Herrenchiemsee New Palace
Chiemsee, the largest Bavarian lake, is located about 80 km South East from Munich. On the island called Herreninsel, you’ll find another castle commissioned by Ludwig II – Herrenchiemsee New Palace. Ludwig II decided to build it in Baroque style as a tribute to Louis XIV of France.
It had been designed as a look-alike of Palace of Versailles with all its glory. In some details Herrenchiemsee even outnumbers Versailles. For example, the central façade and the mirror hall are wider. But, like Neuschwanstein, after the Fairy Tale King’s sudden death, Herrenchiemsee was never finished.
The castle is set in a perfect scenery surrounded by Chiemsee lake with Chiemgau mountains in the background. It never became famous in the cartoon world. Maybe this is why Herrenchiemsee Castle always remained slightly in the shadow of Neuschwanstein.
But, it doesn’t make it any less spectacular, and it’s worth a visit. On the island in the middle of Chiemsee, the “Bavarian Sea”, tourist crowds are smaller, and the atmosphere is more peaceful compared to crowded Neuschwanstein. When visiting the lake, it is also worth to check out the second inhabited island called “Fraueninsel”. A ferry departing from the coast of Chiemsee will take you to both sights.
Here are some tips for your perfect Chiemsee trip
The route to the castle is an experience itself. From Munich, take the regional train to Prien am Chiemsee. Use Bayern Ticket on the train (discussed in our Neuschwanstein post). If you have a car at your disposal, you can also drive to Übersee, Bernau or Gstadt.
When you get out of the train in Prien, follow the “little ship” signs to get to the pier (approximately 20 minutes walk). You’ll need separate tickets for the ferry. When buying the ticket, be sure to get one for both, Herren- and Fraueninsel (return).
After a short sail on one of the ferries, visit the Herrenchiemsee New Palace and take a walk in the surrounding parks. The garden architecture will amaze you. The castle park is also a home to a deer family. We caught this herd enjoying an after-lunch siesta.
While wandering around the island, you’ll come across the old Herrenchiemsee Abbey. It serves as a museum and an art gallery today.
There is a restaurant on Herreninsel. But we recommend getting on a ferry to Fraueninsel for lunch at Klosterwirt. The Chiemgau fish tastes fantastic.
Your after-lunch activities depend on the season of your visit. In the summer, there are a few spots on Fraueninsel, from where you can jump into the lake. Be careful! The water temperature rarely reaches more than 20 degrees centigrade. Furthermore, on Herreninsel many concerts and happenings for admirers of classical music take place.
To make your Chiemsee summer experience even more remarkable, spend a night in one of the lakeside towns, grab a bicycle the next day and ride around the Chiemsee. The round tour is about 55 kilometers long without any steep hills. Bathing stops are obligatory!
When visiting in winter, come during the Advent season. Fraueninsel hosts a romantic Christmas market.
Chiemsee ferry timetable and prices: www.chiemsee-schifffahrt.de
New Palace Herrenchiemsee: www.herrenchiemsee.de
Chiemsee Christmas market: www.christkindlmarkt-fraueninsel.de
Klosterwirt Fraueninsel: http://klosterwirt-chiemsee.de