokes and several moving figures as well as many caves decorated with sculptures can be admired here. The spacious castle garden is freely accessable, offering a pond, ornamental garden, several statues, the "Monatsschlössl" (little castle), which now accommodates the ethnological museum, the wild romantic  Steintheater (stone theatre, the oldest open-air stage in Europe), the sunbahting area and  a children's playground.
 
With the magnificently decorated banquet rooms of the castle, the marvelous gardens and the unique fountains the caslte was the place for big parties and festivals, abundant spectacles and cultural highlights. In the meantime the castle has become a popular setting for international events.

Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Klessheim Castle - Salzburg

Distinguishedly the Klessheim Castle presents itself to the public: the access road with the magnificent Triton Fountains, the loggia, the entrance hall and the staircase give an idea of the baroque abundance of the former days. At the end of the 17th century, Archbishop Johann Ernst Thun acquired the small nobility seat Kleshof.
 
Between 1700 and 1709 Fisher von Erlach was commissioned to construct the elegant summer palace. From 1866 the castle was owned by Archduke Ludwig Viktor, during the Austrian-Hungarina monarchy. In those days the winter palace arose, now the cavalier house. A garden complex with a high castle wall and 11 sentry-boxes belong to the castle.
In 1938 Adolf Hitler used the castle for state receptions and business meetings. In  1945 the castle was the setting for the victory celebrations of the Allies, then seat of the American Military Administration. Since 1993 the Casino Salzburg was situated in the magnificent premises.
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Mirabell Castle - Salzburg

Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had the castle built in 1606 as a gift for his Salome Alt to show her his love. Markus Sitticus renamed it "Mirabell" after the death of his cousin. The castle is a unique treasure. The big marble stairs, leading into the castle and the marble room remained undamaged in the big city fire in April 1818. Details such as window frames, capitals and stucco work remind one of the glorious past.
 
The staircase of Master Lukas von Hildebrandt is considered to be one of the greatest treasures of the Mirabell Castle. Charming puttos adorn the multiform marble balustrade, the sculptures in the niches are masterpieces of the famous Georg Raphael Donner and are among the most beautiful European baroque.  Under Prince Bischop Johann Ernst Graf von Thun the famous garden of the Mirabell Castle was restyled according to the design of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach around 1690 and around 1730 is was significantly changed by Franz Anton Danreiter. The Pegasus Fountain, a masterpiece of Kaspar Gras from Innsbruck, was placed in 1913. The four groups of figures around the fountains were created by Ottavio Mosto (1690) and symbolize the 4 elements: fire, air, earth and water.
 
Here you will find one of the oldest hedge theatres north from the Alps and a dwarf garden from the time of Archbishop Franz Anton Fürst Harrach. In 1854 Emperor Franz Joseph opened the Mirabell Garden to the public and nowadays it still presents itself as a garden-architectural jewel. Now the offices of the mayor of Salzburg and the city council are situated in the Mirabell Castle. Nowadays the marble room, the former ballroom of the Prince Archbishop, in which Leopold Mozart and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl once played their instruments, is considered to be one of the "most beautiful wedding rooms in the wolrd"  Meetings, ceremonies and nice concerts frequently take place here (Salzburg Castle Concerts).
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Herrenchiemsee Castle - Chiemgau

Over an avenue you reach the beautiful castle from Chiemsee on foot or by carriage. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the "fairytale king" had the Herrenchiemsee Castle built from 1878 to 1886 after the example of the Versailles Castle.
The Herrenchiemsee Castle has about 20 sumptuous rooms, of which the  Legation Stairs (Gesandtentreppe) , the "Parade" bedroom, the dining room with 98 m² and the big mirror hall are particularly impressive.
 
The dining room, which is equipped with a mechanically driven "table setter" made it possible for the king to dine without the presence of servants. In the mirror hall there are 23 big mirrors facing 23 arch windows. By this arrangement the lights is refected in the entire mirror hall and refracts in the crystal elements of the 33 chandeliers and 44 standing candelabra.  Until 1982, the 1.848 candles in the hall were regularly lit on occasion of concerts or for the so-called "castle lighting".
 
To protect the paintings as well as for fire protection reasons these traditions are abandoned today. In addition to the guided tours, the mirror hall is particularly used for concerts and state receptions. In front of the caslte a beautiful baroque park according to the desing of Carl von Effner unfolds itself, turning into the nature of the island and togehter it forms a big natural park.  In front of the main parterre the Latona fountain and other big fountains adorn the park.
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Linderhof Castle - Oberammergau

The royal house, in which Ludwig often stayed with his father Maximilian II during the joint hunting trips, has been rebuilt from 1869 to 1885/86. It is the only castle, which the King had completed and occupied. A sumptuous façade, a wonderful garden with Venus grotto, waterfall and lake, inside shining mirrors, glittering gold, velvet and silk, tapestries and paintings, chandeliers, lapis lazuli, malachite and porcelain make the rococo period come back to life again.
Berchtesgaden Hotel Zechmeisterlehen 4 Sterne Superior - Urlaub Wellness in Schönau am Königssee · Royal castles

Neuschwanstein Castle - Allgäu

7 weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886 the Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public. In this castle the shy fairytal king wanted to withdraw from the public life. After 17 years of construction Ludwig lived at his castle for just 172 days. Only a third of the planned facilities was completed at that moment. The King had the ruins of Vorderhohenschwangau rebuilt in true knight's style. He was definitely inspired by his trip to Eisenach and a visit to the Wartburg Castle. The knight's bathroom and the singers' hall were designed after the example of the Wartburg. Ludwig II was also inspired by the German Middle Ages, the Spanish Moresque as well as by the legends of  Richard Wagner.

Königssee - St. Bartholomä hunting seat

On the peninsula St. Bartholomä next to the world-famous pilgrim's chursh (Wallfahrtskirche), the inn with a shady beer garden in the former hunting lodge of the Bavarian kings invites you for a relaxed break.

The castle and the pilgrim's church were founded by the Prince-Provost in 1134 and in the 18th century it has been rebuilt and changed into a summer palace and hunting logde with reuse of older components. Berchtesgaden became Bavarian in 1810 and since then St. Bartholmä was one of the favourite places of the Bavarian kings.

Adelsheim Castle

Regional Museum Berchtesgaden
The Renaissance castles were built in 1624 and it houses the regional museum now. The museum gives a glimpse in the art and culture of the Berchtesgaden Region.

At the end of the 19th century not only the Bavarian kings visited Berchtesgaden and his sights, but artist, industrialists and writers suchs as Ludwig Ganghofer, Prof. Linde or Siegmund Freud gave tourism a start.