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Bavarian grandeur

Posted by Chris Wray on Nov 21, 2010 in architecture and urban spaces, photography

The Bavarian village of Füssen is full of charm and rich history. Following a week-long business trip in Munich, my colleagues and I took a day-excursion to picturesque Füssen and its nearby crown jewels: Schloss Hohenschwangau and Schloss Neuschwanstein— two 19th century castles of unimaginable architectural and artistic expression. Neuschwanstein

By train, Füssen is located just 2.5 hours south of Munich. Catch the S- or U-Bahn to München Hauptbahnhof (Munich’s central train station). Then board a regional train south to the rural town of Buchloe. From here, take a connecting train to Füssen. A short bus ride from the Füssen rail station takes you to the foot of the castles in Schwangau. Check into the DB Bahn (Germany’s national rail service) group discount. A group of 3 to 5 individuals can ride round trip on one ticket for only 30 Euros!

Allow plenty of time for taking in both castle tours. You’ll need time to photograph the expansive vistas, castle exteriors, and travel time for getting between the two sites. Hiking is permitted along the steep winding road that connects the two castles, but I recommend taking the bus or horse-drawn carriage to ensure you don’t miss your appointed tour.

Currently, 17 Euros buys a guided tour of both castles. I recommend visiting the older Schloss Hohenschwangau first, followed by the extravagant Schloss Neuschwanstein. Touring the castles in chronological order puts their history into proper perspective and saves the best for last! Photography is not permitted inside the castles—but not to worry—the exterior photo ops and sweeping Alpine landscapes will astound the most experienced outdoor photographer.

Hohes Schloss, Füssen

In the heart of Füssen, standing high above the River Lech, lies the often overlooked Hohes Schloss (High Castle). The former summer residence of the prince bishops of Augsburg, the Hohes Schloss is one of the best preserved late Gothic castle complexes.

Hohes Schloss currently serves as a branch gallery of the Bavarian State Collections of Paintings featuring works of art from the late Gothic and Renaissance periods. We arrived after the gallery closed—reason to visit again!

Füssen and its magnificent castles are a must see when traveling to southern Germany. Click on the links below to enjoy more of my photos taken during our Bavarian excursion. Please check back frequently, as I will be adding additional pictures to the Piscasa photo albums.

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Marienplatz: Munich’s city center since 1158

Posted by Chris Wray on Jun 20, 2009 in architecture and urban spaces

Located in the heart of Munich’s bustling city, Marienplatz (Mary’s Square) has been the city’s market center since the 12th Century. Today, old traditions intermingle with new as vendor stalls dot the pedestrian mall next to trendy fashion boutiques. Marienplatz is a must-see destination when visiting Munich. During my recent visit to Munich, I took the U-Bahn underground rail system to the Marienplatz stop, a major transportation hub that serves the urban and suburban mass transit lines. As you disembark, you walked through an ultra-modern subway tunnel with glistening orange ceramic tiles, then up the escalator to the street level of Marienplatz, where you’re greeted by Gothic architecture—what a visual contrast!
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