The final stage of the King Ludwig Way is one of the finest hikes in Germany; admire the castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwwangau and the huge chasm of the Pöllatschlucht gorge.
First walk to Hegratsriedersee lake to rejoin the KLW. From here walk along a scenic route with Forggensee to your right and the mountains to your left. Along the way you will get views of the grand castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. After passing the lake of Schwansee, where you get a clear view of the castles behind you, a somewhat arduous ascent is rewarded by a great viewpoint before descending past the Stations of the Cross to Füssen.
There are a few shops along the route where you can buy food and drink. Make sure you take plenty of water for the day's walk. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink in bustling Hohnenschwangau.
Whilst the castles can be visited today, we would recommend booking an extra night in charming Füssen in order to visit the castles, monastery and other attractions in a more leisurely manner. Regular buses and alternative walking routes connect Füssen with the castles.
A sturdy pair of walking trainers are adequate for this route if you don't wish to wear hiking boots
This walk is part of the following itinerary:
There are a few shops along the route where you can buy food and drink. You would be well advised to fill your water flask before leaving. There are however plenty of places to eat and drink at Hohnenschwangau. It is quite busy here, so if you like being surrounded by people then this place is for you!
Alternative Transport: Bus from Buching to Füssen (number 73, approx. 30 mins, see http://fahrplan-bus-bahn.de/bayern/fuessen/bus_linie_bus_73 )
Points of Interest
Visiting the grand castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau; The unique countryside around Füssen has fascinated rulers and kings throughout the centuries. Proof of this is the more than 60 preserved castles, castle ruins and palaces. These include world-famous Neuschwanstein, the last residence of the legendary King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845 – 1886). Please see your information pack for extensive details about visiting the castles, or see http://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/tourist/index.htm
Neuschwanstein Castle; This fairytale castle, built from 1869 to 1886, was intended as a medieval knight’s castle in the 12th/13th-century style. The outer facade of the gateway was completed in 1873. The main building and the adjoining buildings were faced with Schwangau marble from the quarry at Schwansee. It was modelled largely on the Wartburg in Thuringia. The castle was to consist of five buildings: the gatehouse, the Knight’s Building (the main residential tract) and the keep. The original construction work lasted 17 years and had to be discontinued because of Ludwig’s early death. By then, of the rooms in the main residential tract only the ground floor (kitchen and adjacent rooms), the third floor (the king’s apartments and the Throne Room) and the fourth floor (Singers’ Hall) had been completed. The rooms are richly decorated with works of the arts and crafts, there are portrayals from the Tannhäuser saga, from Lohegrin, Tristan and Isolde, the Nibelungenlied, Parzival and from the life of Walter von der Vogelweide, a medieval German lyric poet. The first concert in the Singer’s Hall was held in 1933 to mark the 50th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s death. Since 1969 the Neuschwanstein Castle Concerts have taken place every year in September.
Hohenschwangau Castle; Less famous, but no less worth seeing, is Hohenschwangau Castle. In particular, the original 19th century Biedermeier furnishings and the Swan Lake Park. The ancient Schwangau castle of “Schwanstein”, which was already dilapidated and uninhabitable when the Schwangau aristocracy died out, was purchased in 1535 by the patrician and Imperial Counselor Johann von Paumgartner zu Paumgarten and completely rebuilt from 1538 to 1547. He gave it the new name “Hohenschwangau”. Almost 300 years later the Paumgarten building was again in ruins. In 1839 the Bavarian Crown Prince Max, the son of Ludwig I, came to the district of Füssen on the occasion of a “history excursion” with his teacher and acquired this crumbling building. He had it rebuilt according to ancient extant plans by the architecture and theatre painter Domenico Quaglio, who, although he originally came from the area of Lake Como, had long since settled in Munich. The whole complex lives in the spirit of the romantic era. Such names as the Swan Knight’s Hall, Guelph Room and Hohenstaufen Room are indications of a living attachment to sagas and history. The Castle Courtyard, with its Mary Fountain, is adjacent to the Castle Garden, which is enclosed by a castellated outer wall. In the centre of a circular flowerbed is a pool with a water-spouting swan.
Lake Schwansee; a serene spot with great views of the castles. Hohenschwangau town; a thriving tourist centre for the castles and the Pollatschlucht (Pollat Gorge) and bridge (latter is closed until July 2016 due to essential works).
The Meteorite at start of the ascent, before reaching Füssen.
Viewing point at the top of the Füssen Stations of the Cross
Füssen Heritage Museum The Füssen Heritage Museum is situated in the south-west wing of the former Benedictine Monastery of St Mang, which together with the Hohes Schloss, constitutes one of the main features of Füssen’s townscape. The former cells of the Benedictine monks house valuable works of art and archaeological finds from the over 1000-year history of this former abbey. http://www.fuessen.de/en/romantic-soul/the-fuessen-heritage-museum.html
The State Gallery in the Hohes Schloss; In the medieval complex of the Hohes Schloss, high above the town, a branch gallery of the Bavarian State Collections of Paintings was set up in 1931 and reopened in 1977. The great Knight’s Hall (Rittersaal) with its splendid carved wooden ceiling from the late 15th century is the setting for a collection of late gothic panel paintings and sculptures from the Swabian-Bavarian and Allgäu region. A large part of the holdings come from Prince von Oettingen-Wallerstein’s collection, which he once sold to the Bavarian king, Ludwig I. http://www.fuessen.de/en/romantic-soul/the-state-gallery-in-fuessen.html
Music Town Füssen In the history of European music Füssen acquired outstanding importance thanks to its lute- and violin-makers. Füssen is regarded as the cradle of lute-making on a commercial scale: in 1562 it was here that Europe's first lute-makers gild was founded. http://www.fuessen.de/en/romantic-soul/music-town-fuessen.html Füssen In the history of European music Füssen acquired outstanding importance thanks to its lute- and violin-makers. Füssen is regarded as the cradle of lute-making on a commercial scale: in 1562 it was here that Europe's first lute-makers gild was founded. http://www.fuessen.de/en/romantic-soul/music-town-fuessen.html