Welcome to the Neuschwanstein Castle
Europe is known for their castles built throughout the countryside. One of the famous castles in Bavaria, Germany is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwangau (near Füssen). Many people know of this castle without realizing it because it has been in many movies, and it was the inspiration for the castle drawn in Sleeping Beauty.
The castle has eight rooms on the third floor, including the bedroom, dining room, study room, drawing room, throne hall, and the Hall of the Singers. While he had the money, he kept the decorations modest. There are rooms for the servants in the basement, along with a separate set of stairs for the servants to use. Much of the decorations for the rooms were inspired by Richard Wagner and his operas.
The drafts for the castle were consistently revised until the castle was finally built. The castle was supposed to be completed in 1872, but that did not happen. Because of the constant deferrals, the castle that was originally projected to cost 3.2 million marks cost 6.2 million marks. Ludwig did not have that much, so he opened a new credit line. Ludwig was in debt by 14 million marks by 1885. He continued to ask to borrow but was no longer allowed. He was arrested for failure to pay his loans.
King Ludwig II.
The palace was not finished by the time King Louis died. In fact, much of the palace had not gotten past scaffolding. While the castle was supposed to be a place of refuge, the country made the castle open to the public six weeks after King Louis passed. It quickly became the largest source to income for the Bavarian royal family.
The number of visitors to the castle continued to rise, and by 1939, 200,000people visited annually. The castle was able to survive both World War I and World War II because the castle is in a secluded location. It was where much of the Nazi's loot was stashed in 1944, which caused many to consider bombing the castle. In 1945, Germans thought about blowing up the castle so that enemies would not gain possession, but the palace was surrendered without any damage.
It can be seen in the movies Ludwig II, Ludwig, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as being the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland. Over one million people visit the castle annually, which makes it the number one most visited location in Europe. The castle no longer is open to people freely roaming through, but rather, guided tours are held. The tours are just over 30 minutes long and they offer other tours for specific topics. Reservations are almost a necessity during the summer because up to 6,000 people visit the castle daily.
Ludwig II of Bavaria battled many demons from financial to sexuality. He never married and then ended up losing his one place of refuge to the public. The irony is that while Richard Wagner's operas never did very well, between the 20th and 21st century, over 800 movies and television shows have used his music in their soundtracks. Ludwig and Wagner were friends, and both had great successes after their deaths.
If you are planning to visit the Neuschwanstein castle, it will pay to purchase your tickets in advance and plan your trip. Look into the wide variety of tours that are available and take your time while going through the tour. The castle contains much of Bavarian's history and the scenery is amazing as well.