Mad Ludwig’s fairytale Neuschwanstein Schloss:
Many people are familiar with the alluring fairytale Castle of Neuschwanstein as it has graced the cover of many travel brochures, been featured in airline advertisements and is the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is also famous as the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang castle.
Set against a picturesque mountain backdrop, on a rugged cliff, Neuschwanstein Castle (Neuschwanstein Schloss) is every child’s fantasy of what a castle looks like. It’s no wonder that the castle on Disney’s logo bears a little resemblance to it.
Neuschwanstein Castle was built between 1869 and 1886 for the eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria. As the king wrote in a letter to Richard Wagner, Neuschwanstein was intended to “embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle“.
It is believed that King Ludwig was inspired by Wartburg Castle in Thuringia which he visited in 1867 and the Singers’ Hall (Sangersaal) is modelled on Wartburg Castle’s singing room. The Dining Room and all other rooms in the castle are opulently decorated with paintings and intricately carved wood panels and furniture, all of which bear witness to the skill and artistry of the craftsmen during that time.
After King Ludwig’s death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. It’s indeed ironic that King Ludwig built Neuschwanstein to take refuge from the world and yet some 50 million people have visited the castle since his death. Ludwig’s most magnificent creation now takes pride of place in Germany’s ‘castle country‘.
To get to the castle, you’ll have to make a 30-minute walk from the village of Hohenschwangau. Be sure to buy your ticket from the Hohenschwangau Ticket Center at no. 12 Alpseestrasse before you set off. There is no ticket desk at the castle itself and you’ll not be allowed entry without a ticket. If you don’t fancy walking, you can always take a horse-drawn carriage from Hohenschwangau which will take you part of the way up.
Whilst in the area, it is also worth taking time to explore the surrounding area with its waterfalls, limestone gorges and mountain trails.
We were here in winter and it looked really romantic.
See our Neuschwanstein photos HERE
From Munich there are several tours that will take you to Neuschwanstein