Neuschwanstein in Bavaria is a castle in Hohenschwangau near Füssen in the Allgäu, built in the second half of the 19th century by (the later declared insane) or Louis King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It is the most famous building of Louis II and with some 1.3 million visitors a year, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany. Construction was started in 1869 by Ludwig and his intention was to establish a medieval knight lock. The design of the castle was made by the theater architect and stage designer Christian Jank and implementation were Eduard Riedel and Georg von Dollmann responsible. The work on the castle were shut down immediately upon the death of Louis in 1886.
The castle was originally called the Neue Burg Hohenschwangau, it got its present name in 1886 after the death of Louis. The first name went back to the castle of the lords of Schwangau who was in the same place. The medieval castle Schwanstein stood on the site of the present Hohenschwangau.
Ironically, the castle, which was built for a single occupant, six weeks after the death of Louis II open for visitors, and since then it has become a European attraction. Tourists can walk up or (as the king) is carried by carriage to show up. That one is often called a fairytale castle Neuschwanstein will have much to do with the fact that the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California is based on Neuschwanstein Castle. Walt Disney visited before building his first theme park began. Neuschwanstein itself
Between the mountains was slightly higher in 1850 the famous Marie bridge built by King Maximilian II, the father of Louis. From this building there is a beautiful view of the castle.
Coming down from the marienbrucke we headed down to the town of Schwangau to catch our bus coming back to Munich, after our tour of the Neuschwanstein castle. The gorge is a nice sight, the road is well elaborated and a very leisure walk along stairs, trees around, as well as the long stream of water with several falls along the way.
There's like a terrace a bit down the castle where you can get a good shot of the castle plus a good view of the gorge below. Benches are also there to rest for awhile after a tiring walk to the castle grounds from the small town below.
You have to wait at the inside right after the entrance for your batch number to flash on the red electronic board. And when you see your batch number which is printed on your ticket, you pass over the turnstile.
The Marienbrucke is located over the Pollat Gorge and it's made up of steel. Lots of people go to the bridge as it offer the best view of the Neuschwanstein castle. There is a waterfalls below and few steps before the bridge, there's a stairs going down leading you to a very refreshing scenic walk down back to the Schwangau town. It's about half an hour walk back - of course you have to take in the sights around including several waterfalls and running streams. The Marienbrucke (Marian Bridge) is the last stop in our castle tour.
The theaterically designed castle is located on top of a hill in Schwangau. I joined the tour group from Radius Tour and we left the Munich Hauptbahnhof at around 10am, tour cost EUR35 including all the transport and a comic guide.
When you're in Munich, put this one in your agenda. Takes around 2 hours from Munich to Schwangau by trian/bus.
The castle holds a lot of interesting stories about the mysterious King Ludwig II, but it's available in wikipedia and around the internet so don't make me cut and paste the stories, read it.
Despite the slight discouragement of our guide to Rothenburg about this castle (not a medieval, it's a new 19th century castle, not the most beautiful castle in germany, blah blah), I still followed my instinct. Well, it was amazing notwithstanding the age of the castle.
By the way, photography is not allowed inside the castle - when there are truly breath-taking views of the interior and the articles inside.
The castle is one the most popular sights in Germany with over 60 million visitors since it opened to the public right after King Ludwig II died in 1886. See wikipedia for more stories.
Entrance to the castle is EUR9, which is in addition to our tour fee of EUR35.
The yellow castle below the Neuschwanstein castle is the Schloss Hohenschwagau, it also sits on top a lower hill and right in the main town area of Hohenschwagain beside the swan lake.
It is also the residence of King Ludwig II during his childhood years and built by his father - Bavarian King Maximillian II.
This castle is less popular than Neuschwanstein but if you're already in the area, it's quite interesting to visit.
Opening hours are 9am to 6pm April - September; 10am to 4pm October - March. Entry is EUR9
Probably the most famous castle in Germany, set against a fantastic backdrop of lakes and mountains, and steeped in the history of a tragic fairy tale King, you would be crazy to miss out on visiting this spectacular place.
