Schloss Neuschwanstein Things to Do

  • View from Marienbrucke
    View from Marienbrucke
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  • Die Jugend Viewpoint
    Die Jugend Viewpoint
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  • The inner courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle
    The inner courtyard of Neuschwanstein...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Schloss Neuschwanstein

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    Where to take good photos

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    On a good day, this area is a photographer’s delight! The beauty of the landscape and the interesting details of the castles make it fun for anyone to take photos.

    First things first – NO photos are allowed inside either of the castles. Don’t even try it. Just put the camera away and enjoy the tour. Take all the photos you want of the exterior of both castles and the surrounding area and be happy with that. If you want to have photos of the interior, buy a book (the shops sell a small guide book for around €3 that has some nice photos of the rooms of both castles along with written details of the castles).

    So where are the best photo locations? Of course it all depends on the lighting, but these are the places I’ve had good success with taking photos from:

    ~ To get that classic photo of Neuschwanstein, you must hike up to the Marienbrücke, the bridge above the castle. It is a good climb from the parking area, although the buses from ticket office area will drop you off closer to the bridge than the castle. On most days the bridge is very, very crowded! Do not expect to set up a tripod. Do expect to exercise extreme patience as people keep walking in front of you or bumping you. Be sure to look down at the waterfalls too!

    ~ From the courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle you can take some nice photos of the bridge which is in a beautiful setting between two large parts of the surrounding hills. Again, this is a very crowded area since it is where everyone is waiting for their tour to begin. Exercise patience as you wait for an opening along the wall that faces the bridge.

    ~ On the walk between Neuschwanstein Castle and the Marienbrücke is an overlook with a wonderful view looking down upon Schloss Hohenschwangau and the Alpsee (the lake near Schloss Hohenschwangau). Beautiful! While this area can be crowded, you can probably set up a tripod and spend more time in this spot.

    ~ For photos of Hohenschwangau, there are several places near the parking lot above the ticket office (P4) that will give you some good photos. It is hard to not get a good photo from this location.

    ~ From Hohenschwangau’s courtyard, look over at Neuschwanstein Castle for a photo of it set up in the hills. It is rather far away but you can get a nice photo with a zoom lens. My photo above is not a good example of a great photo – rainy days and fog do not make good photos, unless that is the affect you are going for – but I am posting this photo so you can see the potential for great photos!

    ~ From the roads near the village of Schwangau you can get some lovely photos of Neuschwanstein set in the beautiful mountainous setting. This area would not be crowded and you could pull off on the roads, take your time with a tripod, etc. However, during 2012, this is not a preferred location because the side of the castle that you would be photographing is completely covered in scaffolding. (Unfortunately my photo above from this area was taken on a rainy day in 2012 with the scaffolding. Hopefully I’ll return to retake this photo on a clear day in the future when the renovations are completed.)

    ~ The Alpsee – the lake near the ticket office. On sunny days, this is a beautiful place to take photos of the reflections in the lake of the mountains that surround it. Of course, you can also get nice photos of the lake from Neuschwanstein Castle’s overlooks.

    ~ Of course, there are ample opportunities for photos of the exterior details of both castles from their courtyards – you do not need a ticket to view either of the courtyards or the areas surrounding the castles.

    On my next trip to Neuschwanstein, I hope to hike up to Tegelberg (the old hunting lodge up in the hills above Neuschwanstein) to get some photos looking down upon Neuschwanstein Castle. If you are interested in this vantage point, the trail can begin (or end) at the Marienbrücke – you will see the signs. Allow at least three hours; although an alternative way up is to take the cable car from the village of Schwangau and then walk down to the bridge. I have not done this yet so I cannot vouch for how it works. We did walk a bit on the trail from the bridge, but then had to get back for our tour.

    Remember as you pack your photography gear that it is a good hearty walk up to Neuschwanstein! You have options for the ascent (bus or carriage) and if you have a lot of gear, you might want to consider these options.

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    The Alpsee

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    At the end of the road from the ticket office and the parking lot is the Alpsee, a lake that is in a marvelous setting in the mountains. This is the lake that you see from the top of the hill at Neuschwanstein Castle. On a clear sunny day, the mountains reflect in the calm water of the lake. Ducks and swans gracefully glide over the lake. It can be a relaxing diversion from the crowds (unless, of course, the crowds find their way to the Alpsee too). Many people do stop by for a photo of the lake, so I recommend that you walk around to a lesser visited spot. You can walk along the pathway to the left which will lead you to a small beach away from the crowds. From here you can get away from it all and still have a wonderful view to enjoy. Alternately, you can head up the road towards Schloss Hohenschwangau and stop at the lake overlooks.

