Location: Near Munich
Ticket Prices: -
King Ludwig II said. “I intend to rebuild the old castle ruins of Hohenschwangau by the Pollat Gorge in the genuine style of the old German Knightly fortresses……..the spot is one of the most beautiful that one could ever find. ” Neuschwanstein Castle, royal palace in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, the most famous of three royal palaces built for Louis II of Bavaria, sometimes referred to as Mad King Ludwig, who grew up nearby at Hohenschwangau Castle Begun in 1869 and left unfinished at Louis's death in 1886, the castle is the embodiment of 19th century romanticism. In a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is set with towers and spires and is spectacularly sited on a high point over the Pöllat River gorge. The construction of the castle was carried out according to a well thought-out plan. The castle was equipped with all kinds of technical conveniences which were very modern, if not to say revolutionary at that time. Running water on all floors. The spring which supplied the castle with excellent drinking water was located 200 meters above the castle. There were toilets equipped with automatic flushing on every floor. A warm air heating system for the entire building. A hot water system for the kitchen and the bath.
The entire facade of the castle was covered with slabs of limestone. This material was found in Alterschrofen near Swan Lake (Swansee). The supporting walls were built of brick
The Throne Room was created as the Grail-Hall of Parsifal. It was designed in elaborate Byzantine style. It was inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now Istanbul), the 2 story throne room with its series of pillars of imitation porphyry and lapis lazuli, was completed in the year of the Kings death in 1886. The most important object of this room, the throne, is missing.
King Louis was a patron of the German composer Richard Wagner, and the third-floor rooms reflect Louis's love of the legends used by Wagner in his operas: for Tannhäuser, a winter garden and stalactite grotto; for Lohengrin, the great chamber; and the unfinished Byzantine throne room, its vaulted ceiling supported by inlaid stone columns and decorated with stars. The Singers Hall on the fourth floor, with a coffered ceiling, is dedicated to the life of Parsifal, hero of another famous Wagner opera.
The Singer's Hall occupies the entire 4th floor of the castle and is a copy of the Minstrels Hall of the Wartburg Castle.
In contrast to the other rooms, the Bedroom is sumptuously carved in the Neo-Gothic style. 14 woodcarvers are said to have worked 4 1/2 years to create this room. The Monarch's bed is crowned by the most intricate woodcarving and covered with richly Embroider draperies.
The Paintings in the gallery:
Paintings illustrate the saga of Parsifal.
Parsifal meets a knight's family on a crusade on Good Friday. It was the king's wish that this painting be unveiled on Good Friday 1884. Gahmuret meets Queen Herzeloide who has proclaimed that a tournament be held, the prize for the winner being the crown and her hand in marriage. Gahmuret is victorious and marries Herzeloide. She is Parsifal's future mother.
The kitchen is in a large hall with a vaulted ceiling supported by two massive pillars. A large free standing stove is to be found in the center of the kitchen. A built in basin for fish can be seen under the window. It has a faucet in the form of a swan's head.
ET, 22, from Singapore, wrote:
My 'castle tally' currently stands at about 126 castles - of those, Neuschwanstein is, in my opinion, the undisputed 'champion' (I ranked the castles I have visited on a scale of 10; Neuschwanstein scored 14 points out of 10, ie way above outstanding). The exterior of the castle itself, with its outer facade of red and white and the mountains in the background, is a photographer's delight, especially in winter - this may, however, mean increased fog. The interior of the castle is also superb and offers a remarkable insight into Ludwig II's romanic-obssessed mind - take a look at the grotto (an artificial cave environment in the castle) apparently inspired by one of Wagner's operas. Interesting comparison to the grotto at Schloss Linderhof, another of Ludwig's creations. The area around the castle is superb if you have time to spare. Here are some suggestions. 1) hike up to the bridge, from there you can get an excellent photograph of Schloss Neuschwanstein. 2) head past Burg Hohenschwangau (it will be on your right) to the lake. I spent most of the afternoon hiking around the lake, which allowed for some excellent nature and landscape photography 3) I took some of the best photographs in my entire collection at the same lake - I waited for the sunset, then took a photograph with the background mountains, the lake, the sunset and a swan all aligned together - my college buddies are convinced those photographs are postcards.
