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Herrenchiemsee Palace

Report on Herrenchiemsee Palace by guest writer: Rebecca Pentelow

Chiemsee (Lake Chiem)

herrenchiemsee-boatALL ABOARD!: Taking a ferry to the islands on the
Chiemsee makes for a great day-trip from Munich.

Situated only 60 km from Munich, the beautiful Chiemsee lake, sometimes referred to as the 'Bavarian sea' is home to several small islands, including perhaps Germany's most fascinating island, Herrenchiemsee.

Easily accessible by train, there is also a boat trip around the islands, allowing tourists to stop at both of the main islands, Herrenchiemsee and Frauenchiemsee, as well as a small holiday town on the other side of the lake, called Gstadt.

Herrenchiemsee island

Herrenchiemsee is home to one of Ludwig II's palaces, also known as Herrenchiemsee palace.

Although perhaps not as opulent as Neuschwanstein, Ludwig's most famous castle, Herrenchiemsee is based on the French Palace of Versailles, and a great deal of the interior artwork is dedicated to the French king, Louis XIV.

Though it was never finished, Herrenchiemsee still boasts impressive gardens, including a fountain modelled on the original Bassin de Latone; and a hall of mirrors 98 metres long, a third longer than the original in Versailles.

Much of the castle is open to tourists, including the recreation of the Ambassador's Staircase, which is particularly interesting as the original was destroyed in 1752.

herrenchiemsee-palace
INSPIRED: Ludwig II's Herrenchiemsee Palace is a modelled
closely on French King Louis XIV's palace of Versailles.

Herrenchiemsee is also known on the island as the 'New Palace,' due to the presence of an Augustine Monastery which was later converted into the 'Old Palace.'
The monastery was founded in around 765, and is also well worth a visit, especially for those looking to brush up on their history. In 1949, all eleven leaders of the western German states sent delegates to this small island to draft the 'Grundgesetz', or German constitution. An only slightly modified version of this 'Grundgesetz' would later go on to become the 'Verfassung,' or the German constitution as it is known today, and a museum dedicated to its creation can be found within the Old Palace.

Frauenchiemsee island

fraueninsel-chiemsee
FROZEN ISLAND: That's me standing on a pier on the
Fraueninsel (Women's Island) in winter.

Although perhaps not as historically relevant as Herrenchiemsee, its smaller sister island, Frauenchiemsee, is also well worth a visit.

Home to an active Benedictine convent as well as several hundred permanent residents, it boasts the famous Kloster Liquor, which is produced by the nuns, as well as several small businesses run by the local residents, for example a small hand-made pottery store.

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The details for visiting Herrenchiemsee Palace


View Herrenchiemsee in a
larger map. See below for a map
of the Linderhof grounds.

-by Stuart

Location:
On an island on the Chiemsee (Lake Chiem), east of Munich.
Phone: +49 (0) 80 51 68 870
Website: www.herrenchiemsee.de
Open:
Herrenchiemsee Palace is open daily, April to mid-October 9am to 6pm, mid-October to March 9.40am to 4.15pm.
Cost: A combination ticket for the palace, King Ludwig II Museum, museum and galleries in the Augustinian Monastery is €8, concession €7. This doesn't include the cost of the ferry to the island, mind you.

Directions: “Doing” Herrenchiemsee by public transport ain’t hard. Take a train from Munich Hauptbahnhof (main train station) to Prien.
It takes about an hour. Remember you can get a Bayern Ticket for a group of up to five people to cut down costs, but you can take one of the RE (Regional-Express) trains with it. You can check connections at the Deutsche Bahn website here.

The you can walk to the ferry pier on the lake (takes about 25min), or get a quaint little green steam train from the station at Prien for only a couple of euros. Note: the little train doesn’t run during winter.
The boat from Prien to visit both Herreninsel island and Fraueninsel island costs €8 for adults and €4.10 for kids. You can buy tickets from the green train stop at the station or from the ticket office near the pier. You can check boat connections here.
Advice: Leave early in the morning if you can! There’s a lot to see around the palace and on the Fraueninsel, so if you want to get you full money’s worth you’d best make an early start. Check out the official Herrenchiemsee website here for more help on planning your day.

Take an organized tour

Are you looking for an organized tour of Herrenchiemsee Palace? Here's a couple I recommend from my booking partners at Viator.
You have the option of either visiting both islands or focussing on the Herreninsel.

Royal Castle of Herrenchiemsee and Fraueninsel Day Tour from Munich

herrenchiemsee-thumbCost: from €47
Duration: About 10 hours
Take a boat ride to the island of Herreninsel on Chiemsee, the largest Bavarian Lake. Here you will find another fantastic result of King Ludwig II's vivid imagination. The Royal Castle of Herrenchiemsee is a replica of the Palace of Versailles and was the biggest, most expensive and final castle of King Ludwig II.
After your tour of The Royal Castle of Herrenchiemsee, you will travel by boat to the island of Fraueninsel. This is one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria and boasts an ancient monastery at the center of the island. You will have time to visit the Benedictine monastery, and to stroll at leisure around the island. (Read more about the tour)

Herrenchiemsee Palace Rail Trip from Munich

herrenchiemsee-thumbCost: from €41
Duration: About 9 hours 30 minutes
Visit one of Germany’s loveliest royal attractions on a full-day rail trip to Herrenchiemsee Palace. Explore the islands of Herreninsel and Fraueninsel in Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake, and experience the magnificent allure of the palace grounds.
Escape from Munich to Herreninsel, a tranquil island in Chiemsee Lake that is home to the stunning Herrenchiemsee Palace. Built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II, this royal landmark sits amid picturesque Bavarian scenery of majestic lakes and mountains.
With elegant gardens, walkways and ornate interiors of gold, glass and porcelain, this palace reflects pure opulence. Some even say that many of its features, like the vast Hall of Mirrors, surpass that of the Palace of Versailles. (Read more about the tour)
• To see more tours of Bavaria including many which cover Ludiwg II's other castles, check out my page Tours of Bavaria.

herrenchiemsee-map

Here's a map of Herrenchiemsee Palace and the island it sits on. The map comes from the Bavarian Palace Department. There's a legend so you can see exactly where everything is. Click on it for a much larger version.



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Find out more

•There are more photos and info on this palace on the page Herrenchiemsee Pictures.
• Find out about other great day-trips from Munich.
Jump from Herrenchiemsee Palace back to Destination Munich Home.


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