    On my last visit to Neuschwanstein, I chose to enjoy the view of the Alpsee with my young grandson. We walked to the small beach on the left side of the lake and were completely alone from the crowds. From there he could enjoy playing in the rocks and I had no fear of him drowning as the water was extremely shallow at this point (of course, I really didn’t want him to get wet at all!). There are rocks nearby that you can sit on and just relax.

    I recommend you allow some time to just enjoy the scenery – and the Alpsee is a great place to do this. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of tickets and tours, buses and carriages, parking and shopping, that we fail to simply relax and enjoy our surroundings. Perhaps plan to have a picnic lunch near the lake (be sure to take all your trash with you when you leave). Or just sit and take a break from it all. You’ll be glad you did!

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    Marienbrücke: a bridge with a view

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    The Marienbrücke, or Mary’s Bridge, is where many of those classic photos of Neuschwanstein Castle are taken. Named after Queen Mary, mother of King Ludwig II who built the castle, the bridge was built in 1866 and stretches across the gorge near the castle. The bridge is 304 feet high and not only provides wonderfully romantic views of the castle, but overlooks the gorge and the Poellat waterfalls below.

    The bridge is well worth the uphill climb to get to it. It does not require a ticket and is free to enjoy. You can reach the bridge by hiking up from Neuschwanstein Castle (allow an extra 20 minutes to hike to it AFTER you get to the castle) or if you have taken the bus to the castle, you will be dropped off near the bridge and can follow the signs. Be sure to allow ample time to get back to the castle in time for your scheduled tour if you have tickets. If you are unsure if you have enough time, go to the bridge AFTER your tour just to be safe.

    The bridge is often very, very crowded and lots of people are trying to pose for pictures on the bridge. Just be patient – there’s nothing else you can really do.

    One of my favorite things about the bridge area (besides the view!) is the artists that sell their pictures near there. My daughter stopped to speak with one and he was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the castle and its architecture as well as the surrounding area. These artists often are quite good – but they should be since they are drawing the same castle over and over again. My daughter made a purchase from the artist she spoke with and it was nicely packaged so it would not get messed up. And the price she paid was very reasonable.

    The Marienbrücke is worth the extra climb if you are able to make it up there and don’t mind the crowds (or the height).

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    Rooms in the castle - what you see on the tour

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    The castle was never completed; construction ended with the death of King Ludwig II and surprisingly, tours of the castle began within six weeks of his death. So the tours take you to the finished rooms, a few of which I will highlight here.

    Throne Room: This is a marvelous Byzantine style room with wonderful mosaics on the walls and the floor. The mosaics represent the twelve apostles and six sainted kings as well as St. George, Mary, and St. John. There is no throne in the room but it is clear where the throne would sit. The mosaic floor depicts animals and plants from around the world and was made from more than 2 million stones. Above you is a chandelier in the shape of a Byzantine crown; a winch allows the chandelier to be lowered for cleaning and candle lighting.

    Dining Room: The decorations in this room depict Wartburg Castle around 1207 – the time Wagner chose for his Tannhäuser singers contest in one of his operas. In the center of the room is a gilded bronze statue of Siegfried fighting the dragon; it was gift to Ludwig from the artists of Munich.

    King’s Bedroom: King Ludwig II never married and preferred a solitary lifestyle. His bedroom is a work of art with all the wood carvings on the bed and other furnishings. The paintings on the walls depict the story of Tristan and Isolde from other of Wagner’s operas. From the bedroom window, Ludwig would have a spectacular view of the gorge where the Marienbrücke crosses.

    Living Room: This was the room where Ludwig could come and enjoy reading or other pastimes. The wall paintings are interesting because they have the look of a tapestry but are not woven. The scenes of these paintings are from Wagern’s Lohengrin opera. The tour guide will point out the beautiful swan shaped flower vase. But this is not the only swan in the room – look at the fabric furnishings, door handles, and other details to see more of Ludwig’s favorite animal.

    Singer’s Hall: The final stop on your tour is the large Singer’s Hall which was designed to have concerts in, although these never happened during Ludwig’s lifetime. It is modeled after the same hall in Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. The Wittelsbach coat of arms is in this room, the only indication of Ludwig’s ownership and patronage of the castle. If you have any questions for your tour guide, be sure to ask while in this room because they disappear quickly after you leave this room.

