Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Schloss Herrenchiemsee is a palace built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria located on the island Chiemsee 60 km from Munich in Bavaria.

You can take a train and boat trip to this lovely place from Munich.

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Painting of the Sun King in Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Ludwig bought the Island in 1873 and planned to build a beautiful castle that should look exactly like the Palace of Versailles.

Ludwig visited the Versailles palace once and was a great admirer of Louis XIV, the Sun King. One of the main features of his Herrenchiemsee palace is a copy of the famous painting of the Sun King.

He started the build in 1878. He worked with the architect Georg Dollmann again, who also worked on Scholss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Linderhof.

At the highlight of the construction phase, there would be more than 4000 people working on the palace. After seven years in 1885, the construction works stopped because the King run out of money.

After the king’s death in 1886 the construction stopped altogether. The Schloss was never finished, what you can visit today is a only a fraction of the original plans that Ludwig had. Only 20 of the 70 rooms are finished. Nonetheless, it is still worth a visit .

Great hall of mirrors, Schloss HerrenchiemseeGreat hall of mirrors, Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Schloss Herrenchiemsee should surpass the palace of Versailles and a lot of rooms are copies of the rooms in Versailles.

There is a great hall of mirrors like the one in Versailles. The ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors in Herrenchiemsee show paintings of Louis XIV. 

In the centre of the palace is the state bedchamber, just like the one the Sun king used to sleep in and meet his courtiers every morning and every evening. 

State bedchamber, Schloss Herrenchiemsee

Ludwig II did not use this bedroom, he used a 'smaller' room where the blue ball on the end of his bed would lit his room. 

In fact, Ludwig only spends 10 days in the palace in September 1885. After his death in 1886 it was never inhabited again.

As in Schloss Linderhof,  the palace has a dining room with an elevator table. This made it possible for Ludwig to dine alone, even without having to see the servants. He also had the largest chandelier of Meissen Porcelain in the world. 

Another novelty can be found at the state staircase. The roof is made of glass, which was a technical highlight at the time and very difficult to construct.

Herrenchiemsee FountainHerrenchiemsee Fountain

Schloss Herrenchiemsee official website

Entrance tickets can only be bought on-site at the Besucherzentrum (Visitors’ Center) near the boat landing on Herrninsel.  Advance reservations are not possible, but opening hours are long so there is seldom much of a wait as tours are frequent. 

The palace is not an exact replica of the Versailles palace, it has one huge improvement. At Versailles Palace, there was no single toilet to be found and no other sanitation whatsoever. Schloss Herrenchiemsee had a central heating system and a heated bathtub.

On the ground floor of the palace you will find the King Ludwig II Museum, where you can learn more about the life of this eccentric and lonely king. You can also see the original construction plans of all of Ludwig’s palaces. 

The palace gardens with its fountains and layout inspired by the Versailles gardens are also a highlight of your visit to Herrenchiemsee.

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