Yesterday we visited another of King Ludwig II’s palaces – this one was in Bavaria on an island, so we had to take a ferry to the palace and back.
Herrenchiemsee palace was a little more modern than the Neuschwanstein castle but it still had a lot of unfinished rooms. The most impressive room was called the “Hall of Mirrors” and I really really wish I could have taken a photo of it. I did get a couple (three pictures to be exact) of the inside just as the tour was starting, but then they caught me and told me to “Please stop taking photos”. 😦
King Ludwig II was kind of a mad genius – he was a little crazy but his ideas and style were ahead of his time. In the Herrenchiemsee castle, he figured out how to use the fireplaces and ductwork to heat the whole palace instead of just heating a single room. He also liked his privacy, so he figured out a way to have his dining table act like an elevator – the dining table would lower itself into the floor below where servants could set the table and prepare the food and then they would crank the table back up to the floor above so the King could eat in peace without any disturbances. Above his dining table was a one-of-a-kind porcelain chandelier. King Ludwig II had the molds for the chandelier destroyed after the chandelier was made so that he would have the only one in the entire world. The chandelier was amazing to look at – it was painted in blues and purples and had hanging bunches of porcelain flowers all over it – I’ll try and find a picture of it online somewhere to show you all.
The floors and staircases were the only things in the castle that were made of marble – the rest was a new plastic-like compound that could be colored; unfortunately it was more expensive than marble to make at that time. Regardless of that, all of the walls were covered in the blue, red, gold, and white “plastic marble” – which gave the castle a very different look than the rest of the castles we’ve seen. Most of the castle was fashioned in the French style – the castle itself was almost an exact copy of Versailles in Paris except without the two wings.
After the tour of the castle, we went out onto one of the parks and took a couple more photos and ate lunch. I also “sprung” my surprise on Beth – the whole time we’ve been over here, she has been wishing that we could visit somewhere else than just Germany and Scotland and I’ve been telling her that we didn’t have time or the money to go anywhere else. Unbeknownst to her, Greg & Zipporah helped me pick out a train ticket from Munich to Paris before we left home, so I was able to surprise Beth yesterday by giving her the ticket and telling her that we were going to be in Paris for just over four days. 🙂 I’m a sneaky fellow hehe… Beth really didn’t think that we were going anywhere else 🙂
Afterwards, we visited one of Greg’s friends Daniel and his girlfriend Sophie who lived across the lake from the castle. A lightning storm came up while we were driving around the lake, so it was a lot of fun seeing the lightning strikes and the colors in the clouds as we drove. After we had dinner with them, we headed back to Munich and got caught in a HUGE thunderstorm on the freeway – it was like a strobe light was going off continuously and it was raining so hard that we could barely see the road! We eventually arrived safely back at Greg & Zipporah’s place, tired and ready for bed.