Betsy, 21, from Ohio, wrote:
I visited the castle after a 12 week study abroad trip in England with my college in the fall of 1999. Two of my friends and I took the opportunity to travel Europe a bit at the end of our semester. In the middle of November we had our first look at snow for the year. The entire village was wrapped in a white blanket and the top of the castle was obscured from our view by a thick fog. We took a carriage ride up to the castle and had a nice chat with the driver (thanks to my friend who knew German). The castle was magnificent of course but the most magical part was the setting. If you can go in the winter, do so. The mountains are so stunning and the castle so well situated, you'll want to go back again and again.
Xiao Fa, 11, from Hong Kong, wrote:
Did you see the picture of Neuschwanstein in the contest? It looks like what the prince would have seen before rescuing Sleeping Beauty. It's just like a fairy castle! It's not like most English castles that are made out of stone and seem to almost break apart!! I really want to visit it someday.
Mindy, 18, from Idaho, US, wrote:
Neuschwanstein is a wonderful fairytale castle! I highly recommend reading about the history before seeing it. It's a unique castle that is in a category all its own. Very beautiful, don't forget to visit the other sites. If you don't speak German, ask for a English tour.
Lisa Matt, 40, from Cookeville, Tennessee, wrote:
My husband has been in Kosovo for a year now; And in October of 2000, the children, my mother and I went to Europe to meet him. And tour Europe: The main request from myself and the rest was to visit the Castles of Europe: One of our visits as we drove around, was this magnificent Castle: The area around the Castle is very lovely also: The magic that seemed to surround the Castle was more than breath taking: The walking bridge to look up at the Castle; Then the clouds that descend down and over the Castle, give you the feeling that you are back in time: And a member of the “Royal” family in a carriage going to your home:: There are several gift shops and snack bars; along with restaurants: Get some hot coffee or hot chocolate at the snack/gift shop up by the castle: And you can bring home a mug with the Castle printed on it: We didn't have time to Visit the other castle across from this one; It had grown dark! But, we managed to get plenty of pictures of them both: My mother was not able to go up to the Castle because of her handicap, and she would not have been able to walk the distance to see the Castle; so the pictures come in handy for her: Also, on our way back to Austria( our guesthouse ) We stopped at a Chinese Restaurant at the road iterance toward the Castles! Most Excellent! We had so much fun in Europe! I just hope and pray that some days we will have the chance to go back! But, a little slower paced the next time!
Robin Barr, 25, from Winchester, Virginia, wrote:
I went to see Neuschwanstein Castle in 1994. It was absolutely breathtaking. There is a long trek up a huge hill, but the exercise was definitely worth the view of the castle and the surroundings. From Neuschwanstein you can also see the Castle Hohenschwangau. I recommend this castle to anyone going into that territory. It is beautiful and I can't wait to take my daughter to see it one day.
Yolanda Hernandez, 22, from Sacramento California, wrote:
I visited Neuschwanstein in the summer of 2000. It was so awesome to see it from Fussen. Also hiking up to the castle was well worth it! The view from the bridge was breath-taking, and hiking down to the waters edge was very thrilling. Also if you have the chance to visit the Alpsee (lake), take the paddle boats out and you can get pictures from another perspective of both castles!!
Scott Gordon, 19, from Santa Barbara California, wrote:
I was in Germany two years ago and had the chance to go to Neuschwanstein. This place is unbelievable!! The tour they give is pretty good. Don't worry if you don't speak Dutch because they are translators for a lot of different languages. I am still obsessed with this castle because it is so amazing, and to say you have been there is pretty sweet too. I recommend this place to anybody who is going to Germany. If you don't go, you will miss out big time
Amy, 29, from Indy, Indiana, wrote:
I visited the Neuschwanstein castle in April of 1988, when I was 16 years old. The experience has stayed with me for a lifetime. I have collected images of the castle over the past 12+ years, to the extent that I have had a castle printed on my wedding invitations (I am getting married to a “castle convert” in May 2001), and our cake topper is a crystal replica of the Neuschwanstein. Many think I am crazy, but it is the “fairytale” castle to go with our fairy tale wedding. Ah, to be a princess for just one day… If you are in Europe, visit this castle…it is one of the most amazing places on earth!