A short walk away from the Royal Castles, you can find the mountain, Tegelberg. It has fantastic views from the top, and you can either walk up or take the Cablecar up. There is a restaurant at the top and the views over the Alps are amazing. You can watch the hang gliders and paragliders jump off the top, and if you wish, you can take a walk to the very very top of the mountain where there is a cross. It is quite a hairy walk in parts though, and after some way up, it is recommended that only experienced climbers continue.
The "fairytale castle" of King Ludwig II, with over 1 million visitors a year.
Kind Ludwig II commissioned the castle to be built in 1868. The solitary monarch's desire was to turn his friend Richard Wagner's operas into reality. The architectural plans were drawn up by Eduard Riedel, and building began in 1869. In 1874, George Dollmann took over the construction. The interior decoration was almost finished at the time of Ludwig II's death in 1886. The castle itself was not completed by Julius Hoffmann until 1892.
The monumental castle stands on a jagged cliff, towering 200 meters above the river valley. It was first open to the public on August 1, 1886 - hardly a month after Ludwig's demise.
There are two castles in the Schwangau area, Schloss Neuschwanstein, the most famous castle of "Mad King Ludwig II" which the Disney castle was modelled on. The other castle, Hohenschwangau was where Ludwig II's family lived and where he stayed when Neuschwanstein was being built. You can buy a ticket for a tour of both of the castles which gives you enough time to see each one. The road up to both castles are quite steep, but there are horses and carts you can take up for a small price. Hohenschwangau often gets overlooked, and it isnt quite as spectacular from the outside, but not going on the tour, you would definately be missing out!
The picture cycles of Neuschwanstein were inspired to Ludwig by the operas of Richard Wagner, to whom the king dedicated the castle. The pictures were not however directly modeled on Wagner's works, but on the medieval legends that the composer had also taken as the basis for his works.
The pictures on the walls of the castle deal with love and guilt, repentance and salvation. Kings and knights, poets and lovers people the rooms. There are three main figures: the poet Tannhauser, the swan knight Lohengrin and his father, the Grail King Parzival (Parsifal). These were Ludwig's models and kindred spirits.
Crown Prince Maximilian II of Bavaria, Ludwig II's father, had the ruined castle of Schwanstein rebuilt from 1832 in the "Gothic style".
Young Ludwig was influenced by the romantic mountain scenery and the summer castle became one of his favorite places to stay.
The only historical monument of note in Schwangau itself is the Baroque Wallfahrtskirche St Coloman, which is set in isolation in the meadows north of town. Dedicated to an eleventh-century Irish martyr, it was designed and decorated by Johann Schmutzer.
On the second Sunday of October, it's the setting for one of Germany's most picturesque and moving religious festivals, the Colomansfest . This features around three hundred horses and some beautifully decorated carriages, which process from the town centre to the surroundings of the church, where an open-air Mass is held. The horses are then ridden round the church three times for good luck, after which beer and food, the essential accompaniments to any Bavarian festival, are dispensed from the nearby tents.
Schwangau is home to two of Germany's best (and most popular) castles-Neuswanstein and Hohenschwangau. There really isn't much else to do in Schwangau but touring the castles. Neuswanstein is crowded-so go early in the morning. It's fabulous! The hike up the mountain is good for everyone's figure too! You'll love Neuswanstein. Be sure to visit the bridge across the gorge for one of the most beautiful views ever!
The castles of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria have without a doubt drawn countless numbers of visitors each year. But, of all the sights to be seen, Schloss Neuschwanstein, situated between the majesitc mountains Allgau region of Bavaria, can be prooud of attracting the greatest number of visitors. King Ludwig began building Neuschwanstein in 1868, it stands on a rugged rock, Tegelberg, at an altitude of over 6000 feet. With four lakes as its main scenery, it was intended to be a monument and also a retreat far removed from the Munich residence he detested. Unfortunately the king never got a chance to see his dream fully realized...he was found drowned in Lake Starnberg in 1886 with his doctor. How the two could've drowned in the shallow lake waters has never been settled.