The fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the idyllic Hohenschwangau region at the edge of the Alps, just near Füssen im Allgäu. Construction work began here in 1869 under the constant eye of the famous owner King Louis II. of Bavaria. The work continued for 17 years until the King’s death in June 1886. During this period, only 1/3 of the planned interior rooms of the castle were built, and this is how the castle still remains today. The reason for this is that within about six weeks of King Louis’ death, the Bavarian royal family who inherited the castle opened it to the public as a museum. Louis II. himself only actually lived in Neuschwanstein Castle for about six months.
In building Neuschwanstein Castle King Louis II. wanted to turn his idealised images of a Medieval knight’s castle into reality – yet with the comfort and technical advances of the 19th century. Wartburg Castle near Eisenach was used as the model for the architectural style of a Medieval castle. The murals inside of Medieval myths and legends also reflect this. These include the Tannhäuser myth, which is said to have partly taken place in the Wartburg. These Medieval myths and legends were also conceived as habitable theatre stages. All of the murals in the castle depict the stories used in Richard Wagner’s operas. Louis II. and Richard Wagner were close friends but the latter sadly never had the chance to see the homage to his work as he died in 1883 before the interior rooms were completed.
Both the location and the design of Neuschwanstein Castle are unique. As you wander through the rooms, you will feel truly regal and be impressed by the unique and breathtaking design that came from Louis II’s imagination. This is also reflected in the number of visitors – next to the Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee, Neuschwanstein Castle is the most visited of the sites with links to the King. Every year, approx. 1.5 million visitors from all over the world come to be enchanted by the fairytale castle.