Powerful yet elegant
If the battlements and towers of Neuschwanstein Castle rise up into the air – even from a distance the castle has something majestic about it. Surrounded by deep green, it rises up from the ridge on the left side of the Pöllat Gorge. The “youth”, as this mountain ridge was called earlier, was supposedly a favorite place of King Ludwig II, who ordered the (re) construction of Hohenschwangau Castle shortly after his accession to the throne at the tender age of 18.
In the Middle Ages there were two small castles: Vorderhohenschwangau and Hinterhohenschwangau. In a letter to his good friend Richard Wagner, to whom he dedicated the new, later Neuschwanstein Castle, he wrote in 1868: “… this castle will be more beautiful and homely in every respect than the upper Hohenschwangau …” And King Ludwig really did not do anything wrong: he created a vision of a castle almost in his own work, intended as a retreat for the dreamy and shy personality that he was. Ironically, because: just six weeks after his death, Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to visitors and is still a real crowd puller.
The work on the castle was never completed as intended by King Ludwig II; The foundation stone was laid on September 5, 1869, followed by the completion of the gate in 1873 and the topping-out ceremony for the Palas in 1880, before it could be moved into around 1884.
A “Moorish Hall” with a fountain and a knight’s bath in reference to the ritual bath of the Grail Knights were also planned. However, these projects were never completed due to a lack of funds. The building debts of King Ludwig II, as well as his idiosyncratic lifestyle, led to his being incapacitated in 1886 and declared incapable of government. Shortly after this incident, he died under unexplained circumstances in Lake Starnberg.
Pompous, glamorous, … but unfinished
Today we value what he left behind as a valuable relic of the past, which miraculously survived many decades and two world wars unscathed. The large number of visitors and natural erosion make regular restoration work necessary, but the Bavarian Administration of State Castles is now doing everything to preserve Neuschwanstein Castle and its interior as much as possible. Guided tours through parts of the monumental castle leave a lasting impression on around 6000 visitors every day. Filigree wall paintings, pompous halls and noble materials suggest the conditions at the time. The castle covers a total area of 6000 square meters; had it been completed, it would have around 200 rooms. However, only about 15 rooms were actually brought to completion.
But the small peculiarities of Neuschwanstein Castle are also unmistakable: Although it was built in clear style based on the medieval style, it already had modern facilities such as running water, telephone and an electronic intercom system for commanding the servants. The castle was also based on the Wartburg, which was rebuilt shortly before a visit by King Ludwig II and stood out with a huge singing hall. Based on this model, a singers’ hall was also built in Neuschwanstein, which was completed in 1880 and was particularly generous at 27×10 meters.
However, Neuschwanstein Castle is not the only pompous building by King Ludwig II. The Linderhof Palace, held in rococo style, as well as the royal house on Schachen with oriental notes and the New Herrenchiemsee Palace are assigned to the monarch. Some of the buildings are not too far away from Neuschwanstein Castle and are also worth a visit. The Museum of the Bavarian Kings, the Pöllat Gorge and the Marienbrücke are also popular attractions and should definitely be visited by those interested. From the Alpenhof Murnau you can reach Neuschwanstein Castle after a short distance of approx. 50km, preferably by car, but a day trip by bus and hike is also possible. For those who want to devote themselves to the cultural offerings of the area on a long weekend with us and tackle a visit to Neuschwanstein, we have put together some information for you:
Ticket sales times in the ticket center
April to October 15: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 16 to March: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Opening times Neuschwanstein Castle
April to October 15: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October 16 to March: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Open every day except January 1st and December 24th, 25th and 31st
Good to know
The visitors are asked not to bring any luggage and to refrain from taking photos.
Guided tours for visitors with reduced mobility are possible by prior arrangement by elevator:
We hope you enjoy the tour!