Jose Cepeda, 23, from Guam USA, wrote:
As I browsed this web page, it brought me back to the time I visited the castle. I was only 15 years old, but was amazed by its beauty and elegance. Its towers, majestic halls, the golden chandeliers that hung from a sky resembling an artist's canvas. The cobblestone road that led to the castle traversed by carriages that brought you to another world. Now, I would love to return to Germany and revisit this castle. I can now appreciate the majesty of this piece of architecture, seemingly plucked from heaven. King Ludwig may have been mad, but he was a genius to have built such a work of art. If anyone is to read this, I suggest they experience Neuschwanstein. There is only so much beauty in the world, and this is one of them.
Erica and Hannah, 21, from Searcy AR, wrote:
We took a horse-drawn carriage up to the top because there was so much snow, we thought we'd sink or die from cold if we walked. It was beautiful, memorable and romantic.
George R. Wilson III, 44, from Campbellsville, Ky. U.S.A., wrote:
This is one of several castles I visited when I was station as a Military Policeman serving between 74' to 77'in the good ole' U.S. Army. I was off duty and had a “leave of absence” saved up so I bought a train ticket and went to Garmisch stayed at one of the popular “military favorite” hotels and went with a tour guide in his Mercedes with several of my friends. Unfortunately I lost my wallet at one of the stops in Oberamergau at the Kloster Ettal and hitch-hiked to the “Linderhof and the guy that gave me the ride offered to pay for tour of the castle, so I went then when I finished the tour I hitch-hiked to Fussen and tried to sell my watch to go thru Neuschwanstein and the guy refused to take it but he gave me the money to go thru it and I was totally blown away by the foresight of this “Mad King”. If that guy was crazy then there's no hope for the world of imagination, creativity, and genius. I wish I could have met this guy, he had something wonderful going on in his head but the idiots of time were so backward they couldn't see the forest for the trees! It has been brought to my attention that this castle alone brings millions of visitors each year to it and they spend well over a billion dollars a year while they're visiting. Now who is mad? I am because such a genius would be snuffed out simply because he spent 800 million in investment dollars to bring in almost 100 billion over the last 50 years. That is a guesstimate of course but there really is no telling how far reaching the fore site of this Mad King's genius has spread. We do know he was the first king to have hot and cold water plumbing, and a room that was actually a cave with colored stalagmites and stalactites. Even Walt Disney even recognized his genius when he designed his fairy tale castle after Neuschwanstein. If you get to go to this castle I think you'll love it. Don't forget to hike around and cross the Gorge Bridge and check out the waterfall and the lake at the foot of the mountain. Also check out Hohenschwangau his boyhood home
Jill Glidewell, 26, from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, wrote:
The Neuschwanstein Castle will always be in my husbands and mine memory because that is where he proposed to me in August 1998. He asked me behind the castle on the bridge. I would definitely recommend to anyone that is going to be traveling in that region of Europe to go and visit. As soon as you walk in, you feel an overwhelming power of amazement! It is truly a wonderful place to visit
Dina, 25, from Malasyia, wrote:
I went back-backing to Europe with a group of friends from New York in the summer of 1997 and had the chance to visit Neuschwanstein. I remember seeing pictures of the castle in magazines and vowed that if I ever get the chance to tour Europe, I would definitely include the castle in my itinerary. It was definitely worth it ! It was a long walk up to the castle but trust me, the view of the castle is worth it ! It is the most beautiful, magical and enchanting palace in the world ! I can imagine why King Ludwig build his castle there ! You definitely won't regret the long walk ! I would definitely love to pay a second visit when I get the chance to visit Europe again.
Ciera Wetzel, 28, from Kentucky, US. Wrote:
Seeing the castle Neuschwanstein and the other castles built by and for “Mad King Ludwig” made me appreciate how nobility lived and enjoy the grandeur of it all. His castles are amazing creations. Neuschwanstein was not designed by architects but by an artist because that is what Ludwig wanted. having traveled all over Europe I can honestly say that this is truly one of the best examples what art can accomplish. It is simply a beauty. Few can compare.
