The famous Bavarian castles remain one of the top tourist spots in Europe for a good reason — they are breath-taking. We visited the two that were connected with Mad King Ludwig II. It was snowing and the overall scene was beautiful. The English guided tours were just the right length and contained appropriate detail without dragging. It was a lot of walking for one day, but well worth it. When Jesus said that He departed to prepare a place for us … it makes you wonder what type of splendor the Master Carpenter has waiting for our arrival.
10) The daily exercise of walking up all of those steps would do me good. I’m sure the king traveled mainly by horse–drawn carriage – so we took a turn in that mode of transportation as well (actually Julie was slipping and straining her injured knee … so we didn’t want to risk the walk down the hill in the slippery conditions).
9) In a castle you can have a special room dedicated to anything you want. You have your library where you store all your books (the books were missing here because they would not have fared well in the atmospheric conditions); you have your various reading rooms with their special chairs – fitted with custom adjustable book holders; for the modern castle dweller –– you have your football viewing room with the theater seating and the big screen TV; you have your study with the massive desk and all of its special cubbyholes; etc. (I loved all of the different desks in the two castles – each had its own personality.)
8) Famous dignitaries accept your invitation for a sleep–over. Ludwig loved the composer Wagner and dedicated much of the new building to his music and operas. Wagner was a frequent guest at the hunting palace, though sadly he never got to see the new palace. Julie’s soccer teams would enjoy a nice sleep–over in such accommodations.
7) It brings back memories of my days growing up in Bala–Cynwyd. We lived in one of those massive old stone homes on the Main Line outside of Philadelphia. Because I was the only boy (with 3 sisters), I had the privilege of occupying the entire third floor by myself – with my own bathroom! It was very much like my own castle. My sisters needed permission to come up. Nobody could invade my privacy. I even had an escape ladder (for fire safety reasons) that I could throw out the one window and leap down to the roof of the covered porch below – How exciting! (Yes, I was spoiled.)
6) The views are just sensational from all of the various windows and observation points. We were not allowed up to the highest points = the turrets – but they looked especially advantageous.
5) With the many secret passages (and what kid doesn’t love secret passages!) your servants can perform the important functions of tending to your needs (such as keeping the furnace stoked so you stay warm and cozy) without ever being noticed.
4) The ornate nature of the decorations allows you to customize the décor to your particular tastes. You have murals painted on the walls to depict historical or mythical scenes; you have the floor for expensive inlaid ceramic and tile work; you have the ceiling for impressive chandeliers and Michelangelo type paintings. Even the doors were not just functional but a work of art. Of course Ludwig went over the top and designed his throne room in such a way that it crossed the line over into religious worship – but he learned the lesson of all kings – from Nebuchadnezzar onward – ultimate sovereignty belongs to the King of Kings! What a testimony to the futility of man’s attempts to immortalize his own achievements! How ironic that Ludwig did not even get to sleep one night in the masterpiece he designed.
3) I guess I should point out that one disadvantage is that people could be plotting some type of coup – but that can happen in the corporate world as well. I find it surprising that historians still can not pin down the exact cause of Ludwig’s demise – was it suicide, murder, an accident . . .
2) You don’t have any long commute to work — in fact you don’t even seem to have any work at all! These castles are your play toys – allowing you to get away from the heavy responsibilities of telling everyone in the kingdom what to do – so you come out here to relax and go hunting and enjoy massive feasts in your private dining hall.
1) Everybody likes to be treated like a king!