King’s House on Schachen

A remote mountain lodge built by King Ludwig II which can be visited via a scenic hiking trail.

King’s House on Schachen

King’s House on Schachen

One of the most geographically intriguing architectural wonders in Germany is undoubtedly the King’s House on Schachen. Tucked away in the heart of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a bustling town in Bavaria and a popular resort destination famed for its fabulous skiing and ice-skating facilities, this gem is a must-visit. The King's House on Schachen is nestled high in the mountains, exuding a majestic aura that is hard to miss.

The King's House on Schachen is a small castle that was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria who was also known as the Fairy Tale King. The construction took approximately five years between 1869 and 1874. This castle served as a private retreat for the king, set far away from the pomp and the prying eyes of the court life. The acclaimed architect Georg von Dollmann, who also designed other Ludwig's castles, conceived it.

A striking feature of the King's House is its strategic location at an altitude of 1866 meters, which requires a somewhat challenging hike of nearly 4- 5 hours to reach. However, the mesmerizing panoramic views that await atop indeed justify the essential effort. The vista stretches across the magnificent landscape of the Wetterstein Mountains.

The castle itself is rather unassuming from the outside, featuring a simple wooden three-story Swiss Chalet style structure as its exterior architecture. However, don’t let the modest exterior of the King’s House fool you. Once you step inside, you get to witness a truly magical world that's far from its muted facade.

The complete contrast is seen on the upper floor or the Turkish Hall with lavish interiors that reflect the king's eccentric obsession with the orient. This room is draped in opulence and closely resembles the interior of a Turkish palace. Its walls are hung with colourful replicas of Turkish fabrics and its ceiling, honeycombed with ornate motifs, is a spectacle to behold. This architectural juxtaposition makes the King’s House a fascinatingly eclectic sight.

The castle is open for guided tours from mid-June till the end of September. The guides take tourists through the castle’s unique story and its various sections, bursting with a rich historical background. Journey through time as you explore each room and immerse yourself in Bavarian history.

The Schachen Alpine Garden is another attraction that lies in close proximity to the King's House. Established in 1901, this botanical garden houses an eclectic mix of over 1,000 high-altitude plants from different mountain ranges worldwide. It's a fantastic opportunity for botany enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Begin your descent from the King's House in the late afternoon to catch the spectacular view of the sun setting over the mountains. The orange hues engulfing the peaks and valleys present a divine spectacle and it's something that you'll remember for a lifetime.

However, if you wish to spend the night at the top, a cosy accommodation option exists in the form of the Schachenhaus Alpine Club Hut located near the King's House. Imagine waking up to a beautiful morning with the snow-covered Alps as your backdrop.

In conclusion, the King's House on Schachen at Garmisch-Partenkirchen is not just a testament to King Ludwig II's idiosyncrasies, but also a testament to Germany's architectural prowess and the stunning vistas the country has to offer. As you plan your visit, prepare to have your breath taken away, not just by the journey up, but also by the beauty and charm of this quaint castle that awaits at the summit.