Ludwig II’s father, Crown Prince Maximilian (later Maximilian II) purchased the 12th-century castle of the knights of Schwangau in 1832 and had it completely restored in faux medieval style. This decorative scheme comes to the fore in the Hall of the Swan Knight, named for the wall paintings depicting the saga of Lohengrin (a Germanic hero associated with the swan; the name of the castle literally translates as High Swan County Palace). Ludwig II spent much of his joyless childhood at Hohenschwangau with his strait-laced father and his mother, Queen Maria of Prussia. As a young man he received Richard Wagner in its chambers; the music room on the second floor contains copies of letters between Ludwig II and the composer, and the grand piano on which the two played duets. Although Hohenschwangau has the comfortable air of a home, the heavily Gothic halls and chambers recall knights’ castles of the Middle Ages. Maximillian’s restorations were part of a 19th-century European craze for re-creating medieval settings—a concept that his son would later take to new extremes with Neuschwanstein.