Come With Me as I Visit One of The World’s Most Famous Castles!
On our way back from Munich in mid December we decided to make a return visit to Neuschwanstein Castle. This amazing piece of architecture appears to be something out of a fairy tale and no wonder it was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, often known as ‘mad King Ludwig’.
A view from the bridge behind the Castle. All photos by my buddy unless otherwise stated!
King Ludwig was thrust onto the throne before he was 20 years old and after a crushing military defeat he immersed himself in a fantasy world of building fairy tale castles.
Neuschwanstein Castle was the result of his obsessive behaviour and its awe inspiring exterior is matched by a shamelessly luxurious interior! The castle overlooks another castle, Hohenschwangau, a mid 1800’s palace where the King grew up. He maintained a bedroom at Hohenschwangau and could gaze across the valley with a telescope and watch as Neuschwanstein was being constructed.
Hohenschwangau Castle was where King Ludwig grew up!
Every aspect of Neuschwanstein tells the story of a troubled individual who many say was mad. Ludwig was obsessed with the works of the composer Wagner and he intended the castle to be a place for the performance and appreciation of the composer's works. It is complete with masterpiece murals of Wagner's operas and includes a private theatre where he fantasized that Wagner’s works could be performed.
This is a view of the lower castle while walking up to Neuschwanstein
Another view looking out while on our way up to Neuschwanstein
Another view from a different angle and a different season (Pixibay.com)
This picture gives you an idea of the opulence of the interior! (pixibay.com)
The King's private study area. (pixibay.com)
Quick Facts About Neuschwanstein
- It was one of the inspirations behind Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World
- It was originally called “Neue Burg Hohenschwangau”, meaning “New Hohenschwangau Castle”. The name Neuschwanstein was given after Ludwig’s Death.
- Neuschwanstein means “New Swan Stone” and derives from one of Wagner’s operas character, the Swan Knight.
- Despite its medieval appearance, the castle included the latest in technology: an electric bell system, toilets with flushing water, hot air central heating and telephones.
- The castle was one of the finalists in the selection of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
- The Castle was never finished. Construction began in 1869 and by 1885 Ludwig had a debt of around 14m marks and an unfinished castle.
- 200 rooms were planned but only 14 were completed and much of the interior remains unfinished to this day.
- Ludwig slept only 11 nights in the castle even though it took 14 carpenters 4 years to complete the bedroom's woodwork
- In 1886 Ludwig was declared insane and forced out of the castle. He died 3 days later under mysterious circumstances.
- Partly due to vast debts, the castle was opened for tourism just weeks after his death and work continued to complete the exterior as curious tourists flocked in!
- The castle is now owned by the state of Bavaria.
Would You Like to Visit Neuschwanstein?
It is worth visiting this spectacular castle but keep a few things in mind. Since there are so many people going on tours if you don’t book ahead you will have to line up for tickets. We went on a Sunday and had to line up for about 1.5 hours to buy tickets.
There is a separate counter for those that have pre-booked and it had no line-up! The 20-minute tour of the interior is by fixed time only and the organizers send you in groups of about 50 at a time! Also, keep in mind that you are not allowed to photograph the interior of the castle.
I hope that you enjoyed this visit to a Crazy Castle!
Until next time,
@kus-knee (The Old Dog)