A Castle Called Neuschwanstein

29 Jun

Somebody pinch me – I think I just woke up in a Disney movie. Ok, so maybe there weren’t any singing animals, princesses or evil step-sisters, but the Neuschwanstein castle is enough to make Walt Disney drool. (he actually used the castle to model the one in the Sleeping Beauty movie)

I mean, you really can’t get more fairytale than riding a horse-drawn carriage up the steep hills of the German Alps to the castle of Neuschwanstein. Being the budget travelers that we are, we opted for the bus ride, but I assure you the experience was no less magical. 

The castle itself was built by King Ludwig II, a man who knew a thing or two about castles. He is often called “The Fairy Tale Kinghe” because he built so many castles during his reign, the most famous being Neuschwanstein. 

I’m not sure what is more impressive though, the massive white towers of Ludwig II’s masterpiece, or the stunning backdrop of the German Alps. 

Set high up in the mountains, the castle has a panoramic view of the towering alps above and the sprawling green hills below, dotted with villages and lakes. 

The best view of castle is for those willing to brave the rickety wooden bridge across from the castle. The shear height of the deep gorge below along with the views of the castle and countryside are enough to take your breath away. 

The inside of the castle, while beautiful, is slightly less impressive. Perhaps because you can only see it while on a guided tour, or perhaps because it isn’t finished. Good old Ludwig II ran out of money before being able to decorate the whole thing. (Maybe someone should have worried a little less about castles and a little more about his bank account?)

What is finished of the castle is a tribute to Wagner, a favorite of the King. Each room has giant frescos depicting legends, such as Tristan and Isolde, and as you walk through the castle each room seems more impressive than the last. The king even had a fake cave added in by his personal chambers. 

The biggest pity? Ludwig II only got to live there for 172 days. 


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