Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds. Neuschwanstein Castle was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 61 million people have visited the castle.
History of Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and a tribute to the composer Richard Wagner. Construction of the castle began in 1869 and was completed in 1886. The castle was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, and was based on the character of Lohengrin, the Swan Knight from Wagner’s opera.
The castle is an example of Romanesque Revival architecture, with distinctive features such as turrets, balconies, arches, and an elaborate façade. Inside the castle, there are rooms decorated in the Gothic, Rococo, and Byzantine styles. The interior of the castle includes a throne room, a grotto, an opera house, and a hall of mirrors.
Neuschwanstein Castle has become a major tourist destination in Bavaria, and is one of the most popular castles in Europe. The castle is also a symbol of romanticism and idealism, and has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and works of literature.
Neuschwanstein Castle has a number of features that make it unique, such as:
- Marienbrücke: A bridge built in 1866, that provides a panoramic view of the castle and the surrounding landscape.
- Hohenschwangau Castle: Ludwig’s childhood home, which is located just a few hundred meters from Neuschwanstein.
- Schloss Hohenschwangau: A nearby palace that was also built by Ludwig II, and is open to visitors.
- Neuschwanstein Village: A small village at the base of the castle that houses a number of souvenir shops and restaurants.
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is open to visitors year-round, and is accessible by car, train, or bus. The castle can be visited on a guided tour, or independently. Visitors should note that due to the popularity of the castle, tickets are often booked in advance and lines can be long.
- Adults: €12
- Children: €6
- Family Ticket: €30