Linderhof is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.
Ludwig II, who was crowned king in 1864, began his building activities in 1867-1868 by redesigning his rooms in the Munich Residenz and laying the foundation stone of Neuschwanstein Castle. In 1868 he was already making his first plans for Linderhof. However, neither the palace modelled on Versailles that was to be sited on the floor of the valley nor the large Byzantine palace envisaged by Ludwig II were ever built.
Instead, the new building developed around the forester's house belonging to his father Maximilian II, which was located in the open space in front of the present palace and was used by the king when crown prince on hunting expeditions with his father. Linderhof Palace, the eventual result of a long period of building and rebuilding, is the only large palace King Ludwig II lived to see completed.
In 1869 Ludwig II had the forester's house rebuilt and appointed as the 'Royal Lodge'. In 1870, under the supervision of the court building director Georg Dollmann, a wing with a single axis was added. While this extension was still being completed, the original plans for the building were substantially revised.
From spring 1871 a second wing was built to match the first extension, with a bedroom forming the connection between the two wings. A wooden staircase on the west side provided access to the u-shaped complex built around an open courtyard, and the Royal Lodge thus became superfluous; the initial retention of this building indicates the king's emotional attachment to it.
The complex thus created forms the core of the palace. Its upper floor was a wooden post and beam construction clad with boards, while the lower floor was plastered; because of the wooden structures it was known as the 'Alpine Hut Building'. Its simple exterior, however, gave no hint of the splendour inside.
An overall architectural solution was however necessary to unite the results of the piecemeal construction process. In February 1873, King Ludwig II approved a plan which established the final design of the palace. First the wooden construction was clad with solid stone and covered with a cross-shaped complex of new roofs. This section of the building formed the core of the new palace, but it still had no interior staircase.
On 20.1.1874 the king gave permission for the 'Royal Lodge' to be moved to its present location, around 200 metres away, and the new south tract was built in its place. It was only now that the exterior of the palace acquired its final form, and the vestibule and staircase were incorporated in the interior. By 1876 work on the interior of the south tract was also complete.
The transformation of the 'Alpine Hut Building' into the 'Royal Villa' had marked consequences for its surroundings. In 1874 the final plans for the park were submitted by court garden director Carl Joseph von Effner.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.