Today’s featured castle is one for the Sisi (Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary) fans: Schloss (Castle) Possenhofen.
The Castle’s story begins in 1536 when it was built by Chancellor Jakob Rosenbusch for Duke William IV as a summer residence, complete with four towers. During the Thirty Years’ War, however, the Castle was destroyed and subsequently rebuilt. After changing owners during the next two hundred years, it was eventually acquired in 1834 by Sisi’s father, Duke Max in Bavaria as a summer residence for his large family. He enlarged the Castle by adding a chapel and a three-wing complex.
It was here where Sisi spent her happy childhood and youth from 1838-53. She married Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria in 1854 at the age of 16.
This portrait of Elisabeth at age 15 shows her in front of Schloss Possenhofen.
The ducal family used the Castle infrequently after WWI until it was sold in 1940. After WWII, the Castle was used for various purposes before it was finally renovated and converted into luxurious flats in the 1980’s. Because of the derelict state it was in, the Castle was nearly demolished to make room for a modern building!
This Castle is a short (c. 10 min) walk from Bahnhof (train station) Possenhofen, which can be reached by the S-Bahn line S6 to Tutzing from Munich (c. 20 min). While the Castle is not open to the public, it is possible to see parts of the exterior as you walk around the premises.
Other places to visit
You can visit the Kaiserin (Empress) Elisabeth Museum in the 1865 train station, which you would have seen upon your arrival. This arrival/departure hall of the train station had once been the Imperial Salon (waiting room) for royal visitors, including Sisi (when she visited as Empress). The museum houses the Heinemann collection of Sisi memorabilia, as well as memorabilia for her cousin, King Ludwig II. The museum is open from May to October on Fridays to Sundays and on holidays from 12-6pm. It is also open year round by appointment for group visits. Admission (for adults) is 4€.
From May to October, you can take the ferry to Roseninsel (Rose Island), which had been Sisi’s and King Ludwig II’s favourite villa retreat. The villa known as “Casino” is now a museum. The dock for the ferry is a short walk from Schloss Possenhofen.
Further away is the Golf Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth, which had been Sisi’s summer residence when she visited as Empress. The hotel has its own Sisi suite and serves meals from Sisi’s own menu.
Unfortunately, as I have missed my chance to visit the above-mentioned places twice, I cannot provide any tips or recommendations.