Neuschwanstein: The Fairy Tale Castle
Germany is the land of fairy tales and also houses a magnificent castle built by ‘the Fairy-Tale King’, Ludwig II. One of the most magical of the castles on the planet, Neuschwanstein Castle was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria in the second half of the 19th century. Neuschwanstein literally translates as ‘the New Swan Cliff’.
The Fairy-Tale King
Ludwig II, disenchanted by the daily routines of Munich had become submerged in his own dreamy world. He holds a special place amongst the German rulers. Unlike his stern and warrior-like predecessors, he is known for his dreamy and romantic character. He funded the construction of the castle by his own fortune and heavy debts rather than public funds. This reclusive ruler gave the world several masterpieces of architecture- Neuschwanstein, Linderhoff and Herrenchiemsee. The fascinating weightlessness, the fairy-tale silhouettes and the splendid mountains as backdrop make these castles some of the most magnificent German castles.
The Fairy Tale Castle
Wartburg Castle was chosen as a model for building the Neuschwanstein Castle. Inspired by Richard Wagner’s opera ‘Lohengrin’, the creation of ‘the Swan Castle’ by Ludwig II surpassed the original. The walls of the castle depict the medieval legends of Przival, Tannhauser and Lohengrin, the Holy Grail, Tristan and Isolde and the magical world of ‘Nibelungenlied’. The details on art works are so articulate that the masters spent a long time working on them. In fact the castle was incomplete even after his mysterious death following the deposal in 1886. Just two months after his death, the unfinished castle was opened to public!
This Romanesque Revival palace built over the village of Hohenschwangau near Fussen, southwest Bavaria is a fantastic synchronization of fantasy with reality. Despite its heavenly stature the castle was equipped with all the modern amenities of its time. In fact, Neuschwanstein is a fairy tale made of stone. The castle later became an inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s ballet ‘the Swan Lake’ and also the prototype for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Paris.
No photos or stories of Neuschwanstein can probably depict its splendid beauty. It is strongly recommended that you go to see this fairy tale castle for yourself.