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König Ludwig der 2. von Bayern (King Ludwig II of Bavaria)

Neuschwanstein Castle (1869 to 1886)

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The German word "Schloß" means castle, as in palace. The English translation for this word should be "palace", if someone of nobility lived there. Neuschwanstein was never finished, but Ludwig lived there 130 days.

    Schloß Neuschwanstein über Schwangau bei Füssen
    (Neuschwanstein Castle above Schwangau near Füssen)

  • Facts and figures about Neuschwanstein:
    • Basic information
      1. Translation
        • The castle name means "New Swan Stone Castle"
        • The castle is often called „Märchenschloß" (fairy tale castle).
      2. Location and access
        • The castle is located on a large hill outside the village of Hohenschwangau, which is located near the town of Füssen.
        • Access to the castle is a 20-minute walk (free) or a carriage ride (fee) up the windy road to the castle gate.
      3. Style and usage
        • The castle is built in Neogothic and Romanesque style, which gives it a dream-like quality.
        • The German word "Schloß" means castle, as in palace. The English translation for this word should be "palace", if someone of nobility lived there. Neuschwanstein was never finished, but Ludwig lived there 130 days.
      4. Why was the castle built?
        • Ludwig said his reason for building was to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau in the authentic style of the old Germanic knights castles.
        • Others say Ludwig built castle for political and personal reasons.
        • Bavaria and Austria lost the Austro-Prussian War, forcing Bavaria to accept an alliance with Prussia.
        • Ludwig lost his political power as king and withdrew to his reclusive and fantasy world of castle-building.
      5. The castle inspired Walt Disney to create and build his "Cinderella Castle" in 1955 and "Sleeping Beauty Castle" in 2008 in Disneyland.
    • Construction and the castle building itself
      1. When was it built?
        • Construction of the castle began in 1869, but it was only 1/3 finished when he died on June 13, 1886.
        • The castle was built by the Bavarian people.
      2. How much did the castle building cost?
        • The cost of construction was 6,180,047 Marks for the castle alone, to say nothing of the furnishings. (about $200,000,000 dollars today)
        • Building costs were paid by the Bavarian government.
      3. Who lived in the castle?
        • Ludwig 2nd lived in the castle only 102 days.
        • It was here that he learned on June 18, 1886 that he had been removed as king and died three days later.
      4. How many rooms are in the castle? Most of the rooms were never finished, or even started. The castle was only 1/3 finished when Ludwig died.
  • Description:
    • Interior of the castle
      1. The castle has an appearance of a fairytale castle.
      2. Much of the castle is unfinished, including the throne room.
        • Throne room appears as a Romanesque and Byzantine sanctuary.
        • The room has a mosaic floor of animals from around the world.
        • At that time, anything "Oriental" reflected power and money.
      3. Materials used in construction
        • The interior was built almost completely with marble.
        • The chandeliers in those days were candles, not electric lights.
      4. There are paintings and murals on the walls.
        • Paintings illustrate Richard Wagner’s legends and operas.
        • Legends found on the castle walls include Sigurd, Gudrun, Parzival, Tristan and Isolde, Lohengrin, and Tännhauser.
        • Since there were no cameras, family portraits and major events, such as weddings, battles, etc., were painted on the walls and ceilings.
    • Special features show that the castle was modern for the times.
      1. Kitchen is large, and steam from cooking was used to heat the castle.
      2. There were also small heaters hidden in the corners of the rooms.
      3. The kitchen had an elevator, which allowed the table to be lowered to the kitchen, food placed on the table, and raised up his dining room.
      4. Ludwig’s bedroom had a secret door.
      5. Third floor contains a stalactite grotto with a winter garden and swans.
    • Exterior of the castle
      1. Perched high in the Bavrian Alps, the castle displays a profusion of turrets, casements, and palisades.
      2. The castle is a mass of cold gray granite, bristling with towers and pinnacles.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle today:
    • Status
      1. The castle is still the most popular tourist attraction in Germany.
      2. If you combine a dash of Richard Wagner with a slice of Disneyland, the result is Neuschwanstein.
      3. From the postcard perfect views to the mysterious life of King Ludwig 2nd, there are many reasons why this Bavarian castle fascinates people.
    • Maintenance and upkeep
      1. The Bavarian government maintains the castle today.
      2. Since 1990, Bavaria has spent around 11.2 million Euros on renovation and maintenance.
      3. The castle has more than repaid the investment, earning millions of Euros as a museum and tourist attraction.
    • Tourist attraction
      1. Every year 1.5 million people visit castle, and in the summer.
      2. There are sometimes 6,000 visitors a day.
      3. Admission charges for both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles are 12 Euros per adult, while children under 18 are free with a paying adult.
      4. After touring the castle, you have climbed up and down 430 steps.