The Neuschwanstein Castle, a Fairytale Castle

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The Neuschwanstein Castle really looks like a fairytale castle. Neuschwanstein is a castle of the paradox. It was built in the 19th century in Bavaria, in a time when castles no longer had strategical and defensive purposes.
While Neuschwanstein’s look is that of a medieval castle, it was equiped inside with state of the art technology at that time. For example on every floor of the castle there were toilets with automatic flushing system, as well as an air heating system for the whole castle. Water was supplied by a nearby spring situated at only 200 meters above the castle. Neuschwanstein’s positioning is also a fairytale one.

It is located in the Alps in Bavaria, Germany, in a magnificent landscape, on the top of a hill. Neuschwanstein overlooks the Hohenschwangau Valley. If you come to visit this castle, you will be amazed by the extremely beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
Also, Neuschwanstein lies very close to the town of Fussen, which is also a popular tourist destination in Germany. The construction of the Neuschwanstein castle began in 1869, and originally it was projected to last three year. But Ludwig II wanted the castle to be perfect, so the immense building was not finished even at Ludwig’s death in 1886.

Neuschwanstein Castle has a very beautiful inner garden surrounded by a walled courtyard. It even has an artificial cave. Neuschwanstein’s interior is as beautiful as its outside. Though only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig II’s sudden death in 1886, these rooms were majestically decorated. The two story throne room was designed in Byzantine style, with wall paintings depicting angels. Ironically, there is no throne in the Throne Room, as Ludwig died before it was completely finished. This fairytale look of the Neuschwanstein castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom. Today, Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle in Germany, and one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. Every year over 1.300.000 people crosses its gate.
Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely one of the most charming castles, and there are many interesting less known facts about it. Neuschwanstein Castle, built for King Ludwig II between 1869 and 1886 on a rugged cliff against a scenic mountain backdrop, was intended to “embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle”, as the king wrote in a letter to Richard Wagner. While the building itself replicates the 13th century Romanesque style, some of the images of the murals are based on themes from Wagnerian operas such as “Tannhäuser” and “Lohengrin“.
Neuschwanstein Castle, in Germany, is one of the greatest castles in Europe – and one of the world’s foremost tourist attractions.
Part theatre, part fairytale, Neuschwanstein Castle embodies the soul of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, popularly known as ‘mad King Ludwig’.Neuschwanstein was designed to be a hideaway for this reclusive king, as well as a palace evoking Medieval myth and fantasy. The story behind this fairytale castle is evocative in itself. King Ludwig was forced onto the throne before he was 20, and, in just two years, suffered a crushing military defeat which was a huge blow to Bavaria. The young King appeared to also have a rather troubled personality. So, rather than tackle his disappointments and failures head-on, he immersed himself a fantasy-world of building fairytale castles.

Neuschwanstein Castle, in Germany, is the ultimate result of his obsessions (or, some would say, his gathering insanity). It’s a phenomenal site, as the majestic exterior is more-than-matched by the decadent interior decor.
In 1867 Ludwig II visited the recently “rebuilt”. Wartburg. Here he was patricularly inspired by the Singers’ Hall, allegedly the location of the legendary “Singers’ Contest”. The Wartburg and its hall became the leitmotif of the “New Castle”. The architect Eduard Riedel also had to process ideas based on stage sets designed by the Munich scene painter Christian Jank. The castle was not built as rapidly as the king expected. The project was too comprehensive and the building site on the mountain presented difficulties. Set designers, architects and artisans implemented the king’s detailed ideas. The inconsiderate deadlines he set could sometimes only be met by working day and night.
The foundation stone of the “New Castle” was laid on 5 September 1869. The Gateway Building was constructed first, and Ludwig II lived here for a number of years. The topping-out ceremony for the Palas was not until 1880, and the king moved in in 1884.

When Ludwig II died in 1886, the “New Castle” was still not complete. Work stopped on the keep, the foundations of which can be seen in the “Upper Courtyard”. A simplified version of the “Kemenate” on the south side of the Upper Courtyard was completed in 1891. Evidentially, Neuschwanstein isn’t an authentic Medieval castle! Ground-work to build this limestone-clad, Romance Palace began in 1868. However, the dramatic rocky cliff-ledge on which Neuschwanstein stands was once the spot of two Medieval castles – and their remains were blown up to make way for Neuschwanstein.
The cliff-edge setting of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany, provides the jaw-dropping, Alpine backdrop which makes the site picture-perfect.

However, this cliff-top creates more than its fair share of headaches for modern maintenance-men. Natural erosion and weathering is destabilising the bedrock beneath the castle, a potential ecological time-bomb. This is being managed by netting the cliffs, and searching for engineering solutions. Oddly enough, too, Neuschwanstein is overlooked by another castle – Hohenschwangau. Hohenschwangau lives in the same valley as Neuschwanstein – albeit on the opposite side. The Hohenschwangau Castle which we can see today is also a mid-1800s palace, which was, again, built upon the remains of an old Medieval castle. However, more importantly, King Ludwig grew up in neighbouring Hohenschwangau castle.
This perhaps explains his adult fascination with Medieval folklore and history – he had been a real little prince, who had grown up in a real little castle. Indeed, in adult life, he maintained a bedroom in Hohenschwangau which was equipped with a telescope. From his spot, he could peer across the valley and watch Neuschwanstein Castle being built.