    At the end of the tour, you will follow the signs that will lead you to some very nice model displays of the castle, a café, bathrooms, two gift shops, the castle kitchen area, and then back outside.

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    Inside Neuschwanstein Castle

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    The interior of Neuschwanstein castle is King Ludwig II’s fantasy, designed with Richard Wagner’s operas in mind. It is opulent and rich and a bit overboard (really, does one need a fake grotto in one’s house?). But if you’ve made it this far, then you really should take the guided tour and see how this king’s imagination worked.

    First things first: the only way to see the interior of the castle is on a guided tour which you need a ticket for and the tickets needs to be purchased at the bottom of the hill before you climb the hill.

    Also – no photos are allowed inside the castle. So just put that camera away now, relax, and enjoy the tour. No animals are allowed in either.

    If you think you’ve finished with the climbing once you got to the castle, think again. The tour involves a lot of stair climbing. Consider your physical abilities and the need to carry small children before you get tickets.

    Overall, I am disappointed with the guided tours. According to the castle website, on the busiest days there are nearly 6,000 people going on these tours. So the guides are efficient. But I find they are merely reciting their memorized scripts and moving on to make way for the tour coming up behind them. They are available to answer questions, but the tour moves rather quickly and there’s not a lot of time in between rooms. So I recommend that you do some research in advance on the history of King Ludwig II, the castle, and on Wagner’s operas before you get to the tour. It will help you make sense of what you are seeing.

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    Inner courtyard of Neuschwanstein

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    Chances are that by the time you get to the inner courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle, you will be looking for a place to sit and relax after the climb you just made. However, take a few moments to enjoy the inner courtyard because you will not be returning here at the end of your tour (although you can easily walk back here if you like).

    You do not need a ticket to view the inner courtyard – it is free to enter and look about. Tickets are only required to tour inside the castle.

    First things first – once you reach the inner courtyard, check the ticket numbers on the electronic boards to be sure that your tour is not queuing up yet. If you have time, then look around. Take the steps on the left to the upper level of the courtyard, above the area where so many are waiting for their tour to begin. Sometimes these steps are tricky to navigate because they have so many people sitting on them while they wait. Hopefully they have left you a bit of a pathway to get through. Make you way up and you will not be disappointed.

    Have a look at the castle and notice the small details – do you see the murals on the walls? If you look at the pavement beyond the barricade you can see stone markings. These indicate where the original plans for the castle called for a chapel and an inner keep to be built in the courtyard. Of course, these were never built because all construction on the castle ended with the death of King Ludwig II.

    When you make your way back down the steps, try to get a position along the wall so you can get a good view of the Marienbrücke from this angle. It is easy to understand why King Ludwig II would want to build in this beautiful area…imagine having that for the view from your house?!?

    The inner courtyard is also the place to store your backpacks and other large items that cannot be carried into the castle for the tour. Now would be a good time to do that before your number pops up on the display. Then, wait for your turn to tour this fantasy castle of King Ludwig II.

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    Tickets and tours

    by brendareed Written May 29, 2014

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    First things first – be sure to get your tickets BEFORE you head up the hill to the castle because they don’t sell tickets at the top of the hill.

    There is a building dedicated to ticket sales and, in the busy times, the lines can be long. However, I have found that the lines do move quickly. There seems to be an efficient system in place and the ticket clerks are extremely capable at quick service.

    As you stand in the lines, you will see monitors that list the upcoming tours for both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Be sure you are looking at the right monitor for the right tour! These list the upcoming tours and what language they are given in (German, English, or audio guide). You’ll need to know which tour you want before you purchase your ticket.

    Remember that the climb to the hill can be 20-45 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Those in good shape can make it quicker than those that may need to stop and rest a bit. Also, there are buses and horse-drawn carriage options to get to the top, but as you can imagine, on busy days there are lines for these as well. Moral of the story: consider the fitness level of the group you are with and how you plan to get to the top – then select a tour that gives you plenty of time to get to the top.

    Your tickets will have a number and a time – be sure to be ready to get in line 5-10 minutes before your tour begins. You will see the queues and the number of your ticket will be displayed when it is time to get in line.

    If you have extra time once at the top, no worries – there are plenty of things to see and do to keep busy, including a hike over to the Marienbrücke for that classic photo of the castle.