Kam, 52, from Florida, USA, wrote:
Neuschwanstein Castle is a definite visit on any ones list. Much has been said about it. I feel one will find this experience to be made into an everlasting memory that you will share with so many during your life time. However, (most important) once you have completed the tour, please walk behind the castle and follow the path to the bridge, (I believe it is the Marie Bridge). Walking across this bridge will be an experience within itself, as you are extremely high above a powerful falls. There is also a path off to the left, before you arrive at the bridge that will bring you down to mid-falls. Again, a haven within itself. Would love to see some pictures, mine where lost in our travels. Schloss Hohenschwangau is King Ludwigs' father's castle. It is usually viewed to the lower right in pictures of Neuschwanstein. It is where King Ludwig grew up. Enjoy!
Pamela, 22, from Atlanta, wrote:
In June of 1995 I went to Germany with a group of kids from my High School. We toured many places, and did a lot of walking. By the time we got to Neuschwanstein Castle, many members of the group were not very excited to hear we had to walk up a huge hill. I would have fallen into that category. However, once I got to the top and say this castle, I completely forgot about the walk. Even now, I don't remember much about getting to the castle, but I can still picture the beauty of the place. I still remember the awe I felt walking around inside the castle. It might not be finished, but to me that just adds to the magical feel. I would definitely recommend visiting the castle to anyone, and I hope that I get to go back there some day.
Bernard Chase, 50 from California, wrote:
Pay the $6 (+/-) and take the carriage up the hill; walk down. However, if you don't perspire, it isn't hot, your shoes are comfortable, and you are in top condition, you may wish to disregard this piece of advice. Men: go to the restroom near the gift shop, even if you don't have to. The view is amazing. The gift shop had (6-97) very nice cups for sale at reasonable prices; having breakfast coffee in the cup is a good way to remember the castle. If you have time, stop in Fusen (sic?) for refreshments afterward. The pedestrian street is a great way to end the tour.
Julie, 20, from Rhinelander,WI USA, wrote:
I visited this castle when I was in High School and it is by far the coolest thing I have ever seen. I bought the book and read it all the time It was amazing. I would go back there a hundred times and never get sick of it. The tour could have been a little longer but it worked. I can't put it into words because its just too great. I can't even begin to tell you. Germany itself rules and I loved every minute of the time I spent there.
Jamie, from USA. wrote:
Neuschwanstein was enthralling from the first time I saw it. Full of history and amazing architecture, the tour is needed to get the full experience of seeing Ludwig's castle. One of the reasons it is so beautiful is that Ludwig had artists design it, rather than architects. The kitchen is a clever room with conveniences that are unbelievably to have come from that time period. If you're in Europe, or even anywhere around the world, you need to see Neuschwanstein. It's quite an experience!
Lucy Garcia, 29, from Serta Portugal, wrote:
Neuschwanstein IS a dream come true. Let them say what they want, Ludwig might have been crazy, but he sure wasn't stupid! He knew what he wanted and he knew who to get to work for him. Central heating and running hot and cold water in an age when practically everybody had to go to the nearest stream just to drink some water! I just can't imagine what the castle would have looked like if he had been able to finish it. A place you just can't miss!
Rachel, 33, from Ohio, Midwest, USA, wrote:
I saw this castle in 1988. Gorgeous! I remembered seeing it in the movie Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang and fell in love with it. The pictures I took of the castle and the views from the castle's windows are some of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. Truly worth the time and effort to see.
Sonja Toma, 43, from Ohio wrote:
What an amazing site !!! My first visit to Europe came as the result of meeting a friend online. My dream was to see a castle. I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit many castles while I was in Germany. The one I wanted to see the most was Neuschwanstein. I knew it was quite a difference from my friends home so I didn't expect to see it. What a wonderful surprise as we drove through the mountains and around a lake and saw the beautiful castle ahead. I wasn't disappointed in any part of the castle. It was absolutely beautiful and the view from the castle was just as wonderful. Each and every room had its own special attraction. I will always cherish my memories of this castle.
