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Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Palace in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is a historic 19th-century castle located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwestern Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honor of Richard Wagner. Ludwig chose to pay for the palace from his personal fortune and through extensive borrowing rather than Bavarian public funds. Construction began in 1869, but was never fully completed. The fort served as a private residence for the king until his death in 1886. It was opened to the public soon after his death. Since then, more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

The municipality of Schwangau is located at an altitude of 800 meters (2,620 ft) on the southwestern border of the German state of Bavaria. Its surroundings are characterized by a transition between alpine foothills in the south (toward the nearby Austrian border) and a mountainous landscape in the north that looks flat in comparison.

In the Middle Ages, three castles overlooked the villages. One was called Schwanstein Castle. Completed in 1837, the palace became his family's summer residence and his eldest son Ludwig (b. 1845) spent a large part of his childhood here.

Vorderhohenschwangau Castle and Hinterhohenschwangau Castle  Schwanstein Castle sits on a rugged hill overlooking two nearby lakes (Alpsee and Schwansee) and the village. Separated only by a moat, they jointly consist of a hall, a keep, and a fortified tower house. In the 19th century, only the ruins of the medieval twin castles remained, but the fortifications of the Hinterhohenswangau served as a lookout point known as the Silfenterm.

The ruins above the family palace were familiar to the Crown Prince from his travels. He first sketched them in his diary in 1859. When the young king came to power in 1864, the construction of a new palace on the site of two ruined forts became the first of his series of palace construction projects. Ludwig called the new palace the new Hohenswangau Castle; It was renamed Neuschwanstein after his death. The confusing result is that Hohenschwangau and Schwanstein have effectively changed names: Hohenschwangau Castle replaces the ruins of Schwanstein Castle, and Neuschwanstein Castle replaces the ruins of two Hohenschwangau Castles.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

The architecture of Neuschwanstein Castle

The influence of the Neuschwanstein ensemble is highly stylistic both externally and internally. The King's influence is evident throughout, and he took a deep personal interest in design and decoration. An example can be seen in his comment or order regarding a mural depicting Lohengrin among the flocks; "His Majesty wishes that ... the ship be placed further from the shore, that Lohengrin's neck be less crooked, that the swan chain from the ship be of gold, not rose, and finally that the style of the castle be kept. Medieval.

Neuschwanstein Castle outside

The palace complex is entered through a symmetrical gatehouse flanked by two stair towers. The east-facing gate building is the only structure in the palace whose walls are painted in high-contrast colors; The outer walls are of red brick, the front of the court is of yellow limestone. The roof cornice is flanked by pinnacles. The top floor of the gatehouse is surmounted by a crow-barred gable, and King Ludwig II's first residence was at Neuschwanstein, from where he occasionally supervised building work before the hall was completed. The ground floor of the gatehouse was for stable accommodation.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle internal

When it was completed, the palace had more than 200 interior rooms, including quarters for guests and servants, as well as for service and supplies. In the end, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were left unfinished. The stories below this housed Palara administrative and servant rooms and today's palace administration rooms. The king's staterooms are located on the upper stories: the former structure accommodates the third floor, with the Hall of Singers above them. The upper floors of the west-facing retrograde structure are almost entirely filled by the throne hall. The total floor area of ​​all floors is approximately 6,000 square meters (65,000 square feet).

Neuschwanstein Castle Tourism

Neuschwanstein welcomes around 1.5 million visitors each year making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. For security reasons the palace can only be visited during a 35-minute guided tour and no photography is allowed inside the fort. There are also special guided tours that focus on specific topics. During the peak season from June to August, Neuschwanstein has about 6,000 visitors per day, and guests without advance reservations may have to wait several hours. Those without tickets can still walk the long driveway from the base of the hill to the top of the hill and visit the grounds and courtyard without a ticket, but will not be allowed inside the castle. Ticket sales are processed exclusively through the Ticket Center in Hohenschwangau. As of 2008, the total number of visitors was over 60 million. In 2004, revenue was booked as €6.5 million.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the best place to visit in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle Additional Information

Address: Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany

Opening Hours: 9 AM

Construction started: September 5, 1869

Architects: Eduard Riedel, Georg von Dollmann, Julius Hofmann

Opened: 1884

Height: 65 m

Owner: Bavarian Palace Department

Architectural style: Romanesque Revival architecture

Function: Castle, Palace, Museum


Read also: 30 Top-Rated Germany Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do


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