NEUSCHWANSTEIN - THE FAIRYTALE CASTLE WHERE THE KING SLEPT ONLY 11 NIGHTS

Neuschwanstein is something special. According to my favorite site www.germany.travel, it is in first or second place (depends on the year) on the ladder of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany.

neuschwanstein

It is an amazing castle and it is a terrific story of the Bavarian King Ludwig II. It is truly worth reading the life story of this man. He loved the Bavarian Alps, he loved music, especially Richard Wagner's work, he loved historical architecture, and he cared for almost nothing else including politics. Due this fact, he had problems with the government and parliament. These problems culminated when the king suggested to buy new land somewhere in South America instead of Bavaria. Then he was declared mentally ill.
The castle Neuschwanstein is his masterpiece. This castle looks medieval, but it was built at the end of the 19th century. But he did not spend a long time in this castle. In the end, Ludwig II only slept 11 nights in the castle!

neuschwanstein building

There are many more interesting facts. It is quite useful and interesting to read more about the castle and the king. You can find a few links below.
 
We planned our trip for a few days and Neuschwanstein was the highlight. This castle is located in the south of Germany close to the town Füssen, amid many lakes and outlooks where you can admire a fantastic panorama of the Alps.
We liked the Bavarian Alps when we stayed there in 2012, but we did not manage to organize a trip to this castle. This time we chose the same guest house and we booked the castle tickets in advance. That was very helpful advice from one of my colleagues, which we really appreciated.
 
When we arrived, we saw crowds of people, huge numbers of cars and buses, and a very long queue of people waiting for tickets.
And thanks to our reservations, we could bypass them and pick the tickets up at a special counter.
I guess we saved at least one hour of time.

neuschwanstein
Then we began walking up towards the castle. It is quite a pleasant stroll approximately 1.5 km long.
In front of the castle, there were also crowds of waiting people. Due the fact that tickets were sold for specific times, and thanks the perfect organization, everything was going smoothly.
At the appointed time we went through several gates and checks, and we found ourselves inside. Our feeling had changed completely. The castle from the outside affected us spectacularly and magnificently. But when we stepped inside, we felt differently - a bit cramped. There were dark colors on the walls and very small windows. My wife noted: no wonder, that Ludwig was declared mentally ill. If anyone visited these spaces, it must have been clear to him that they were created by somebody insane.
The contrast between inside and outside could not be greater. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside. However, it is necessary to say, it is truly worth seeing. I guess there are not too many similar buildings.
The palace would have had more than 200 interior rooms, including accommodations for guests and servants. Ultimately, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were finished.
The king's rooms are situated in the upper stories; a main part of the guided tour went through that area. Visitors can see both the official halls and the private rooms. Each room looks different: they are a mix of different historical styles. Many rooms in the castle were inspired by Richard Wagner, but he never ever visited the castle.
After the tour we went to the surroundings and took several impressive photos. It should be acknowledged, that King Ludwig II made a great choice for the location of this building.

hohenschwangau

Next to the lower part of this area is the Alpsee, a great opportunity to swim in the wonderful scenery of Alps and see the other amazing castle, Hohenschwangau. It is located directly above the Alpsee. The castle looks pretty good, but in comparison with Neuschwanstein, it is quite mediocre. We did not visit it because we were full of experiences, and Hohenschwangau could not surpass Neuschwanstein. Maybe sometime later.

bavaria neuschwanstein

The only problem with this destination is the huge number of tourists. It is not usual in Germany. When we visited other famous destinations, we did not meet many tourists from other countries; this is an exception.
To sum up: this is must-see landmark for all families, all people who like nature, history, and who love powerful stories. There are also other castles of Ludwig II in Bavaria, e. g. Linderhof or Herrenchiemsee. The first one we already visited and I am going to write a post about it in March.
 
 
Some interesting facts:
• More than 1.3 million people visit the castle annually
• the palace has appeared in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle
• the palace was intended as a personal refuge for the king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886
• the construction started in 1868 & completed in 1892
• Neuschwannstein means New Swan Stone. This name is inspired after an opera character written by Richard Wagner.
 

Links:
Story of Ludwig II.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_II_of_Bavaria
http://www.neuschwanstein.de/englisch/ludwig/biography.htm
http://www.german-way.com/notable-people/featured-bios/king-ludwig-ii/
Neuschwanstein castle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle