NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE: THE STUNNING CASTLE WHICH INSPIRED DISNEY
A romantic and dreamy King, declared insane and imprisoned in his own Castle. This is briefly the story of Ludwig II - the "mad King" of Bavaria. The truth is that Ludwig II, was a misunderstood person. Very ahead of his time, with modern and revolutionary ideas he was a kind of person, that did not fit the standards and was declared insane, without even having been examined by a doctor, as it tells the story.
Just for this brief introduction, the visit to the castle of Neuschwanstein, should already be part of your screenplay from Bavaria! Trust me, it was one of the most fascinating castles I've visited! No wonder he was the inspiration of Disney, to create Cinderella's Castle.
Built in the second half of the 19th century, the castle is near Füssen in Southwest Bavaria, nearly border with Austria. Ludwig II, inspired by the work of his best friend, the great composer Richard Wagner, idealized a castle using very advanced technology and architecture for the time. Although externally the Castle be medieval, the inner part is a true wonder in finishes and technological resources as steam and electrical devices, modern ventilation, heating pipes, kitchen with hot and cold running water and a heated cabinet.
Designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical scenery designer, rather than an architect, which shows a lot of intentions of Ludwig II, and explains much of the fantastic nature of the building. The arquitecture expertise, vital to a building placed in a place so shaky, was provided initially by the Munich Court architect Eduard Riedel and later by Georg Dollman and Leo von Klenze.
The name Neuschwanstein is a reference to the Swan Knight, Lohengrin, of Wagner's Opera. For Wagner, it was also created in the Castle, the Singer's Hall. A place where the musicians and playwrights acted.
Yes babes, the "mad King” was patron of modern inventions and a precursor to the introduction of electricity in public life. Their new castles were the first to use electricity and other modern equipment.
The sad part is that in 1886, when Neuschwanstein was near completion, the King was declared insane by the State Commission led by Dr. von Gudden, and he was imprisoned in the Castle. The King could hardly control himself when asked Dr. von Gudden, "how can you declare me insane? Not yet examined me!”. And, mysteriously,on June 13th, of that year in Berg, the King was found drowned in Lake Starnberg, with von Gudden, the psychiatrist that was certified him. It’s an unexplained fact until today…
To know this fantastic place, I took a train from Munich to Füssen. The trip lasts 2 hours. And compensates for the breathtaking landscapes of the way. The tip is to buy the Bayern Ticket, which costs around € 29 for up to 5 persons traveling together (or € 20 to go alone). In other words, it's worth joining four friends! You can check the train’s schedule time here, so you don't waste time waiting for your train. Get there early to enjoy the day and be able to take beautiful photos!
Arriving at Füssen station, cross the lobby and go to the bus stop, which is in front. Don't miss it, the station is tiny! Take the bus number 73 or 78, anyone will do. One of them, certainly, will coincide with the time of your arrival by train. You don't have to pay, it is already included in your Bayern Ticket. Just more 10 minutes to arrive at your destination! When all go down, you go down too, rsrsrsrs.
It's not over yet, you will need to walk a little bit to the tickets office, or you can buy it online here. There are two castles Neuschwanstein (€ 9), and the castle of Hohenschwangau (€ 9). The ticket package (Kings Ticket) costs € 17 and it’s free to under 18 years old! The cool thing is that the visits are guided in German and English, with audio guides in several languages! I just went to the Neuschwanstein, which was what most interested me!
Anyway, walking is the only way to get the horse carriages that take you to the entrance of the Castle. Yes, go by them, unless you want to get there sweaty or late! The carriage costs €6 to go up and €3 to go down. Another option is the Castle bus, which costs €1.80, but the carriage is much more charming! To go down, I encourage you to do it by walk. So you going to have time to enjoy the stunning landscape and to take gorgeous photos.
I really loved this tour. Now, writing the post, gave me a desire to go back there!! In fact, every time I schedule a trip, I doubt if I repeat the place or choose a new one! That's hard and I often choose for something new, and keeping the memories of special places in my mind, for one day-back, who knows?!
Yes, the post was long, because as you know, castles and stories of Kings and Queens, fascinate me. Hope you liked it!