    If you are coming on the busier days (summer and holidays), then you may want to play it safe and reserve your tickets online .

    Current (2014) ticket costs are €12/adult, children under 18 free.

    The ticket office is open April 1 – October 15 from 0800-1700 every day. From October 16 to March 31, it is open every day from 0900-1500.

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    Singers Hall

    by ruki Updated Oct 2, 2013

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    This beautiful room is used for performances by musicians and playwrights. The King Ludwig built Singers Hall for his friend Richard Wagner as a place to write and perform plays. Unfortunately the King Ludwig died before watching any performance in this Hall. The Hall precedes the entire 4th floor of the castle it is a copy of the Minstrels Hall of the Wartburg Castle in Thuringia created by Hofmann.

    I deleted a pic because a problem of publishing to the public on VT.
    Instead there is a another pic.

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    And then .... it is there - the castle :-)

    by Trekki Updated Sep 20, 2013

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    Important update, September 20, 2013:
    Marienbrücke also belongs to Neuschwanstein Castle and hence to the Bavarian Palace Department. Public sharing of castle photos taken from Marienbrücke is also not allowed, hence I have removed them. Taking photos for private use is allowed though.

    Yes, I admit that my little heart was beating when I walked up the hill after getting off the bus. Not from the rise but because I was about to see what I tried to neglect and what I denounced as tourist trap for many years. But I have long ago changed my attitude and perception and have decided that it is time to see the castle myself before I make any more judgement.

    The bridge, Marienbrücke, received its name from Ludwig II’s mother, Maria. His father Max II had a bridge already built here in 1845, albeit only a simple one, to be crossed by horses and riders. Ludwig II had it replaced with the current one in 1866. I have read that the construction concept was very modern by that time, one of the signs that Ludwig II was ahead his time in terms of technical achievements.

    When I was there early July 2013 the bridge was not much crowded, so I only had to wait a few minutes before I could step on it to see the castle. And yes, I found it very impressive. Maybe not the castle itself but the whole ensemble just cannot be beaten! It was here where I started to understand the reasons why Ludwig II had built it here, just here and nowhere else.

    The bridge is safe to step onto, millions of visitors do it every year. Nevertheless I would understand if people hesitate because the location is high above the river, 93 m according to the leaflets.

    I highly recommend visiting the bridge before going on the castle tour. To me it felt like approaching the castle step by step – first the overall view and its location from the bridge, then slowly walking towards the castle and then seeing it from the inside.

    Location of Marienbrücke on Google Maps.

    (Continue here =>) Before starting the guided tour it is important to know of and obey to the policy about photography and videography inside the castle.

    © Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).

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    Museum of Bavarian Kings - very informative!

    by Trekki Updated Sep 14, 2013

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    In any case, I highly recommend visiting the Museum of Bavarian Kings before moving up to the castle. It is located close to Alpsee, nearby the parking P4 and in operation since end of 2011.

    The idea of the museum is to provide visitors with background about Wittelsbach family or House of Wittelsbach, one of Europe’s oldest dynasties. Maximilian II, King of Bavaria, and his son, future King Ludwig II, belong to this house. The intention of the museum concept is very successful, also because Wittelsbach family, who founded the museum, has also donated many items to be exhibited. This makes the museum a very lively, very visual and very informative one and certainly one with one of the most elaborated concepts I saw up to now. The exhibits and explanations are arranged in a way that everything appears lofty, airy. Moreover, since the exhibition starts with a walk-in explanation of the Wittelsbach’s family tree, it gives an excellent idea of context as well as significance of this dynasty in general and of Maximilian II and Ludwig II’s regnancy during the years of industrialisation and European revolution. It was here that I started to understand that Ludwig II’s ample interest in modern technologies, medieval legends and music seems to have been inherited from his father who was already a promoter for pathbreaking and innovative technologies. But the museum isn’t about these two kings alone but also about the ones who followed, their prosecution during Germany’s deadliest chapter of WW II and about the family today. It explains the development of architecture and art on the threshold of the Industrial Age and you will see splendid exhibits in context to King Ludwig II, for example the magnificent robe of Order of Saint George, which - much to my surprise - appears greenish rather than blue. But that might be a result of the illumination. At the end of the exhibition is the splendid 326-piece porcelain set, the last King, Ludwig III and his wife Marie Therese received from their children in the occasion of their Golden Anniversary.

