Neuschwanstein was commenced by King Ludwig II in 1868 high above his father’s Hohenschwangau Castle in the area he knew so well, and was never actually completed. It was his monument to the culture and kingship of the Middle Ages, which he venerated and wanted to recreate. Designed in the medieval style but equipped with the latest technology of the day, it is one of the most famous buildings in the world and a central symbol of German idealism. The interior features picture cycles from old Norse and chivalric legends.
The Singers’ Hall is based on two halls in the Wartburg.
The Throne Hall, which celebrates power and authority, was inspired by Byzantine and early Christian churches.
If you plan on visiting the castle, ride up the mountain in one of the horse-drawn carriages, it is still quite a hike when you disembark the carriage and there are many, many, many staircases to climb once inside the castle. I also suggest riding down in the carriage also.
To begin the tour you must climb three flights of stairs. The interior of the castle is decorated with murals, chandeliers and even furnishings that represent the characters of Wagner’s Operas. There is even a cave created within the castle to reflect a scene from one of the operas. Poor King Ludwig II only spent 120 days in the castle before they took him away and only two floors of the castle are actually completed. Evidently it was opened to the public six weeks after his death and has been a tourist attraction ever since. Disney, of course, used the castle as the basis for creating his famous castles at the Disney theme parks. All in all it is a rather disturbing and unnerving scene, despite the majestic beauty it presents.
Poor King Ludwig II was born long past his time, as he truly wanted to be a King of the old world. Creating his castles was a way of creating that reality. He was removed from the throne and declared insane; on that very same day he was found drowned in a lake with his psychiatrist…………oh yeah, that was an accident.
The beautiful Linderhof, called a castle by many, was actually King Ludwig’s residence. It was a place he would escape from the world into his beautiful fantasy. What a wonderful place it is with magnificent fountains and breathtaking grounds. His dining table was designed so that it could be lowered into the kitchen and set with utensils and food and then raised back up so that he king would not have to be bothered with commoners fluttering about.
A marvelous structure it is, the mirrors of 12 feet in height were framed in Meissen porcelain and some of the chandeliers were also of the same stunning porcelain. The “Hall of Mirrors” was truly stunning with two large mirrors facing each other and giving the viewer an impression of an endless hallway of mirrors — stunning!
The weather is below freezing and we are walking in the mountains covered in snow — then suddenly it begins to sleet and snow very heavily — how marvelous! We are cold, but so enjoying this wonderful experience. We are deep into the Bavarian forest standing before the residence of King Ludwig II, surrounded by snow-covered alps and we a getting covered in it — In May when our poor Texas is parched!