Neuschwanstein Castle: where is it, how to get there, description, history, photos

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Neuschwanstein Castle: where is it, how to get there, description, history, photos
Neuschwanstein Castle: where is it, how to get there, description, history, photos
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One of the most famous castles in world architecture is the Bavarian Neuschwanstein. According to legend, it was he who became the prototype of the castle, which is drawn on the screensaver of the W alt Disney cartoon company. The unusual and tragic fate of the Bavarian king Ludwig II is inextricably linked with this building. But the fate of the castle itself is quite happy. Let's talk about the history of this architectural gem. And also about where Neuschwanstein Castle is located and how best to get there.

neuschwanstein castle germany

Life of Ludwig II

The story of Neuschwanstein is impossible without a story about the life of Ludwig 2, the Bavarian king, who was the customer and ideological father of this building. The future king was born on August 25, 1845. His father was Maximilian II of the Wittelsbach dynasty. The boy's childhood passed in the family castleHohenschwangau on a hill above the village of Schwangau. This locality is always listed as the location of Neuschwanstein Castle. However, the castles do not formally belong to the village, as they are located at some distance.

Ludwig grew up as a romantic young man, passionate about various arts, and was far from politics and government. But the sudden death of his father forced him to ascend the Bavarian throne at the age of 18. From the very beginning of his reign, Ludwig II made culture his priority. He wanted to make the life of his people beautiful from an aesthetic point of view. He basically handed over the administration of the state to his ministers, who diligently pushed him out of business, because Ludwig's ideas were very eccentric. For the huge expenditure of money from the state treasury for the implementation of his architectural ideas, Ludwig was declared crazy. He retired to Berg Castle and very soon, under unclear circumstances, drowned in a lake near the castle. Thus ended the life of the king-dreamer, but his creations live on and bring serious income to Bavaria.

neuschwanstein castle history

Ludwig's Dreams

From childhood, Ludwig was fascinated by the legends of King Arthur and the knights Parsifal and Lohengrin. He was a very poetic youth. And when he ascended the throne, he decided to bring his favorite legends to life. In addition to stories about knights, he was passionately fond of Wagner's music, and therefore the story of Neuschwanstein Castle is an attempt to combine the beautiful fairy tale of the Swan Castle with the melody of the composer who had to settle there in order to write music and, together with Ludwig, play music andlisten to great writing. Even Ludwig dreamed of creating a kingdom of beauty in his country. Therefore, he began the construction of several magnificent residences, in which he hoped to find the desired solitude in order to enjoy the beauty of nature and architecture, listen to music and read poetry. These dreams turned out to be very ruinous for the treasury and brought Ludwig a tragic end..

view from schwangau

Castle concept

The castle was conceived as a swan and a knight, and these themes determined its internal and external appearance. Ludwig in all his buildings proceeded from a single concept, which included the landscape, as well as architectural and interior solutions. The theme of swans has become a defining theme for Neuschwanstein, it is realized in every detail, up to the design of door handles in the form of the heads of these beautiful birds and patterns on fabrics. Based on the location of Neuschwanstein Castle, its topography and history, the king thought over architectural and interior solutions.

where is neuschwanstein castle

Choice of building site

When Ludwig came up with the concept of the future building, then the place where the Neuschwanstein Castle was located was chosen. Once there was a castle of his ancestors, and he bore the name of Schwangau - swan. Therefore, Ludwig called the building he built New Schwangau. The name Neuschwanstein appeared after his death. It is located on a high cliff overlooking the beautiful Swan Lake. The place is sublime in every way. It is located at an altitude of 1008 meters. The cliff offers exceptional views of the surroundings, and the castle itselfThe background of the mountains looks very impressive. Like all buildings of Ludwig, Neuschwanstein is perfectly inscribed in the landscape. This location also made it possible to set up a large park around the castle with fountains and pavilions in the spirit of the chosen concept.

castle ludwig bavaria

Architecture and construction of the castle

Ludwig wanted the new building to embody medieval traditions, reflect his royal power and aesthetic ideals. He set out to create an ideal of beauty. This is how Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany) appeared. Photos of this building still fascinate and delight. This soaring building, as it were, nestled on the edge of an abyss. Very often, the castle is shrouded in fog, which is not uncommon in Bavaria. And this creates an additional romantic effect of the building.

The architectural design of the castle was created by a theater artist. But Ludwig was so deeply immersed in the development of the project that we can say that this is his personal creation. The structure of the castle repeated medieval buildings. The center of the composition is the throne room, and two wings for different purposes depart from it. The first is the entrance to the castle and public spaces. The second is the house of the knights. The architecture of the castle mixed different styles and time periods, which was the spirit of that time, because the modern era was coming.

The foundation stone of the castle was laid in 1869. Construction progressed slowly due to the king's requirement to use only special materials, as well as serious financial difficulties. The initial estimate suggested the cost of the project at 3.2 million marks. By the time of deathThe monarch had already spent seven million on the castle. During the life of Ludwig, several rooms were built: the gate, the private quarters of the king, part of the rooms on the second floor. In 1884, he decides to move to an unfinished castle. And a year later he dies, and work stops.

neuschwanstein castle interior

But after 6 weeks, the regent decides to open the castle to the public in order to somehow cover the costs. Also, some rooms are being completed later. But the full plan of Ludwig was never realized. The castle did not have a 90-meter tower with a church, the knight's hall was not completed, the park was not equipped, as the king dreamed. Work was stopped in 1886. And already in 1899, the debts for the construction were fully repaid. Today, Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited attractions in the world and brings a solid income to the treasury of Bavaria.

neuschwanstein castle germany photo

Castle interiors

The interior of Neuschwanstein corresponds to his concept, everything here is an illustration of Wagner's operas. The interiors are made in the style of Byzantine satiated luxury. Every corner of the castle is a work of art. From the ceiling and wall paintings to the incredible carved headboard above the king's bed. The interiors of the castle are thought out in such a way that the views from the windows of the Alps and the lake become, as it were, a backdrop for this beauty.

Today, an excursion to Neuschwanstein Castle allows you to see the main premises and admire its luxury and scale of design. The most incredible thing about it isthrone room. Even despite the fact that it was not completed, it makes a grandiose impression. Paintings on the walls and ceiling, huge chandeliers, carved furniture - everything was created specifically for the hall and in its ideological concept.

Tours to Neuschwanstein

Often the motive for a trip to Bavaria is precisely the desire to see Ludwig's castles. Many sightseeing tours to Germany are built around visiting these amazing buildings, and first of all Neuschwanstein. From Munich you can get to the castle with a tour. Many tour agencies sell them. The convenience of such tours is that there is no need to stand in line, which is always very long.

Excursions to the castle are the same for everyone. This is an organized movement of a group following a guide from hall to hall. You can not linger, take pictures too. The tour lasts about 45 minutes, which is very short to see such a magnificent building.

How to get there

Is it possible to visit Neuschwanstein Castle without a tour? How to get there from Munich on your own? These are the most common questions tourists ask. It is possible, and very easy. From Munich by train or bus you need to get to the small town of Füssen. Buses to Schwangau depart directly from the station square, you can also take a taxi. And there, within walking distance of the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, as well as the Alpsee lake. From Schwangau to the castle you need to go uphill, the journey will take about 20-30 minutes along a beautiful forest road. Those who wish can make this journey on a horse-drawn carriage.

Practical information

Visit the castleIt is advisable to plan in advance so as not to waste time in vain. A ticket costing about 12 euros can be bought on the website. Then you need to print it at the checkout. Tickets for sessions, being late does not allow you to go with another group. To save money, you can use complex subscriptions to visit various Bavarian castles. There are also family tickets.

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