Neuschwanstein Castle, enthroned near Füssen in the picturesque Allgäu mountains, is considered Germany's largest tourist attraction with around 1.5 million visitors annually. Built between 1869 and 1886 on behalf of the famous Bavarian fairytale king Ludwig II, the magnificent building is reminiscent of a mighty medieval castle and is an impressive sight from the outside. During a guided tour you can also visit the magnificently furnished interiors of Neuschwanstein Castle.
A visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is a must during a holiday in the Allgäu; after all, this fairytale building is considered the most famous and popular sight in Germany. Every year, around 1.5 million tourists from all over the world come to Neuschwanstein to be transported to the opulent world of the Bavarian King Ludwig II, who had the castle built between 1869 and 1886 as his idealized idea of a medieval castle. However, the monarch, affectionately known in Bavaria as "Kini", spent only a few months in the castle, as he died in 1886 under mysterious circumstances on Lake Starnberg. After his death, Neuschwanstein Castle quickly gained worldwide fame and developed into a huge crowd puller. It served as a model for buildings like Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle and has often been used as a film set. In 2007 it was in the final round of the selection of the new seven wonders of the world and the inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List is only a matter of time. The best view of Neuschwanstein Castle is from the Marienbrücke bridge, which spans the Pöllat gorge and is about ten minutes' walk from Neuschwanstein Castle.
Appearance and equipment
Neuschwanstein Castle, built by the architects Eduard Riedel and Georg von Dollmann according to the plans of the theatre painter Christian Jank, is clearly influenced by the architectural style of eclecticism and is reminiscent of a fairytale medieval castle from the outside. Many of the more than 200 interior rooms are magnificently furnished with plenty of gold and velvet as well as valuable furniture. This also applies to the Throne Hall and the Singers' Hall, the two largest rooms in the castle, which can be viewed during any guided tour of Neuschwanstein Castle. The countless paintings, most of which depict motifs from legends and fairy tales, are beautiful. The composer Richard Wagner often used them in his works. Ludwig II. was a great admirer and friend of Wagner. Remarkable is also the technique used in the castle, which was ahead of its time. For example, there were already telephone lines and battery-powered bell systems with which the king could summon his servants. Automatic toilet flushes and the dumbwaiter were also a rarity in those days.
Neuschwanstein Castle can only be visited on a guided tour lasting about half an hour. An employee of the Bavarian Palace Department will guide the participants through 14 rooms of the castle. Tickets for the visit of Neuschwanstein are available online or on site at the Ticketcenter Hohenschwangau. From the Ticket Centre it takes a good half an hour on foot, romantically by horse-drawn carriage or by bus to the castle. If you feel hungry after your visit to the castle, it is worth visiting the castle restaurant, where you will be treated to Bavarian delicacies. A visit to the neighbouring Hohenschwangau Castle and a visit to the Museum of the Bavarian Kings, which provides exciting background information on Ludwig II and his castles, is also highly recommended.