RUCCI ANNE OABEL
The Castle Herrenchiemsee located in Bavaria, Germany was featured in the 2011 film “The Three Musketeers.” The magnificent castle served as the palace for the character of King Louis XIII. The scenes were filmed inside and outside the castle. The Great Hall of Mirrors was also featured shortly in the movie. I think the team chose the location since the Castle is a replica of the one in Versailles which belonged to the real King Louis XIII. It provided a beautiful backdrop and a cheaper option production wise.
The Castle Herrenchiemsee is a prime example of the result when a king runs out of money. The castle conceals its real situation. One half of the castle is furnished and decorated with astonishing opulence and baroque beauty while the other half has nothing but bare naked walls. An example of the unfinished section is Ludwig’s bathroom and his massive swimming pool that needs to be heated by the most advanced heating system available at that time.
In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location for his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace). It was meant to be a replica of the grand palace of Versailles that the king so admired. The Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee was built as a “Temple of Fame” in honor of the Sun King Louis XIV of France whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired. It was thus planned with the sole purpose as a monument to absolute monarchy and had no practical function.
The actual building of this “Bavarian Versailles” started in 1878 from plans by Georg Dollmann. The architect Dollmann was obliged to study the original model and even reconstruct rooms which had long ceased to exist in Versailles.
The places of interest that comprises the large state rooms are the State Staircase, the State Bedroom and the Great Hall of Mirrors. The palace entrance or its vestibule is lit by a huge skylight above the lavish and sumptuously decorated state staircase. Frescoes depicting the four states of existence alternate with Greek and Roman statues are set in niches on the staircase and in the gallery above. The vestibule is adorned with a pair of enameled peacocks, Louis XIV’s favorite bird.
The Great Hall of Mirrors, one of the highlights of the Castle Herrenchiemsee, is undeniably the most splendid hall in the palace and also the most authentic replica of Versailles. The 17 door panels contain enormous mirrors reflecting the 33 crystal chandelier and the 44 gilded candelabras. The vaulted ceiling is covered with 25 paintings depicting the life of Louis the XIV. The window niches in Herrenchiemsee are wider than those in Versailles resulting in an overall greater width. In fact, it is longer than the original.
The state bedroom is dazzling to the point of flamboyance, because practically every inch of the room has been ornately gilded. The king’s own rooms were in the intimate Small Apartment, designed in the French Rococo style. The main rooms are some of the best examples of the nineteenth-century interior design in existence, and are much more splendidly furnished than those in Versailles. No other porcelain collection is so magnificent or of such high quality, and the textiles are equally unique. One of the artistic principles of the nineteenth century, the “perfection” of historic styles was manifested in this structure.
In European cultural history, King Ludwig II of Bavaria served as one of the prominent leaders of his time and his palaces are world renowned. Shortly after his death, these palaces were opened for all people to see. Last year, 2011, an exhibition was held in his honor and for the first time, the palaces were opened to the public to showcase its grandeur. Even the unfinished rooms were exhibited…
King Ludwig’s last dream castle remained unfinished though habitable. He was able to spend only a couple of days in the Castle. He drowned in still unsolved circumstances.
The Castle Herrenchiemsee is a magnificent castle and is astonishing in every way. The view of the setting is simply captivating and awe-inspiring. The interiors, on the other hand, display opulence and elegance which contribute to its breathtaking appearance and looks. The decoration is very much elaborate and exquisite. I can say that the Castle Herrenchiemsee is purely stunning and gorgeous despite the fact that it was only copied from the Versailles Palace. The depth of its furnishing and attention to detail is exhibited at the state bedroom and at the Great Hall of Mirrors both of which are highly impressive. Overall, it appeals to a person’s emotions and simply attracts them with its beauty and formality.
- Piegsa-Quischotte, Inka. “Herrenchiemsee, Germany: Location of the Latest Three Musketeers Movie.” Bavarian Castles. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <http://www.europealacarte.co.uk/blog/2010/09/30/bavarian-castles-herrenchiemsee-castle/>.
- Porter, Darwin. “Chiemsee.” Munich & the Bavarian Alps. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011.
- Bavarian Palace Department. Web. 10 Mar. 2012. <http://www.herren-chiemsee.de/englisch/n_palace/index.htm>.
- “Castles of the World” Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <http://www.castles.org/castles/Europe/Central_Europe/Germany/Herrenchiemsee/>.