Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. The Neuschwanstein Castle really looks like a fairytale castle as depicted in many fairytales throughout the years. Neuschwanstein is a castle of the paradox.
It was built in the 19th century in Bavaria, in a time when castles no longer had strategically and defensive purposes. Every year 1.4 million people visit “the castle of the fairy-tale king”.
The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.
In the nineteenth century, many castles were constructed or reconstructed; often with significant changes to make them more pictorial. Palace-building projects similar to Neuschwanstein had been undertaken earlier in several of the German states and included Hohenschwangau Castle, Lichtenstein Castle, Hohenzollern Castle, and numerous buildings on the River Rhine such as Stolzenfels Castle.
The building design was drafted by the stage designer Christian Jank and realized by the architect Eduard Riedel. For technical reasons the ruined castles could not be integrated into the plan.
Initial ideas for the palace drew stylistically on Nuremberg Castle and envisaged a simple building in place of the old Vorderhohenschwangau Castle, but they were rejected and replaced by increasingly extensive drafts, culminating in a bigger palace modeled on the Wartburg.
The castle’s construction lasted 23 years, until long after Ludwig’s death. Although built in the Germanic late Romanesque style of the 13th century, the castle was equipped with the best technology available in the late 1860s. Quite unlike any real medieval castle, Neuschwanstein has a forced-air central heating system.
Its rarely-used kitchen was of the most advanced design. The winter garden features a large sliding glass door. The castle was not built as rapidly as the king expected. The project was too comprehensive and the building site on the mountain presented difficulties.
Set designers, architects and artisans implemented the king’s detailed ideas. The inconsiderate deadlines he set could sometimes only be met by working day and night. The Gateway Building was constructed first, and Ludwig II lived here for a number of years.
The topping-out ceremony for the Palas was not until 1880, and the king moved in 1884. Neuschwanstein Castle has a very beautiful inner garden surrounded by a walled courtyard. It even has an artificial cave.
Neuschwanstein’s interior is as beautiful as it’s outside. Though only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig II’s sudden death in 1886, these rooms were majestically decorated.
The third floor particularly reflects Ludwig’s admiration of Wagner’s operas. The Singers Hall, which occupies the entire fourth floor of Neuschwanstein also contains characters from Wagner’s operas. This castle is earning a lot of money yearly with its vast majority of tourist visiting yearly.
Among the castle’s finest rooms are two magnificent halls. One of these, the Singers’ Hall, is a larger and more exquisite version of the same room in the Wartburg, and also incorporates elements from the medieval castle’s banqueting hall though it never echoed to the sound of singing or festivities.