Jimena Cordero, 22, from Chile wrote:
Estuve en el castillo hace 2 anos siempre lo recuerdo, hoy encontre esta pagina y me vinieron muchos recuerdos . Fui en invierno estaba todo nevado se veia hermoso un detalle muy lindo eran los caballos que llevan al castillo llenos de adornos su pelo tomado con cascabeles , parecia como un cuento de hadas . tengo muchas fotos de aquel lugar son parecidas a las que aparecen en la pagina.
J Montegomery, 40, from Maryland, USA wrote:
In 1986 my husband and I visited this wonder. It was a lovely fall day and the castle was enchanting. We had wonderful tour guide through the services of the US military. He told us all of the inside information about the castle, and the interesting King who built it. Sometimes people are very misunderstood and it is documented that Ludwig led a very unusual life. I personally do not belief he was mad, eccentric perhaps. He had too many innovations built by his design into the castle (i.e. running water, intercom system, a primitive form of air conditioning). It disturbs me to always hear him referred to as mad. Sometimes if we don't understand someone, we label them and this I believe is what happened to the good SMART king.
Rafael Mendez, 54, from the Caribbean wrote:
In the late 60's, during my tour of duty in Germany, I visited Neuschwanstein. Nestled in the Bavarian alps it is a magnificent sight, a symbol of bygone times. It is a definite must see when visiting the area. I would certainly be interested in being able to download a picture of it to use as a screensaver or wallpaper on my PC.
Amanda, 18, from USA wrote:
All I can say is Schloss Neuschwanstein is a gorgeous castle and by far one of my favorites. On my six week stay in Germany I visited many castles and Neuschwanstein brings back many memories. The castle is absolutely enchanting. Everything about it is gorgeous. One of the main reasons I wish to return to Europe is the thought of revisiting this castle.
C.W. Jones, from USA wrote:
I visited this castle in the winter of 96. It was as breathtaking as anything I have ever seen. It was the most beautiful building I have seen to date. I've seen bigger, grander buildings ,but the site, level of artistry, and lore overwhelmed me.
Fenrir from Germany, Age 18 wrote:
Neuschwanstein is definitely one of the most impressing castles around, except for the fact that it's not really that old. It is a really beautiful and really famous castle from which you have a great view of the surrounding area, but it is simply overcrowded with tourists. The interior is decorated with scenes from the Wagner operas, since king Ludwig was a great fan of this composer, and even contains a small artificial cave for that reason. The throne room, although never completely finished, is lavishly decorated and simply overwhelming. Although it is not really a medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is definitely worth seeing if you don't mind all the tourists. When in the area, you should make sure to also check out the neighboring castle of Hohenschwangau though.
Kamila from Maryland, USA, Age 17 wrote:
Set in the Alps in Bayern, Germany this beautiful fairytale castle was rebuilt by the “mad” king Ludwig II of Bavaria, son of Maximilian II. Although only 14 rooms were completed inside (due to the kings unexpected death in 1886), they are magnificent. All rooms were decorated by local artists. The paintings chosen by King Ludwig were from his favorite operas . Once inside you can get a breathtaking view of the alps, the Marie Bridge, and Schloss Hohenschwangau
Kit, 17, from Canada wrote:
Neuschwanstein, located just outside of the town of Fussen in the Bavarian Alps, is truly impressive. It was a remarkable project initiated by “Mad” King Ludwig I. It took unfortunately, construction was never completed, and Ludwig lived in it for only 6 months (I think) before his death. Nevertheless, the interior of this castle is extremely beautiful. Fans of German composer Richard Wagner will notice the murals of his operas in various room in the castle, as Ludwig himself admired Wagner's work. Also to be noted is the Byzantine-style thrown room, which was never completed. For those who are interested in a tour of this castle, be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots or runners, as it is quite an uphill hike from the base of the mountain to the top of the hill where it is located. Also, be prepared to climb MANY flights of spiraling staircases! I visited this castle in mid-March - the day I went up it was snowing, and it's white exterior complements the snow gorgeously. This is one of my favorite castles.