Herrenchiemsee on the Herreninsel in the middle of the Chiemsee lake is one of the most beautiful palace complexes in Bavaria. It is also called the "Bavarian Versailles". The reason: King Ludwig II of Bavaria wanted to honour the French King Louis XIV, and so Herrenchiemsee and its park were to be a tribute to the Sun King.
Guided Tour of the Palace
The palace can only be visited with a guided tour that takes about half an hour. The tour of the complex begins in the vestibule. Afterwards, the famous grand staircase leads to the upper floor. Visitors can especially look forward to a copy of the Versailles Hall of Mirrors and the show bedroom. Via the northern staircase, which remained unfinished, the tour leads back to the ground floor, where it ends in the bathroom and dressing room.
The King Ludwig II Museum
After visiting the palace, a visit to the King Ludwig II Museum is definitely worthwhile. It is housed in the south wing of the ground floor. Here, the life of the king is illustrated by busts, paintings and memorabilia. Plans for Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castles and numerous artefacts are also on display. The friendship between Ludwig and Richard Wagner is also the subject of separate rooms and documented by pictures, compositions and caricatures.
"The Birth of a Constitution"
In the Old Palace, today's Augustinian Monastery, there is also the Constitution Museum, which shows how the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany was created. It is located close to the ship's mooring area on Herreninsel.
The Park and Gardens
The park and gardens are as impressive as the palace itself, and you should definitely take a walk to see them. In addition, the 240-hectare Herreninsel invites you to explore. Or, if you prefer, you can have horses chauffeur you around in a carriage.
- Herrenchiemsee Palace is among the 5 best rated Tourist Attractions in Germany.
How to get there
On the A8 (Salzburg-Munich) take the exit Bernau. At the roundabout, drive towards Prien and follow the signs to Chiemsee or Königsschloss. Ships regularly sail from Prien/Stock to Herreninsel. The ship takes about 20 minutes. You should plan another 15 minutes for the footpath to the castle. If you want, you can also take one of the horse-drawn carriages that run on the car-free island in summer.
Take the train to Prien am Chiemsee. From there, the Chiemsee Railway runs to the Prien/Stock ship mooring area. Alternatively, you can walk to the pier in 30 minutes. From there, a boat will take you to the Herreninsel in about 20 minutes and you can reach the castle in another 15 minutes. In the summer, horse-drawn carriages also serve as taxis.