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The smallest castle of Ludwig II is surrounded by a picturesque castle park with water games, the Venusgrotte and the Moorish kiosk.
The construction of Ludwig II, crowned king in 1864, began in 1867/68 with the design of his apartments in the Munich residence and the foundation stone of Neuschwanstein Castle.
As early as 1868 Ludwig II developed the first construction projects for Linderhof. But neither the planned project of a Versailles castle in the valley floor nor the plans for the construction of a large Byzantine palace came to the realization.
The core of the building activities was rather the former forester's house of his father Maximilian II, which was then at the present court square, and which the king already used as crown prince during hunting trips with his father. The Linderhof Palace, which was built in the course of a long period of construction and conversion, is the only large palace built by King Ludwig II.
In 1869, Ludwig II had the reformation house converted as "royal house" for his purposes.
Extension with wooden extensions
As early as 1870, a single-axle wing was built under the direction of Hofbaudirektor Georg Dollmann. Even during the completion of this cultivation, the basic revision of the Bauidee was followed.
From the spring of 1871, a symmetrical supplement of the first cultivation and the connection of the two wing buildings by a bedroom was planned and carried out. A wooden staircase on the west side permitted entry, the U-shaped enclosure, independent of the royal house, around an open courtyard.
The old royal house was thus superfluous. It was initially maintained. This shows the king's emotional connection to this building. The resulting building forms the preserved core of the castle. On the upper floor, it consisted of a wooden pedestal building, which was connected to planks by a brick pedestal, and was also known as a "mountain hut building" because of the existing wooden constructions. The plain exterior did not say anything about the opulence of the interiors.
Coating of stone
However, the step-by-step situation required a thorough architectural solution. In February, 1873, King Ludwig II approved a plan for the final design of the castle. At first, the wooden stand was framed with solid masonry, and a new cruciform structure was created. This part of the building formed the core of the new castle, but did not yet have an inside staircase.
Embedding in the landscape park
The transformation from the "Almhüttenbau" to the "Royal Villa" had decisive consequences for the entire surroundings of the castle. In 1874, the final planning of the park was made by Hofgartensdirektor Carl Joseph von Effner.
Great dreams of the castle and garden
In addition to the mystical world of the Orient and the gallantly romantic period of the Middle Ages, it was the splendid court of the Bourbon dynasty, which had captivated Ludwig II. In Linderhof, the king wished the replica of the palace and gardens of Versailles, the splendid sole residence of the sun king Louis XIV
But even the greatly reduced version of the Versailles garden set designed by Carl von Effner in 1868 in a first plan could not be created because of its size expansion in this narrow valley.
It was only when Ludwig II.1873 acquired the island of Herrenwörth in the Chiemsee and relocated the Versailles project to this place that the castle and garden area, as we know it, developed from this provisional. The wooden cultivation remained in its place, was encased with stone and expanded to today's castle. The now disturbing "royal house" had the king moved about 300 m to the west.
This also created the space for an extension of the garden area. In front of the mirror hall in the south wing of the castle, a large water basin with a fountain about 25 meters high was laid. To the south, three terraced gardens round off the garden, crowned by a round temple and romantically transfigured by an already existing 300 year old lime which the king protects from a precipitation.
In front of the bedroom in the northern part of the new building, the ascending terrain was used to build a cascade.
Over 30 marble steps, the water flows down the slope in fine veils. Together with the Neptunbrunnen as the lower and the so-called music pavilion as the upper end, the cascade shields the castle from the north to the landscape.
From the festive garden rooms, a scenic park leads to the neighboring pine-beech-mountain forest of the Ammergauer mountains. The gently rolling paths lead alternately through splendid beech, oak and lime trees and over free meadows, thus offering the park visitor a picture of changing landscapes.
On the northern edge of the park, Ludwig II built two of his numerous smaller "escape castles" in 1876: the artificially grotto and the Moorish kiosk built with the latest technology.
More recently, the Hundinghütte, the Moroccan House and the hermit hut of Gurnemanz have been rebuilt. In 1876, and in 1878, these small architectures had originally been built by Ludwig II in the middle of the Ammergauer Bergwald, a few kilometers west of Linderhof.
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Bavarian Castle Administration, www.linderhof.de
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