02 January 2009

Germany Castles and Churches

This is the monestary Ettal, which has a beautiful church in the middle of it. The inside is incredible, and we stopped there on the way to a castle just to make sure we got to see it. It was a crazy foggy cold day, so the outside looked kind of eery in the fog, but I loved this picture anyway.
Inside there are tons of paintings and statues. The dome was partially destroyed in WW2, but was rebuilt. This monestary dates way back to 1100, although obviously the inside of the church is newer than that. Elora likes to walk around and ask what all the paintings are of, and she also loved the huge Christmas tree that they had inside.

This is Linderhof, built by crazy King Ludvig of Bavaria. He liked to build palaces. Chris told Elora the story of how crazy King Ludvig liked to build castles and made everyone mad at him by wasting resources, so they murdered him by putting him in a lake. Nice. Then he asked her if she liked that story, to which she replied, "No, I don't." This is actually a slightly inaccurate portrayal of King Ludwig, because the peasants loved him, but perhaps the nobility did not, and no one really knows if he was murdered...

We came here on Christmas Eve day, so we couldn't go inside, but enjoyed walking around the grounds. I really love this palace actually, it is nestled in the mountains and has really beautiful scenery. Unfortunately they covered all the statues for winter. It is crazy, each statue has it's own little wood house that is slightly heated (outside!) to keep them from being damaged by the cold. Wow. Elora liked going to sit by the front door, and Ollie is of course just happy to be held.

On the way to our next stop, we drove by this beautiful lake, and stopped to take some pics. The water was crystal clear, and it was a really beautiful day at the lake. Not so much fog as everywhere else.

Next we went to Neuschwanstein, which was also built by King Ludwig, but never finished. It is called the fairy tale castle and supposedly the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was designed based on this castle. It's bare interior walls were featured in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The fog had rolled back in, so it was interesting to walk up to the castle and see it as the fog rolled in and out. It is on the top of a huge hill, so we got pretty tired hiking up to the top. Elora is walking in this picture, but the lucky kid was usually being carried by her daddy.

This castle is really beautiful, but it seems less impressive once you find out it was built in the 1800's. America is older than that! My house is almost that old! Just kidding, but my house is almost 100 years old... It's just odd, because most of the castles and churches in Europe are way older than that...
Here we are walking around at the top of the hill. There is a nice forest and a waterfall behind the castle.

Elora walked up to the door and knocked on it, saying, "Is anybody home? Are there any Princesses in there?"

Elora snuggling with Daddy. It was pretty cold, and you can see that the castle is so high, we actually walked through the fog and clouds and ended up above them.

This is a pic of Hohenschwangau, which was King Ludwig's parents castle. Not big enough for him I guess, he had to build three other palaces to live in...

Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

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