    Yes, the museum is well worth the visit because it brings the two castles, the Wittelsbach House and the kings into context and hopefully helps foreign visitors to understand that this Neuschwanstein Castle not just a Disney castle where one must get married nearby or which has to be ticked off during a Europe trip, but is a landmark in German and Bavarian history.
    Audioguides are available in many languages and the exhibits are well explained in German and English.

    The website of the museum is well done and gives a good idea of the exhibits. Photography is not allowed inside.

    Entrance fees (as of July 2013): 9,50 Euro for adults, kids younger than 12 years are free. The museum is barrier free, with a lift.
    Note that combination tickets are available, which include the museum and Hohenschwangau Castle (“Wittelsbach Ticket”) or Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle (“Swan Ticket”).

    Opening hours:
    April 1 – Sept. 30: 09:00 – 19:00,
    Oct. 1 – March 31: 10:00 – 18:00
    The museum is closed December 20 – 24 and December 31st.

    The people responsible for the museum also organise interesting events, especially during the winter season when torch & lantern walks up to Hohenschwangau Castle take place, with stories told for kids and punch and Christmas cookies are being served. At the moment these events are only visible on the German part of the website, but will be available in English soon.
    These events are surely of interest for visitors who don’t want to rush and tick off but who care about the history and who want to stay overnight or maybe make use of one of the exciting arrangements.

    Before or after the museum visit, make sure you walk a bit further, to Lake Alpsee, where the full splendour of the newly renovated Restaurant Alpenrose can be admired. This was formerly a hotel, “Royal Court Hotel and Guesthouse Alpenrose”, but no longer in use as such after WW II. It is part of the newly built museum and looks very majestic! (See last photo)

    Location of Museum of Bavarian Kings on Google Maps.

    (Continue here =>) Nearby the museum lies the picturesque Alpsee

    © Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).

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    The castle - that's what we came for, didn't we?

    by Trekki Updated Sep 10, 2013

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    The castle, that’s what we all came for. We have dreamt of it since years – or haven’t dreamt of it but just are curious to see it. We came all the way from far away or nearby. Some simple rules about the visit beforehand because I am still amazed that despite all the information published in books and on Hohenschwangau’s official website still the major and most important things seem to be not known by many visitors:
    * The castle interiors can be visited only on a guided tour - free roaming around is not possible.
    * Online reservation is a way to prevent frustration and long waiting times
    * Tickets for the guided tour can only be bought at the ticket centre at the bottom of the hill – and not at the castle entrance.
    * Tickets are sold according to the simple principle of “first comes first served” – one cannot arrive and assume to be able to visit the interiors within the next ten minutes..
    * The castle is up the hill, so one has to either walk, take a bus or a carriage. Bus or carriage do not stop in front of the castle.
    * Photography is forbidden

    Ok, enough cynism. The castle is what we came for. It is surely the best known castle in the world and this is the real castle (and not the copy of Walt Disney’s copied fantasies). Ludwig II had it built end of 19th century. It was his masterpiece, his expression of his admiration for medieval times, knights, Richard Wagner’s operas, art, beauty and technological achievements. His model was Wartburg in Eisenach, which he visited in 1867 or maybe Château de Pierrefonds. According to his original plans, the castle should have had approx. 200 rooms when finished. Sadly it was never finished because he was held under custody June 12, 1886, and died one day later in Lake Starnberg. At the time of his death, his successor decided to finish the castle as it was at that point in time, so only 15 rooms were outfitted at that time. One wing was finished in a simple way, to host the castle administration offices. The 15 official rooms are the only rooms we visitors will see during the guided tour.

    I have to admit that – despite I saw interior photos before I went inside – I was not at all prepared for the splendour of the rooms. And that is why I have decided not to describe the rooms in detail because no words can do this, one must see them with one’s own eyes. Among my favourites was definitely the winter garden, which is just behind the salon and maybe not really noticed because it is opposite of the grotto. It is also not open, but already the glimpse I could catch through the glass door was enough to make my jaw drop – the view from there is amazing. Huge windows, the biggest windows that were produced at that time I have read, open to a panorama of Forggensee and the surroundings. My favourite room was the Singers’ Hall in the upper floor because the upper windows to the east are of coloured glass and on this sunny day the light setting was almost out of the world. And I loved the paintings in each of the rooms and halls – very vivid and expressive. The majority of paintings are of the legends the king loved so much, and which are expressed in several operas by Richard Wagner. Many paintings depict also scenes in the lives of medieval minnesingers, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Walther von der Vogelweide. Each room is devoted to a legend, the salon showing scenes of Lohengrin and the swan, his favourite legend.

