Woke up to beautiful blue skies this morning at Großweil with a cooling breeze and a mist in the valley below which Steven got some fantastic photos of.

We then headed to Herrenchiemsee New Palace which is on an island in the middle of the lake. Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built as a “Temple of Fame” for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired.  Bizarrely he stayed here for just 9 days in the Autumn before he died the following year.  The palace was never finished and some was even torn down after his death.

It was very interesting to see the “show” rooms of Versailles which were never actually used and then see his own living quarters which were much more modest, and then to see the unfinished areas which were just bricks and mortar.  The photos below are some of what we managed to take even though it was a “no foto” zone and Steven got told off several times – even when he wasn’t taking photos!  Of course it gave me the distraction needed to take some on my little phone 🙂

When we visited Versailles last year it was beautiful and I also felt something was missing because so much of it had been looted or destroyed.  Herrenchiemsee gives us a glimse of what Versailles would have been like if it had survived intact and it would have been very sparkly!!!

It’s called the new palace because the monastery on the island was the original palace and is much more simple.  There is also a lot of post war history on the island as it was the place where the conference was held to prepare the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1948 and some of the information about the alliance between USA, Russia, UK & France was certainly new to me and what it meant for the German people.  I think sometimes we get lost in the atrocities of the war itself and don’t realise the impact that it had on the German people.  Much of the post war work was providing food and building materials to the starving and homeless, they had to get the farming back on track and rebuild industries and towns that had been decimated by the relentless and demoralising bombing of the allies.  As with all things, what seemed to be the right thing to do at the time can appear harsh on reflection and it was good to understand another perspective.