Munich town square at Christmas
Christmas in Germany
   
German Christmas Markets
[Spiegel Online article]   "A Visit to Germany's Christmas Markets", includes a review of the Christmas market in Munich's Marienplatz.
Christmas Markets
Wikipedia article on Christmas markets around the world
Kempten Christmas Market
The Christmas market in Kempten' historical old quarter is the biggest in the Alpine Allgaeu region. To put you in the Christmas mood there are more than 70 stalls offering Christmas crafts and gift ideas galore along with sweet delicacies and more hearty fare. Daily musical interludes provide a wonderful festive ambience.

Neuschwanstein
Castles and Palaces
   
Nymphenburg Palace
Immense Baroque palace on 200 acre estate in Munich where Ludwig was born
Schloss Hohenschwangau
Castle near Fussen where Ludwig spent most of his childhood
Neuschwanstein Castle
Schloss Neuschwanstein – Ludwig's first and most famous castle, a dramatic Romanesque fortress build on a commanding hilltop high above the village of Hohenschwangau
Linderhof Palace
Schloss Linderhof – Ludwig's second major creation, an ornate palace in neo-French Rococo style with elaborate formal gardens, nestled in a secluded forest valley about 15 km from Fussen (as the crow flies)
Herrenchiemsee
Ludwig's third extravagance, a replica of the central section of the palace at Versailles, meant to outdo its predecessor in scale and opulence, built on an island in the middle of Lake Chiemsee

Hohenschwangau, Bavaria
Communities and Destinations
   
Town of Füssen
Home base for this tour is at Hopfen am See, just outside Füssen (or Fuessen).  Füssen is the town where Ludwig was raised, and where he constructed two of his three new castles and palaces.
Village of Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau is the small village located between the Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles.
Village of Oberammergau
Oberammergau is a picturesque village famous for the elaborate passion play staged every ten years and also for its beautifully painted houses and woodcarving.
Town of Bad Tölz
Bad Tölz (or Bad Toelz) is know for its historic medieval town center, an architecturally significant church from 1466, its spas, its spectacular views of the Alps, and its lunch-time specials.
Kempten
Kempten, population 61,000 in 2006, is the largest city in the Allgaeu region of south-west Bavaria.
Munich
Munich (München in German) is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, Germany's third largest city (1.3 million), the home of world famous beer gardens and the annual Oktoberfest, and the origin and termination city for this tour.
Innsbruck
Innsbruck, population 120,000, is the capital of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol and an internationally renowned winter sports center.
Wieskirche
The Wieskirche, also known as The Church in the Meadow, is a Rococo church built between 1745 and 1754 in a remote location near the foothills of the Alps.  It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.

portrait of King Ludwig II
The King
   
King Ludwig II of Bavaria
Biographical note on Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Bavaria from 1864 to 1886