Gloriously set atop a hill in Germany’s mountainous Bavaria region, the Schloss Hohenschwangau is an impressive sight to see. It’s not all about the glorious setting, however. The Hohenschwangau Castle, as it is known in English, has quite an interesting history. The nineteenth century neo-Gothic structure that you see today was born out of the ruins of a former fortress, not far from what is today the city of Fussen. This old fortress was built in the twelfth century and was used by the knights of Schwangau.
After the knights of Schwangau met their demise in the sixteenth century, the original Hohenschwangau fortress changed hands on several occasions. Eventually, it fell into a state of ruins, the process of which was aided by the Napoleonic Wars. In around the year 1830, Crown Prince Maximilian came across the ruined structure and was impressed by the beauty of the site and surrounding area. This inspired him to purchase the property, and within just a few years, it was completely restored and given the Hohenschwangau name. Crown Prince Maximilian, it should be mentioned, eventually became Maximilian II of Bavaria, and together with his wife and sons, he spent quite a bit of time at Schloss Hohenschwangau.
Not far from the Hohenschwangau Castle sits another famous royal castle. It is known as the Neuschwanstein Castle, and it's among the most popular castles in Germany among visitors. Chances are good that you have seen it in pictures if you have ever consulted a Germany travel guide. The history of both structures are closely related, thanks to Maximilian II’s son, Ludwig, and because of their beauty alone, they are not to be missed while in the area. Guided tours in English can be arranged throughout the year and are highly recommended.