Neuschwanstein Castle, with its 1.4 million visitors each year, is one of the tourist attractions in Bavaria. A jewel that awaits just a few steps away from the crowds, between the coach park and the ascent to the castle, is often overlooked: the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, which opened in 2011. It is housed in the historic Grand Hotel Alpenrose; the transept of the hotel has been augmented by a bold glass structure.
If you are hesitant about entering the museum because you are expecting just another dose of the local veneration of Ludwig II, you will be pleasantly surprised: it quickly becomes apparent that no single person is highlighted; instead, the history and the rise and fall of the Wittelsbach dynasty is presented very vividly and clearly, in appropriately dignified rooms.
The focus is on the Kingdom of Bavaria, which lasted from 1806 to 1918. And thus, the “Hall of Kings” is the central room and the most brilliant, in the truest sense of the word. The magnificent, gilded, multi-part centrepiece which Ludwig von Schwanthaler, known for his figure of Bavaria in Munich, produced for the wedding of the man who later became King Max II is here. The other kings are not neglected either. Doubtless, Ludwig II takes up the most space, but he was venerated even during his lifetime and became a myth after his death, if not before. His magnificent coat shows the impressive stature of the king. The superb Nymphenburg “Royal Service”, produced for Ludwig III and Marie Therese, is a particular highlight for porcelain-lovers. The historical events are explained in an interesting way, and even difficult periods for the ruling family, for example interment in a concentration camp during the National Socialist period, are not left out.
For opening times and admission prices please visit the original website.