Think of Bavaria, the area of south-eastern Germany bordering Austria and The Czech Republic, and it may conjure images of steins filled with frothy beer, lederhosen, and rugged mountains. While there’s often an abundance of all the above, there’s much more this breathtaking region of modern Germany has to offer the adventurous holidaymaker.
Fall under the spell of Schloss Neuschwanstein
A fairytale come to life, magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle started life as a rather extreme example of a lord’s folly. The building was commissioned in the 19th Century by “Mad” King Ludwig. Unfortunately for the King, who paid for the castle out of his personal fortune, he died before he could enjoy his grand design. Since that time, Schloss Neuschwanstein has become one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions. Rising out of the Alpine forest near Fussen, its towering turrets were the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
Once the mountain retreat of senior members of the Nazi Party during the dark era of Germany’s Third Reich, Kehlsteinhaus – otherwise known as the Eagles Nest – perches on a sheer rock wall atop the summit of Kehlstein in the Bavarian Alps. It was constructed during the Third Reich as a status symbol, where Hitler and his cronies gathered there to make plans for war and impress foreign dignitaries. Today, it’s a tourist site where visitors to the region can gain insight into some of the most important – and diabolical – events of the 20th Century.
Bavaria’s New Palace-Schloss Herrenchiemsee
Another of “Mad” King Ludwig’s fantastical creations, the beautiful and ornate Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee, or the New Palace, was both the largest and last of his famous building projects. Inspired by the ornate Versailles, the palace was a tribute for France’s King Louis XIV, whom the Bavarian king much admired.
Exercise your brain at the Deutsches Museum München
The German Museum Munich, Bavaria, is a vast, interactive space with more than 30 exhibitions to explore. Whether you are into ships, planes, computers, toys, astronomy or mining, there are over 28,000 objects on display including the first motorised aircraft built by the Wright brothers, the U1 submarine, and the first program-controlled computer (Conrad Zuse’s Z3).
Bavaria’s bottled nectar – Lantenhammer Distillery
Less than 10 minutes’ drive from Karma Bavaria, near the picturesque town of Schliersee, Lantenhammer Distillery is a third generation family-run enterprise producing potent potables such as brandies, fruity liqueurs, and Bavarian Gin. The best thing about an afternoon spent sipping Bavaria’s best brandies is that afterwards Karma Bavaria’s just a short stroll up the hill.