May 5, 2018
Now that’s a CASTLE!!!! Neuschwanstein Castle has been on my bucket-list since I can remember. I am fascinated with the history of castles. So crazy to see how this castle is just sitting there on a giant hill in the Bavarian Forest overlooking the Alpsee Lake and Austrian Alps.
Ludwig II, the Fairy Tale King
Ludwig II of became king of Bavaria in 1864 at the age of 18. Two years later he was forced to accept the defeat and domination of his country by Prussia. No longer a sovereign ruler, he was unable to cope with the role of a constitutional monarch. He created his own alternative world, in which as the reigning king of Bavaria he could live like a king of the Middle Ages. He is known as “The Fairytale King” and this is the castle he created…..Neuschwanstein.
Neuschwanstein Castle Construction commenced in September 1869 by Ludwig II high above his father’s Hohenschwangau Castle. He first lived in the Gateway Building which was completed in 1873. He did not live to see his ‘New Castle’ without scaffolding and the castle was never actually completed. Although heavily in debt, Ludwig II always wanted to go on building. When the banks threatened to seize his property, the government had him certified insane and interned him in Berg Palace. On June 13, 1886, he died in Lake Starnberg under mysterious circumstances.After his death, the ‘New Castle’, which no outsider was ever allowed to enter, was opened to the public on August 1, 1886. It was only named Neuschwanstein after his death and is one of the best known and most frequently visited and photographed buildings in the world. Designed in a medieval style but equipped with the latest technology of the day, it is one of the most famous buildings in the world.
Behind the medieval appearance of the castle the latest technology was in operation and every comfort was ensured.The royal residence had hot air central heating. There was running water on every floor and the kitchen had both hot and cold water. The toilets had an automatic flushing system. The king used an electric bell system to summon his servants. On the third and fourth floors there were telephones. Meals did not have to be laboriously carried upstairs: for this purpose there was a lift. The latest technology was also used for the construction process itself. The cranes were driven by steam engines, and the Throne Room was incorporated by means of a steel construction. One of the special features of Neuschwanstein is the large window panes. Windows of this size were still unusual even in Ludwig II’s day.
Queen Mary’s bridge (Marienbrücke) The Marienbrücke is about 15 minutes walking distance from Neuschwanstein Castle and is named after Queen Marie of Prussia, the mother of King Ludwig II. King Maximilian II (the husband of Queen Marie) constructed in 1845, over the “Pöllatschlucht”, a web for riders which his son King Ludwig II completed to become today’s Marienbrücke. The Marienbrücke is very popular today as a location for excellent photos of Neuschwanstein castle and its surroundings.
The Gorge Pöllatschlucht below Neuschwanstein Castle The Pöllatschlucht is the area below Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle was build on one of its few rocks; the Pöllatschlucht is part of many walks and hikes around the Castle. The Pöllat is a mountain stream flowing over multiple waterfalls to the valley of Hohenschwangau village. Later, the Pöllat loses its wild character and continues flowing three kilometers northwards until Mühlberg, an estuary of the “Bannwaldsee”, where the” Mühlberg Ach” merges.
I bought a handmade felt hat at a shop right by the horse carriage station. I’m trying to make hats a thing again so I don’t look weird being the only one in the US wearing awesome hats.
You aren’t allowed to take any pictures inside the castle so these are pictures of pictures to give you an idea of the reason the King went bankrupt! It’s just a little extravagant.
The “little” yellow castle sitting on the hill below Neuschwanstein is Hohenschwangau. This is the castle that Ludwig II spent his childhood and adolescence.
It is known that reference to the Schwangau Castle dates from the 12th century – and was home to the knights of Schwangau. However, over the centuries, the castle was badly damaged.
In 1832 Crown Prince Maximilian (later King Max II) aquired the castle and rebuilt it as today’s Hohenschwangau Castle, a duration of five years to complete. He and his family used the Castle as a summer and hunting residence.
Neuschwanstein Castle Hotel
Landhotel Guglhupf is the hotel that we stayed at. It is in the town of Schwangau’s Horn district offers rooms with panoramic views of the Alps. It is less than one mile from the and . Our room had a view of both castles! Each morning, a traditional, Allgäu-region buffet is freshly prepared which was wonderful and fun to try all the different foods.
On the drive we also passed the HARIBO Gummy Bear Factory, it is HUGE, like seriously so big, I had no idea those gummy bears were so popular!!! These sweet little bears are like the mascot of Bavaria. The girls would get them with kids meals and they are sold everywhere.
Here’s a video of Eloise giving a tour of our hotel room and some of the castle. Every place we stayed had a little side table with two chairs and she called it our “tea party”.