Saturday, May 21, 2011

Munich to Garmisch with Two Stops

Today was the drive from Munich to Garmisch-Partinkirchen. It's not terribly far, so we hit a UNESCO Heritage site and one of Ludwig the Mad's castles on the way down. It's taken two tries, but I finally got the church photos up; the pics of the castle and our hotel room may or may not go up tonight. Internet here is like the water temperature in the shower, hot then cold.
Just north of Fussen is the Wieskirche. In 1730 a farmer noticed his statue of Christ was weeping. This was a miracle, and his farm became a pilgrimage site. So many pilgrims came to see it, a church was built to house the statue, and what a church it is.

When you walk in and look to the back of the church, this is what you see. (I left the photos big, click twice so you can see detail.)

See the red in the above photo, this is a detail of that painting. It's beautiful.

Detail of the lower part of the back.

Looking to the other end of the church, the organ pipes.

Painting above the organ pipes. Look at the door.

Ceiling detail, with cornices below it.

More ceiling.

One side of the church.

Is this amazing or what? The Frauenkirche in Dresden was beautiful, but this is just over the top.

Then it was on to one of Ludwig the Second's castles. This was the only one that was finished that he was able to spend time in. Ludwig was a solitary kind of guy, he slept all day and read books all night. He did not entertain here, this was a get away for him. The guide said he was here about half the time. Ludwig's reign was short lived, Bismark took over Bavaria in the creation of Germany, and Ludwig became a figure head king. After the ruling people in Munich saw the palaces he was building, they declared him insane and de-kinged him. Shortly after that he died under mysterious circumstances in his early 40's. He should have been an architect.
This is a small castle, but he liked it alot. On his floor was a bedroom, dining room, reading room and 2 waiting rooms for the servants to hang out it until he sent for them. He had this cool dining table for one that would be cranked down into the kitchen and set with plates and food and then cranked back up to his level, he didn't have to interact with anyone at meals.

There is a water fall running behind the house that he had build to help cool the castle in the summer. It was an early misting system.

The fountain in the front.

A ceiling detail from the web. Does this remind you of anything?

They don't allow photography in the palace, but I did sneak one of this chandelier. Ludwig was a great admirer of Louis XIV. Much of his palaces' design was done in homage to Versailles. He was not afraid to mix architecture from various centuries. This is a Dresden porcelain chandelier, notice the pineapple on top, the symbol of hospitality. See all of the gold stuff? That's not painted, it's carved wood or stone that has been covered in gold. It's EVERYWHERE. The chandelier in his bedroom weighs 500 kg.

The furnishings are in remarkably good shape, and most of them are still there. It's an impressive little palace.

Speaking of palaces, this is where we are staying, the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl. The room is huge, there are closets with mirrored doors everywhere. We have furniture.

The bathroom has a jetted tub and a shower. The shower stall is weird, it's like being in a closet with water because you can not see through the door. That would be peach colored carpeting surrounding that tub.

OK! I'm caught up. Loading pictures has been very tedious.

Not sure what we're doing tomorrow. I think it will depend on the weather. We've had thunderstorms tonight, so we'll see.

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