    Make sure you step on the balcony on your way outside. This is on the same level as the cafeteria and it is signposted. The views are most spectacular.

    My recommendation for the castle tour is:
    Preparation, preparation, preparation.
    Read about the legends beforehand, to understand and appreciate the paintings and the room themes. The official website explains them in detail. Read about Richard Wagner’s operas, either any neutral publication or follow Don, @Nemorino, our opera specialist. This helps also to understand why Ludwig II was so fascinated with the grottoes - they are reflecting the grotto in Tannhäuser. Try and forget Wagner’s political and society views and the brutal abuse, Germany’s deadliest man in history did with Wagner and his operas during WW II. (I had to force myself to forget these, but then Neuschwanstein Castle and the interior is about the legends, the operas and the music, not about politics).
    Visit the Museum of Bavarian Kings before visiting the castle, to understand the whole context of the king's fascination with legends, opera and technology.

    For those who like concerts: the Singers’ Hall is setting for the Neuschwanstein Concerts in September each year. The tickets for 2013 (September 14 – 22) are already sold out, but the dates for 2014 are already fixed: September 22 – 28. Have a look at the official video on the German part of this site, which gives some glimpses of the Singers’ Hall too.

    As further preparation of the castle tour maybe the most magnificent 360° views I ever saw up to now, might help too. It was made by German TV station ZDF and it is official, since it is linked on Neuschwanstein’s website:
    3D View of Neuschwanstein Castle interior
    Although the navigation is in German, it is easy to understand. First click “Start” and then you can choose among three levels (Ebene), bottom left: Ebene 0 = outside views, Ebene 3 = 3rd floor, Ebene 4 = 4th floor. The orange dots are clickable and show the single rooms. (level 3: Wohnzimmer = salon, Grotte = grotto, Schlafzimmer = bedroom, Arbeitszimmer = working room, Thronsaal = Throne Room, Balkon = balcony, level 4: Sängersaal = Singers’ Hall; Vorplatz in level 3 and 4 = lower and upper hall).

    For those who are interested to know more about Ludwig II and his castles, the superior documentation – albeit in German only -
    Royal castles of Ludwig II, part 1,
    Royal castles of Ludwig II, part 2
    provides excellent background information. But they are even nice to watch only, because they show parts of the castles' interiors and old paintings of the various castles.

    Location of Neuschwanstein Castle on Google Maps.

    (Continue here =>) On the way out of the castle - quality shopping unlimited.

    © Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).

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    Throne room

    by ruki Updated Sep 10, 2013

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    Unfortunately it is permitted to make photos of interior of castle but thanks to my press RTS connections, we managed to make a few photos without flash.
    Interior is also beautiful as outside of castle.
    In the castle there are more then 200 rooms but only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig's death.
    Because Ludwig's death the actual throne was never finished. The Throne Room is in the form of a Byzantine church looks as if it is decorated with precious stones and mosaics. It is made to look like Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

    I deleted a pic because a problem of publishing to the public on VT.
    Instead there is a pic from the outside

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    Peaceful and picturesque Alpsee

    by Trekki Updated Sep 4, 2013

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    Just behind the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, lays the picturesque Alpsee. I was blessed with sunny weather when I was there in July 2013 and already here, at the bottom of the castles, the lake unfolded its peacefulness and serenity, especially with the mountains in the background. I just could not get enough and was tempted to walk around it to enjoy its beauty but then there was my caste tour approx. 2 hours later and I just didn’t want to be too late. Knowing me, I would have dawdled while walking, taking photos here and there and would definitely have been too late for my tour.

    But the real splendour of the lake is visible from above, from Neuschwanstein Castle’s western balcony (photos 1, 2). It is here where the Alpsee and nearby Schwansee and the mountains unveil their marvellous settings, and it was here where I fully understood why the king wanted exactly this location with its most magic and out of the world surroundings for his castle to be built. And on the more personal side: it was here where I knew that I need exactly this kind of surroundings where I want to live: embracing mountains, lakes; green, white and blue. Maybe I shall apply for a job at Neuschwanstein Castle?

