My sister always said that as a girl, you should love sleeping beauty, I used to laugh and i always said, why would you love sleeping beauty when you could be alladin? Well, I stand corrected. Neuschwanstein Castle, that served as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle(Magic Kingdom) has left me in awe. This architectural marvel is situated in the state of Bavaria in Germany. This fairy tale palace attracts a large number of visitors every year. It was built by the Bavarian King, Ludwig II as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner.
“It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day [...]; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world. It will also remind you of “Tannhäuser” (Singers’ Hall with a view of the castle in the background), “Lohengrin’” (castle courtyard, open corridor, path to the chapel) [...].”
— Ludwig II, Letter to Richard Wagner, May 1868[
It is also said that the king built paid for the palace from his own pocket and by extensive borrowing, he never used the Bavarian Public Fund. The location is one of its kind and due to that, the palace needs constant monitoring. It is the most visited castle in Germany.The Neuschwanstein castle is known all over the world as a symbol of romantic architecture and the tragedy associated with the owner. This castle is one of the most photographed sights in Germany.
ABOUT THE PALACE
The Neuschwanstein Castle is know as the castle of paradox. The palace was built in one of the most beautiful locations in the Alps in Bavaria, Germany on the top of a hill. This It was built when castles were no longer built for strategical or defensive purposes. The construction of this castle had begun in the summer of 1868, almost 8 metres of stone outcrop had to be removed to lay the foundation stone. The foundation was laid with cement and light-coloured limestone bricks were used as cladding. The architectural style is very unique and relates to the romanesque style. Towers of almost 150 metres high were built over a cliff. The castle is also furnished with numerous ornamental turrets, gables, balconies, pinnacles and sculptures. The place of construction was unique and this palace remains to be an architectural milestone. This palace was actually like a dream land for the King. He built this not for royal representation but was built for retreat. Hence, the walls of the palace told stories of love, guilt,repentance and salvation. The palace was a walk through the poetic world of the middle ages. The extravagant decorations are glaring in gold and blue and are very attractive.
The castle might look medieval but the techniques and ideas used were modern and complete comfort was ensured.It is very beautifully constructed, has a garden and an artificial cave. royal palace had all the comforts. Running water used to be available on all the floors, the rooms of the royal residence had provisions of central heating, the kitchen was supplied with both hot and cold water, the toilets had automatic flushing systems, in order to prevent the servants from walking upstairs to get the food to the king, a lift was made too. The king also used an electric bell system to call his servants and there were about 11 telephones situated in the top floor. Not only were the modern techniques used for the interiors but also were used in the construction itself. Cranes were used for construction of the exterior and the courtroom was assimilated by means of a steel construction. The most striking feature is the windows. Such huge windows were made that it was unusual even during the king, Ludwig II’s time.
The throne room was a two storey with pillars and was completed in the year 1886 when the King died. The fourth floor which was the singer’s hall was beautifully made and is similar to the Minstrel’s Hall of the Wartburg Castle. In contrast to the other rooms, the bedroom was built in the neo-gothic style, It is said the 14 wood-carvers worked for for and half years to complete this room.
The king’s bed is covered with the most intricate woodwork and exquisitely embroidered drapes. The main attraction is the kitchen, it is supported by two massive pillar
How to reach this place?
The Neuschwanstein Castle is situated to the east of the city of Fussen in Bavaria. There are many connections between Munich and Fussen. A train to Fussen leaves every two hours from Munich. There are many bus tours too to Fussen which also include a tour of the fairy tale land of Neuschwanstein. Excellent hotels are also available in and around Fussen which offer excellent hospitality and facilities. Hotel Sonne, Hotel Fantasia, Hotel ruchti. All of these hotels are within a 5-10 minute distance from the castle. Not just the Castle, there is a lot more to see in the beautiful city of Fussen.
This is one place which everyone must visit at least once in their lifetime to experience the ultimate scenic beauty and a fantastic piece of architecture.