The Real Life Fairy Tales of Bavaria’s Castles


Bavaria’s castles are world-renowned for their romantic charm and beauty, without a doubt thanks to the most famous of them all, the iconic fairy-tale-style Neuschwanstein Castle. Like Neuschwanstein, Bavaria’s castles reflect the personalities, desires and tastes of their inhabitants, whether it was for the sake of defense and fortification or as a place for royals to indulge in the latest and greatest popular craze. In the case of Trausnitz Castle, located high atop a hill in Landshut, that craze was having a Cabinet of Curiosities.

The Renaissance was, after all, an amazingly prolific time for both scientists and artists, driven by a thirst for greater knowledge and understanding. Not cabinets by our modern terms, a Cabinet of Curiosities was an entire room filled with objects of both art and natural history, done with encyclopedic precision and organization. In short, they were tiny precursors to today’s museums, but functioned on a private level, often as just a way for aristocrats to show off.

Though not strictly intended for royalty, the wildly popular practice of assembling a Cabinet of Curiosities was one that Prince William V couldn’t resist. The then crown prince was already a major patron of the arts and during the 16th century was involved in much of the redecoration and remodeling of Trausnitz Castle (which in itself dates back 1204). When William became a duke in 1579, he couldn’t part with his own collection and took it with him to Munich where he then combined it with his father’s collection.

In 2004 the 750-piece collection of art and artifacts became part of the Bavarian National Museum and returned home to Trausnitz Castle where it has since been available for viewing as part of the Chamber of Art and Curiosities. While an astonishing exhibit in itself, the Chamber is only one small part of Trausnitz, a vibrantly artistic, historically unique, and definitely-not-what-you-expected Bavarian castle.

Recommended Tours Featuring Bavaria’s Castles

Lutherland and Bavaria – Join us as we embark on a journey of discovery to the great age of the Reformation as they travel through Germany & Austria. This is a very special tour leading up to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That event led to the Reformation which changed Germany, and the impact can still be felt today.

Alpine Adventure – Explore European Alpine mountains and scenery during a spectacular time of year. In late summer, trees are green, flowers are still blooming, breezes are gentle, cattle are returning to their pastures, and mountains may start showing snow at their peaks!  Nature is at its best. Let lovely vistas and a great group put a smile on your face and Gemütlichkeit in your heart!

Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Prague – This popular trip showcases the beautiful sights and unique cultures of Central Europe. Highlights include Hradčany Castle and the Charles Bridge in Prague, a night watchman tour in the medieval town of Rothenburg, a somber stop at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial, a cruise on the Rhine River with a private wine-tasting and a stay in Munich, Bavaria’s fun-loving capital. Other activities feature a Mozart dinner concert in Salzburg, two days in the magnificent Swiss Alps, a visit to a woodcarver’s studio in the Black Forest, a magic show in Oberammergau and a Czech evening filled with food, music, and dancing.

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