    I am almost sure that I will make use of one of the exciting arrangements, the hotels around the castles are offering and come here in winter for 4 days. Then the surroundings most probably will be covered with snow and will generate an even more fairy tale world.

    Alpsee is also the lake where Ludwig II intended to build the flying peacock ropeway across. This is one of his never finished projects. But the Museum of the Bavarian Kings has a splendid video animation of his technological projects, so another reason to pay a visit. I found a teaser video about these projects, only 3 minutes in length (the original video is more than 10 minutes and shows more projects).

    Here a more recent video about a hike around Alpsee ( 7 minutes in length).

    Location of Alpsee on Google Maps.

    (Continue here =>) We will see the many swans, symbols of the village and the castle

    © Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Castle Interiors

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Aug 20, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I would like to make several tips about all the beautiful halls of the castle. But photo and video are banned inside.
    The tour of the king's residence begins with the Servants Rooms on the first upper floor.
    A spiral staircase on the north side leads straight into the Lower Hall on the third floor - the second floor never having been completed.

    There is access to the Byzantine Throne Room through a portal on the right. On the left is the king's apartment, which is primarily Romanesque in style. An Anteroom leads into the Dining Room. This is followed by the Bedroom and the Oratory, both in the Gothic style.

    The Salon, which is entered from the Dressing Room, is in two parts and is the largest room in the apartment. The next room, the romantic Grotto, comes as something of a surprise. Branching off from this is a Conservatory. The king's study and an adjutant's room end the tour of the third floor.

    The tour continues up the spiral staircase to the fourth floor. A Hall and the so-called Tribune Passage lead to the largest and most important room in the castle, the Singers' Hall.

    Official websights Neuschwanstein Castle and Neuschwanstein

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    The roaring and rushing Pöllat River & gorge

    by Trekki Updated Aug 3, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    After all the hustle and bustle inside and outside of Neuschwanstein Castle I desperately needed a break from the crowds. Since I wanted some exercise too I had two options to get back to my car: the direct hike down the hill or the one through Pöllatschlucht. Since I already heard the sounds of Pöllat River when I stood on Marienbrücke and since I love roaring rushing rivers and their gorges, my decision was easy.

    In retrospective it was the best I could do. After having finally seen the castle and its interior, the location, my thoughts about the king, his possible motivations, ideas, visions and values were whirling in my brain. I needed to be alone and sort out my thoughts and especially feel ashamed about my previous perception of the castle as tourist trap. Walking through the gorge which becomes narrower as the path continues, and listening to the sounds of the river was very calming and almost soothing. And this was also the moment when I finally had this feeling of freedom and assurance that I had liberated myself from 24 years of working in “management” and that I am free now for my new and exciting life. Thank you nature, thank you Pöllat River for having cut that gorge and thank you Ludwig II for having chosen this location.

    On the less dreamy side: the hike back to Hohenschwangau’s parking via Pöllat Gorge is signed with 35 minutes and is approx. 2-3 km in length. It is an easy hike, leads along the river, passes a field with more than maybe 100 cairns. A bit further down the river, where the gorge becomes narrower, the path leads across iron gratings mounted on the rocks. These are not good for people with fear of heights because one can see the gargling water beneath. For people with kids: make sure to grab their hands because one wrong step and they are falling into the water – the railing is not really protective. At the end of the path through the gorge wooden water channels try to tame the river, remains of the former sawmill Gipsmühle nearby. From this former sawmill the path now leads southwestward (to the left) and after some 20 minutes the parking areal comes into sight.

    Some words of warning though:
    The gorge is closed in winter, locked by a gate at the downhill end of the gorge. It seems that not every hiker is responsible enough to use the typical security measures during winter weather. Wear shoes with a grip and ankle protection. Leave these Manolos at home (or however these strange modern torture things are being called). And make sure not to bring baby buggies on this hike. I have read that a female hiker was badly injured in 2006 because she wanted to make room for a family with baby buggy. How ridiculous is this idea to walk up or down here with a buggy???

    For more photos of the gorge, see here:
    during late autumn
    in winter with snow and ice

    Location of Pöllatschlucht on Google Maps.

    (Continue here =>) Note the many cairns on the bottom of the gorge.

    © Ingrid D., July 2013 (so please do not copy my text or photos without my permission).

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Schloss Neuschwanstein Things to Do

Trekki's Profile Photo

Surely Neuschwanstein Castle is the most striking sight - but go and visit the Museum of Bavarian Kings first:

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