The castle was built on the remains of the Fortress Schwanstein, dating from the 12th century. A family of Knights built and used the castle up until the 16th century, after which the castle changed hands a number of times.
Eventually the castle was bought by King Maximillian II in 1832, at which point it was in a state of disrepair. Reconstruction then began and was finished in 1837.
The castle was the childhood home of the famous King Ludwig II, and he continued to live here on and off until his death in 1886. Although not as visually spectacular on the outside as Neuschwanstein, the inside of the castle is arguably better due to its history. Unlike its sister, the castle is still in the German royal family, now owned by Franz, Duke of Bavaria.
Like the Castle Neuschwanstein, it is not possible to wander around the castle without being part of a tour group. The tour is included in the entry price of the ticket, which can be purchased very near the castle in the town of Hohenschwangau itself.
A combined ticket can be purchased for a reduced cost to visit both Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles, however one restriction is that both must be visited on the same day. This is definitely possible, but will take the best part of a day.
While here, it is also worth visiting the town of Füssen, which is a traditional and typical example of a Bavarian town.
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