Neuschwanstein castle (Neuschwanstein Schloß) is one of the most visited and certainly most photographed castles in the world. It was built in the 19th century by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria since 1864. He was only 18 years old when he became king. The castle was dedicated to Richard Wagner whom Ludwig II greatly admired. Unfortunately Ludwig II couldn’t enjoy his new residence. He died under mysterious circumstances less than a year after he moved in.
Neuschwanstein Castle is visited by more than a million people every year and it is also known as the "the castle of the fairy-tale king". There are guided tours which last approximately 35 minutes. The castle is located very close to the village of Hohenschwangau where the path to the castle starts. It is about 20 minute walk by foot to get there. You can also get a horse-drawn carriage from the village.
Ludwig II spent his childhood years at Hohenschwangau castle. This castle is closer to the village and you can get a combined ticket to visit both castles.
Construction and Building of Neuschwanstein castle
The site for the new castle was chosen carefully because Ludwig II wanted to create harmony between the natural environment and the building itself.
On September 5, 1869 the foundation stone for the Neuschwanstein castle was laid and the construction began. The building of the castle demanded huge amount of material. Alone in 1879/80 465 tons of Salzburg marble, 400,000 bricks and 600 tons of cement were used. In 1881 the work on the roof was finished and the work on the interior began. This also consumed huge amount of money and a visitor can see that when visiting the castle. The rooms are decorated lavishly, with beautiful paintings and wood carvings in the most splendid fashion.
When the king died in 1886 Neuschwanstein castle was still a construction site and the work stopped. The interior of the 3rd floor was never finished. The interior of the 5th floor (Singers Hall) and the 4th floor King’s Apartments were finished and this is where the tour takes place. The castle was equipped by the modern standards. It had running water on all floors, the toilets were equipped with automatic flushing and it had central air heating, and 2 telephones.
The Red corridor is where the tour stats. It is located on the second floor of Neuschwanstein castle and is covered with red tiles. At the end of the corridor a marble staircase leads to the fourth floor.
The Entrance Hall has trapezoidal shape and is beautifully decorated. The wall and the ceilings are decorated with oil paintings.
The Throne hall is probably the most spectacular room in Neuschwanstein castle. The paintings were done by Wilhelm Hauchild and the room resembles an altar in a Byzantine church. The Throne Hall is 15 meters (45ft) high and 20 meters (60ft)long. A very heavy chandelier hangs from the ceiling designed to resemble Byzantine crown - it weights 900 kilograms (2000 pounds). The view from the Throne hall is most impressive- to the left is Lake Alpsee and to the right is the smaller Swan Lake; in between is the site of Hohenschwangau castle.
Following are the Dining room with the table centerpiece made of gold and bronze – it depicts the fight between Siegfried and the dragon. Then is the King’s bedroom which was designed in a late Gothic style with beautiful wood carvings and oil paintings. The Private chapel, The Dressing room, The Living room, are all magnificent with its rich decor.
Neuschwanstein castle has even a grotto with artificial stalactites followed by the King’s Study and the Adjutant’s Chamber.
The top of the stairway and the entrance to the 5th floor are also beautifully decorated. They lead you to the Singers’ Hall which was one of the most important rooms in the castle. King Ludwig II was deeply impressed by Richard Wagner and his music and the hall was designed with that in mind. It was a replica of the singers’ hall of Wartburg castle. The tour ends downstairs in the kitchen of the castle.
From the furnishing to the decoration one couldn’t fail noticing that the king didn’t spare any money to build an incredible world in this fairy tale castle. He had a romantic soul and needed refuge from the world.
Where is Neuschwanstein Castle: village of Hohenschwangau - the path to the castle starts in the village
How to get to Neuschwanstein Castle: By car to Füssen and then take road B17 towards Hohenschwangau village.
By train to Füssen and then bus RVA/OVG 78 - direction Schwangau to Hohenschwangau.
There are always taxis at the train station which will give you a ride for 10 €.
Opening Hours: Daily
April - September: 9 am - 6 pm
October -March: 10 am - 4 pm
Neuschwanstein castle - court
Neuschwanstein castle entrance
Marienbrucke or Marie's Bridge is a steel bridge above the deep Pollät Gorge. It offers a splendid view of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. Neuschwanstein was build with that view in mind.
Neuschwanstein castle - side view
Neuschwanstein Castle view from the road
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