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The Neuschwanstein Castle

When we think of castles we often think of the mighty fortresses of the medieval times. However, since the invention of gunpowder during the late 1300s, castles used as fortresses became obsolete, thus, beginning a trend of extravagant castles as vacation residences and luxury mansions. One such castle is the Neuschwanstein Castle located in Schwangau, Germany.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Built in the 19th-century and commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a vacation residence, the Neuschwanstein Castle, which in translation means new swan stone, is one that seems to be straight out of the fairy tale books. The extravagant nature of the castle was so picturesque that Hollywood has featured this castle in many of their movies and it is said to be the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

Ludwig II of Bavaria was first inspired to construct this magnificent luxury castle refuge came from his two trips to the area in 1867. The king saw two buildings that were constructed with a romantic take on the classic castle fortress of the Middle Ages and was immediately motivated to construct Neuschwanstein Castle as his own personal refuge from the public eye. The idea for the castle’s design originally came from the style of the Nuremberg Castle that was to take place of the Vorderhohenschwangau Castle, however, plans were rejected and then modeled on the Wartburg using extensive drafts and bigger construction. 

Due to technical issues the original castles could not be incorporated into the overall design of the Neuschwanstein Castle, therefore, Ludwig II of Bavaria demolished the twin castles, blowing up the remains of the castles, and began construction of his vision in the summer of 1868. Starting with the foundation, construction workers removed about 8 meters of stone to lay the foundation and then followed it by the completion of the access roads leading up to the castle in June 1869. Three months later the foundation stone was laid with the building plans with coins and portraits of Ludwig II incorporated into the castle as by tradition created by Ludwig I. 

The first to be completed was the Gateway Building, which had its topping out ceremony on June 11, 1872 and livable by the end of 1873. Ludwig soon moved in using mainly the upper floor as his living quarters when he visited the construction site. That September the Building of the Palas was underway using the latest in technology to incorporate the Throne Hall the King had requested. The overall structure of the throne hall was built using an encased steel construction. In January 1880 the topping ceremony for the section was thrown, however, the décor and technical fittings were competed in mid 1884 without any of the final details. Unfortunately, Ludwig II was never able to see the castle in its full completion. Ludwig II mysteriously died in 1886 after taking a walk and never returning home, preventing him from seeing the true beauty of his vision.

According to records, Kind Ludwig II moved into the palace in 1884, only being able to live in the castle for 172 days before meeting his untimely death. He was never able to see the simplified verisions of the Bower and Square Tower, which was not completed until 1892. Overall, the castle was built using conventional brick construction and later layered various types of rocks around this foundation. Some of the materials used were white limestone from a nearby quarry, sandstone bricks from Schlaidorf in Wuttemberg, and Marble from Untersberg. Giving the castle the finished, fairytale look that kind Ludwig was aiming for.

Shortly after the king’s death, the castle was opened to the public and has continued to attract tourists till this day to admire the majestic design of the infamous fairy tale castle. In 2007, King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle was even considered to be included in the new 7 wonders of the world. From the floors to the columns, the meticulous design and vision of King Ludwig II has intrigued the public for centuries, living up to the expectations that King Ludwig II had always dreamed for his castle and dubbing the Neuschwanstein Castle his true masterpiece.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

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Hotel Füssen
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  • Neuschwansteinstraße 20
    D-87645 Schwangau
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The Neuschwanstein Castle | Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwangau, Schwangau near Füssen
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