The Residenzmuseum

The Residenz was the home of the Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria from 1508 until WW1. Significantly damaged during Allied bombing in WW2, but subsequently restored, it’s now a vast and sprawling museum that reflects the power and splendour of Bavaria’s former rulers:

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

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Gateway to Dachau

Built in March 1933 by Heinrich Himmler to house political prisoners, KZ-Gedenkstatte Dachau was the first of the Nazi concentration camps.

By the time it was liberated by the US Army in April 1945, over 200,000 inmates had been “processed”. Although not initially designed as a “death” camp (a gas chamber was added at a later date) approximately 43,000 people were killed during the 12 years the camp operated.

Dachau is now a moving memorial and serves as a sobering reminder to events that should never be forgotten.

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

Concentration Camp, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

Schloss Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein Castle (begun in 1868, but never finished) is King Ludwig II’s grand folly, a monument to the Middle Ages and to the chivalric ideals of kingship that he so venerated. If Ludwig could have turned the clock back about 500 years he would have done, instead he tried to recreate the past through lavish building projects like this one.

It’s one of the most magnificent buildings I’ve ever seen………and possibly the most pointless.

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

Schloss Hohenschwangau

Built by Maximilian II (King of Bavaria from 1848 to 1864) in a neo-Gothic style on top of existing 12th century foundations, Schloss Hohenschwangau is a fantastic homely castle in a stunning location.

Maximilian’s infamous son, Ludwig II (who became known as the Fairy-tale King because of his obsession with chivalric medieval myths and legends, at the expense of his governmental duties) grew-up here and later spent many summers until his death in 1886.

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

Schloss Hohenschwangau, Bavaria, Germany

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

Kloster Andechs

The hilltop Benedictine monastery of Andechs was founded in the 10th century. Although it’s undeniably impressive, the overly ornate Baroque style interior is not to everyone’s taste………including mine I’m afraid. I find these type of elaborate, richly decorated interiors very difficult to photograph, as the subject/composition is almost always too busy to work effectively. For this reason I much prefer the simpler more austere Gothic form of church.

A pleasant surprise was to find that the remains of Carl Orff are interred at Andechs monastery. Orff composed one of my favourite pieces of classical music….the wonderfully dramatic Carmina Burana.

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany

© Mark Simms Photography (2017)

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