King Ludwig II loved knight tales
The most famous of Ludwig’ castles is the 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. At the time of the King’s death he only ever spent eleven nights in Neuschwanstein. With the castle still under construction, it was decided that the castle would be completed in a more simplified fashion. The external structures of the Palas and Gatehouse had been mostly finished, but the rectangular Tower was still covered in scaffolding. In 1892, the Bower, on which no construction had been started, was completed in a more simplicity style. For example, its planned figures of female saints, were left unconsidered. The palace complex, a keep of 90 metres (300 ft) high, planned in the upper courtyard was unfinished. Furthermore, the connecting wing of the Gatehouse and Bower was not realised. 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, after the death of Ludwig, shockingly a complete development of Neuschwanstein was never planned. This led to numerous rooms not having any utilisation concept.
The King’s intention was not to make the palace accessible to the public. Yet, no more than six weeks after Ludwig’s death, the regent Lutipold ordered the palace should be opened to paying visitors. By 1899, the administrators of the late King’s estate managed to balance the debts which were caused by the construction. 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.