Neuschwanstein – Bavarian Fairy Tale Castle

Penny W-TStarred Page By Penny W-T, 3rd Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Germany>Bavaria

I watched a beautiful programme on TV last night about the fairy tale castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and it reminded me of a memorable visit I made some years ago. So “if you come down to the woods today” you can join me on a trip through fairy land forests and discover a castle . . . .

Where is this Castle?

Bavaria is a very scenic part of southern Germany, with Munich as one of its main cities, a city surrounded by mountains and offering a wealth of places to explore. On my visit, the most outstanding place for me was a trip out into the countryside to see, what, at the time, was not a well exploited “place to visit”.
After a pleasant coach drive through the countryside we were confronted with a large forested area – and when raising our eyes heaven-ward were left utterly speechless by the gleaming white vision of what can only be described as a fairy-tale castle.

Scenic Location both inside and out

This beautiful building, perching so precariously on the top of a mountain must have been a building nightmare for both the architects and the construction teams that worked on it. Ludwig was apparently entranced by the music of Richard Wagner and its depictions of the local legends, and Neuschwanstein was built, almost like a stage set, for musical events. The inner rooms are decorated with rich illustrations of Wagner’s musical masterpieces.

Concept and Design

Neuschwanstein was originally built as a retreat for the rather reclusive Ludwig II and he paid for its construction from his private fortune. He intended to live there alone (one assumes with the appropriate ‘below stairs’ staffing), but when you visit this palace its sheer enormity makes you almost shudder at the thought of living there alone. Sadly Ludwig did not live to see his castle completed, he died in 1886 by drowning (speculation that he committed suicide – but that spoils the illusion of this troubled but gifted designer of such beauty). At this point his beautiful castle was opened to the public and to date, over 1.4 million visitors a year pass through its gates, with a figure of over 60 million people having experienced the magical effect of this building.

Exploring inspiration

At the time of my visit, the coach parked at the base of the hill, and a long country lane rose upwards towards the building. You arrive rather breathless at the main gateway that leads you into the courtyard of this intriguing building. There is an air of mystery, and magic almost, to the castle, and it inspired Walt Disney to use its concept for his Sleeping Beauty castles that are the signature buildings in all his theme parks world wide, and was used as a film set for the family film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Feel the Atmosphere

Of course these tourism trips are nowhere near long enough to explore the place, but it gives you a ‘taster’ insight into the mind set of this man who spent his life and his money creating this masterpiece.
Wander around the rooms and marvel at the interior designing and opulent furnishings and then ultimately feel sad that this man never lived long enough to enjoy the comfortable retreat that he so desperately sought.

Explore further?

Visit the following websites to learn more about the history and beauty of this castle.
www.neuschwansteincastle.net
www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/palace
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle

Tags

Bavaria, Castles, Fairy Tale Buildings, Neuschwanstein, Travel Options

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

how fortunate you are to have been to such a fabulous place Penny and the pics are breathtaking...many thanks for this share...

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author avatar Penny W-T
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you CNW. It is a most awe inspiring place and worth more than one visit to be honest. It is very over indulgent but at least it was his own money to fulfil his own dream.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

The interior is almost over decorated, but it looks to be a magnificent building.

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author avatar Penny W-T
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

Oh it is over decorated Eileen, very very elaborate and rich. Really too beautiful to actually be lived in.

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author avatar Mike Robbers
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

Great article, Penny! Most beautiful scenery and wonderful castles.

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author avatar Penny W-T
3rd Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you for your comment Mike. The scenery is spectacular and just the right setting for a fairytale castle.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Cool!

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author avatar Penny W-T
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Yes, Phyl, it really is amazing. I wouldn't want the heating bills though, if it was lived in !

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author avatar Carol
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Oh this place looks beautiful, thanks for sharing Penny.

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author avatar Penny W-T
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Yes Carol, it really is beautiful. Amazing design concept and the furnishings are very opulent!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
4th Jul 2013 (#)

Penny how extraordinarily beautiful!... the setting as much as the wonder of the castle...thank you for sharing it with us...:0)

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author avatar Penny W-T
4th Jul 2013 (#)

It is an amazing place. I made this visit some years before I went to California to visit Disneyland so I recognised the castle there from this blueprint !

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