Neuschwanstein Castle Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most frequently photographed sights and one of the most visited destinations in Germany. Known all over the world as a symbol of idealised romantic architecture and for the tragic story of its owner, Neuschwanstein Castle looks like a fairytale castle.
It is located near the town of Fussen in the Bavarian Alps, on the top of a hill, in a magnificent landscape.  The castle overlooks the Hohenschwangau valley and has a fairytale position. Every visitor is simply amazed by the extremely beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
Neuschwanstein what literally means New Swan Castle, was the ambitious project of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the Fairytale King or the Swan King and it was built built between the years 1869 and 1886. It is considered to be King Ludwig's most famous castle. Built in a time when castles no longer had strategical and defensive purposes, the castle only looks like a medieval castle, but it was equiped inside with state of the art technology at that time. 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.

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Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the style of the late romanesque period of the early 13th century. This style is obvious in the construction of the building as a whole as well in its ornamentation: the round arched portals, the arcade windows and towers, the position of columns and its bay windows and pinnacles. The interior styles of many rooms in the castle were inspired by Wagner's characters. We should note that King Ludwig was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the world - renowned composer and the castle was built in his honor.
Only 14 rooms were finished before Ludiwg II's sudden death in 1886, these rooms were majestically decorated; each of them shows astonishing craftsmanship and richness of detail. The most spectacular are:
  • Throne-Room - was designed in elaborate Byzantine style by Eduard Ille and Julius Hofmann. The 2-story Throne Room with its series of pillars of imitation porphyry and lapis lazuli, was completed in the year of the king's death. Set in half-domed, golden alcove, the throne platform is approached by a flight of white marble steps. The throne itself was never made. The platform is flanked by paintings of the 12 Apostles, behind the platform is a pattern of golden lions, the symbol of Bavaria.
  • Bedroom - is carved in the Neo-Gothic style. It is said that 14 woodcarvers have worked for almost 5 years to create this room. The bed is covered with richly embroidered draperies. The wall paintings illustrate the Tristan and Isolde story - an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner.
  • Dining Room – was designed by Julius Hofmann and decorated with paintings by Ferdinand von Piloty and Josef Aigner. They present figures from the Minnesinger period and scenes from the Wartburg Castle at the time of the legendary Song Contest in 1207. Over the door to the right is Wolfram von Eschenbach. The table sculpture - a gift from Munich artists to Ludwig II - has over 1 meter high and shows Siegfried fighting the dragon.
  • Chapel - is dedicated to Louis IX of France (St. Louis). The richly carved winged-altar is set into the decorated wall. The altar paintings show scenes from the life of St. Louis, while the stained glass windows to the right show St. Louis receiving the last sacraments.
  • Living Room - is decorated with a extension chamber Swan's Corner, it is dedicated to the legend of the Swan Knight Lohengrin - a romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner. The Large murals by Hauschild and von Heckel depict The Miracle of the Grail and The Arrival of Lohengrin in Antwerp.
  • Grotto and Winter Garden – is an artificial stalactite cavern built. The landscape sculptor, Dirrigl from Munich built this grotto out of oakum and plaster-of-Paris; it has an artificial waterfall which is very effective with its illumination from above. Immediately to the right, after the Living Room visitors will find the Winter Garden which is closed off by means of a glass door. The fountain in the Winter Garden was originally intended for the second floor to grace a Moorish hall; because of the ceasing of the building works - the Moorish hall wasn’t built and the fountain was placed in the Winter Garden.
  • Singer's Hall - occupies the entire 4th floor of the castle and was designed by Julius Hofmann. The murals in the hall and in the corridor depict scenes from the Parzival saga of the middle-ages, which were incorporated by Wagner in his Sacred Festival-Drama Parsifal.
Neuschwanstein's outside is as beautiful as its interior. It has an artificial cave and a very beautiful inner garden surrounded by a walled courtyard. Shouldn't be missed the Marienbrücke (Mary’s Bridge), a bridge which spans the Pöllat Gorge. It was from this bridge that King Ludwig II admired his fairytale castle. The gorge with its steep rocky walls are older than the castle. They have been discovered as a place of beauty during Maximillan II’ - father of Ludwig II.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria build this castle to express his idea of being a king, but his death came unexpectedly, so that he only got to spend 170 days in his perfect fantasy palace. Neuschwanstein castle inspired Walt Disney to create the Magic Kingdom. Today, it 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 gates, be one of them because this castle is definitely one of the most charming castles you should visit!
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