It is hard to find a place in the world more reminiscent of a living fairy tale than Neuschwanstein Castle. Its snow-white towers, enchanting frescoes and majestic throne room have made the castle one of the most popular attractions in the world.
The history of the castle at a glance
The construction of the Bavarian castle began in a rather unusual way: the king ordered a section of rock to be blasted out and a plateau to be lowered on the site of the future castle. As a result of this daring and creative feat, Neuschwanstein stands on the cliff itself, which only adds a fairy-tale touch to both the architecture of the structure and the surrounding landscape. Construction of the castle began in early September 1869 and was completed in 1883. King Ludwig himself originally lived here and after his death numerous valuables such as gold, jewellery, paintings and furniture were stored in Neuschwanstein, which unfortunately disappeared afterwards. The place has been converted into a museum and is open to curious tourists. The only person currently residing in the palace is the castle guardian, or more simply the keeper.
About the building
Although the castle has long been a historical museum, some of the rooms are still unfinished. The king himself had little time to live in the castle, only two years before his death, and during his lifetime Ludwig was unable to realise all his many ambitious ideas for the embellishment of his “abode”. After the death of the crowned owner, as is often the case, the construction of the château came to a halt and the rooms were left unfinished. The throne room, for example, suffered a sad fate. However, despite the crude appearance of the rooms, they have lost none of their grandeur and delight visitors indescribably. In addition to the halls, parts of the mansion remain unfinished, such as the third floor, the west terrace and the bathroom. However, the main tower with the church, which was planned by the king, was not built at all.
Interesting facts about the castle
- The castle of the “Fairy King”. Despite its impressive and fairy-tale appearance, the castle had a sad history. Its construction was ordered by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, just two years after Austria and Bavaria became part of Prussia.
After losing power and the throne, Ludwig II began to delve into the world of fantasy, surrounding himself with opulent interiors and dreaming of a castle in which he would be the only king.
- Sadly, Louis II never saw his creation. He died in 1886 and Neuschwanstein was not completed until 1892. Disney’s castle. The castle was so picturesque that it inspired Walt Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Cinderella’.
- Germany’s most popular castle. Every year, 1.3 million tourists visit Neuschwanstein Castle. It is also the most photographed building in Germany.
- Swan Castle. In German, “Neuschwanstein” means “The New Rock/Swan’s Stone”. Ludwig II was passionate about Wagner, so in building the castle he tried to recreate the atmosphere of Swan Lake. The swan theme of the castle can be seen not only in its name, but also in the decoration of the halls and in the symbolism.
- Throne room without a throne. Schloss Neuschwanstein, despite the throne room, cannot boast of a royal throne, as this part of the building was already completed after the death of Ludwig II, who spent only 11 nights in its unfinished creation.
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