Alone, but not in the dark
Visiting Neuschwanstein is a unique experience. This medieval-inspired castle is very different than Herrenchiemsee or Linderhof. The Neo-Gothic design was based on the Castle Wartburg. An 11th-century castle in Thüringen, near the city Eisenach northwest of the Thüringer forest.
The most famous of Ludwig’s castles is Neuschwanstein. A fortress with fairy-tale-like towers – the very same castle that also inspired the Disneyland Castle.
It poses above the childhood home of Ludwig, on an alpine crag. Ludwig himself oversaw and approved every detail of the architecture, decorations, and furnishings. Notably, the laying of the cornerstone in 1869, was also overseen by Ludwig.
The palace would have had more than 200 rooms and halls, but only 15 were completed before Ludwig‘s unexpected and sudden death, which was announced a suicide but is clouded in mystery and conspiracies.
Just a short dream
At the time of the King’s death, he only ever spent 172 days in Neuschwanstein. The decision to complete the castle in a simpler variant was necessary. King Ludwig decided this himself.
Partially completed are the external structures from Palas and Gatehouse. The rectangular Tower was still covered in scaffolding.
In 1892, the plans for the Bower got simpler. The Bower has now a more simple style. For example, the planned figures of female saints were left unconsidered.
The palace complex, a keep of 90 meters (300 ft) high, planned in the upper courtyard was unfinished. Furthermore, the connecting wing of the Gatehouse and Bower was not realized.
In 1886, the interior royal living space was mostly completed, however, the corridors and lobbies had been repainted in a matching style in 1888.
Even though many other areas of the castle had been simplified or not completed.
The continuation of the construction from the castle was after the death of Ludwig never planned.
This led to numerous rooms not having any utilization concept.
The King’s intention was not to make the palace accessible to the public. Prince Regent Luitpold, his uncle and follower, decided six weeks after Ludwig’s death, to open the palace for paying visitors.
The administrators of the late King’s estate managed to balance the debts caused by the construction in 1899. Then onwards up until World War 1, the Neuschwanstein castle was a stable and profitable source of income.
To this day, the palace attracts nearly 1.5 million tourists a day. In 1995, two of these were Terry and Kim Young.
Visiting the castle
Over 5.000 visitors are welcome in this castle daily.
Some rules when visiting the castles should be respected:
- No pictures inside the castle. Sincerely, the rooms are so dark, that doesn’t make any sense to break this rule and the postcards offered in the castle’s shop are far prettier than any picture you may do.
- Back-packs may cause accidents. If you want, you may use free of charges, the lockers nearby.
- Don’t throw garbage inside the castle. Bavarians are proud of the King and his heritage. If you don’t want to be blamed for a disrespectful act, don’t do it.
- Tickets are difficult to book. Better you ask for an agent or tour guide.