Neuschwanstein Castle is a "fairy tale
" castle located in the Bavaria
of southern Germany
. Construction began in 1869 at the request of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria
who was inspired by the Romanticism
of the early 19th century, and by the early medieval castle the Wartburg
. It is also said that Neuschwanstein became the inspiration for Walt Disney
's Cinderella Castle
or Sleeping Beauty Castle
(depending on the source). The financial resources of Bavaria were smaller than Ludwig's imagination, so construction stopped in 1886, the year Ludwig died, with only 15 of 228 planned rooms fully completed.
The castle is at an elevation of 3,165 feet, and covers and area of 63,884 square feet. The architecture of the castle is not limited to just one style: Roman, Baroque, Gothic and Byzantine styles are incorporated into the design.
Unlike many earlier castles, Neuschwanstein was equipped with many modern amenities including central heating, running water (including hot water) and a dumb waiter spanning three floors.
Mad King Ludwig was a lavish and eccentric decorator. His obsession with German composer Richard Wagner led him to decorate several rooms in ways that were representative of themes in Wagner's operas. Ludwig decorated his bedroom with Gothic style oak furnishings that took 14 craftsmen 4 years to complete. He also use bizarre lighting in several rooms that highlighted his eccentricities. In addition to Neuschwanstein, he built the castles Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee.
The castle is open to the public.
April–September: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday evening hours until 8:00 pm
October–March: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tours last about 35 minutes
Normal price: 7.00 Euro
Discount price: 6.00 Euro
There is only one road leading to Neuschwanstein, so be sure to get a map or ask for directions if you decide to visit. It is a very popular tourist destination, so expect crowds.