Few places on earth are more like a picture book than Neuschwanstein Castle. With towers, turrets, frescoes and throne room, Neuschwanstein seems torn from your favorite fairy tale. The story behind this Bavarian Alps located above the rooftops is less idyllic.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria gave 1868 the Kloppenburg in order, only two years, after Austria and Bavaria had been conquered by Prussia in the Austro-Prussian war. He retreated quickly into a private fantasy world and surrounded himself with opulent castles, where he could live out his dream of a true, sovereign king. Here are 10 Facts about Neuschwanstein Castle in the World:
Where is Neuschwanstein Castle?
Neuschwanstein Castle, literally translated New Swan Stone Castle, is located in Bavaria, Germany. Originally it was called New Castle Hohenschwangau, as it should be a great renovation of the castle Hohenschwangau, in which Ludwig II spent his childhood. The older castle Hohenschwangau is now in the beautiful shade of Neuschwanstein.
His modern name, which is believed to refer to Wagner’s figure Swan Night, was only acquired after the death of Ludwig II. Travelers visiting Neuschwanstein Castle must travel to Hohenschwangau, where the ticket center is located.
When was Neuschwanstein built?
The foundation stone was laid in the summer of 1868 with the construction of Neuschwanstein, but the first foundation stone was laid on 5 September 1869. Until 1873 parts of the castle of Ludwig II could be occupied, although he had never experienced his full vision. The Bower and Square towers were completed in 1892: work on the castle began nearly a quarter of a century, and many years after the death of Louis II, the castle was opened to the public.
According to plans, the castle should have more than 200 rooms. Slightly more than a dozen were completed before funding for the project was cut. It is estimated that the total area is about 65,000 square meters.
Why was Neuschwanstein built?
Ludwig II is known as an eccentric, withdrawn king, which is why Neuschwanstein is so often referred to as the “castle of the fairy tale king”. In a letter to his friend, the German composer Richard Wagner, Ludwig II has explained his intentions Neuschwanstein should “rebuild the old castle ruin Hohenschwangau … in the authentic style of the old German knight castles”.
He described “guest rooms with a wonderful view of the noble Sailing, the Tyrolean Mountains and far across the plain” and spoke of a singer’s hall and a spacious courtyard. “This castle will be more beautiful and habitable than Hohenschwangau in every respect,” said Ludwig II to Wagner.
The special life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria:
Before King Ludwig II found a servant in Bavaria from Prussia, he had a very pleasant childhood at Hohenschwangau Castle. His parents noted a propensity for acting (a predilection that would only deepen in later years), and he loved the musical dramas of the great composer Richard Wagner.
Already at the age of 18 Ludwig II became King of Bavaria. But he would rule only two years before Bavaria’s foreign policy and military power were seized by Prussia.
When is the best time to travel?
Whether flanked by snow-capped peaks or radiantly white in the summer sun, a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is not a bad time. With around 6,000 tourists pouring through the city walls each day, visitors might want to avoid the high summer months of July and August.
To avoid long queues, you should reach the Ticket center Hohenschwangau very early or in the afternoon at 3:00 o’clock, when the crowd wears off. If possible, plan your Neuschwanstein Castle tour on a weekend or schedule your visit in the off-season. Except on public holidays, the number of visits to Neuschwanstein drops significantly between November and April.
Visit of the castle Neuschwanstein in autumn:
A strong argument could be to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in autumn, when the Bavarian Alps are changed by autumn foliage, the temperatures are mild, the sky is relatively clear and the summer masses have dissolved. Travelers planning a visit to Neuschwanstein in the fall should get involved in the 16-day Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, which is usually between September and October. Munich is a popular starting point for travelers visiting Neuschwanstein and other beautiful German castles.
Visit of the castle Neuschwanstein in winter:
A snow-capped Neuschwanstein is the traveler’s dream, but it can be difficult to visit the castle at this time of the year. One of the best vantage points – Marienbrücke is usually closed in winter and temperatures can fall below freezing.
Neuschwanstein Castle in summer:
Casual weather, school holidays and extended hours make Neuschwanstein Castle a particularly popular summer attraction. However, visitors should be prepared for long queues and heavy crowds in the main months (July and August).
Inside the Castle:
Despite Ludwig’s great plans, only 14 rooms are currently completed – and visible to visitors. During the guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle, you will have access to the cave-like grotto, the king’s bedroom and Singer’s Hall.
Exterior of the Castle:
One of the highlights outside the castle walls is the Marine Bridge, the bridge that hangs over a waterfall and offers the most famous views of Neuschwanstein. After your tour you should definitely explore the wood paths around the castle, which offer countless opportunities to admire the surrounding Bavarian Alps.