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Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Almost all of us, at some point of time in our childhood, grow up listening to the fairy tales and often end up saying fairy tales never happen in reality. But, the Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland is pretty unlike our notions. It is an inspiration from the larger than life Neuschwanstein Castle of Germany which every year draws about 1.4 million foot falls as tourists.

The English interpretation of this 19th century romantic castle is New Swan Stone Castle and it costed the German King Ludwig II a fortune to build this in totality. Although, he did not have the luck to see the castle in its complete beauty but, ever since it got opened for public glance, the castle has got featured in a number of movies with over 60 million people already have paid it a visit over the years. It is now one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Europe and is a good revenue earner for Germany. The highest number of tourists, as much as 6,000 a day, queues up in front of the castle mainly during the summers.

Unlike its current popularity amongst enthusiasts worldwide, the castle, on the south western front of Bavaria, Germany was built with a notion to be a retreat for Ludwig II where he could stay away from people. Post his death in 1886, the castle was opened for public viewing.

Located on perhaps the most picturesque locale possible for any such mansion, the Neuschwanstein Castle is made of limestone and is a magnificent blend of both contemporary architecture and medieval romanticism inspired from the operas of Ludwig II’s favourite Richard Wagner. Ludwig II’s recluse in the world of fairytales and legends is very much apparent in the rooms of the castle, especially two of beautiful halls. One of them is the Singer’s Hall whose walls though never got a chance to reverberate to the notes of music but they portray the medieval banquet choices. The other one is Ludwig’s favourite Hall of the Holy Grail which he amalgamated the art of the medieval times with the contemporary technologies. Thus, the entire palace, starting from the dining rooms to the bed chamber of Ludwig is wrapped in embellishments of gold and blue. They partly try to match the splendour of his father’s Watburg Castle and partly are the product of his mythical creative forces.

During Ludwig’s death in 1886, the Neuschwanstein Castle was still in the process of completion but, it was opened for public viewing after the king’s death so that the huge debts incurred for the castle could be dealt with and some income for the Bavarian royal family could also be generated. It certainly served that purpose for the royal family till 1914 after which post the World War I and Bavaria’s republic status is now managed by the Bavarian Palace Department.

The best approaches to the Neuschwanstein Castle is parking at either Schwangau or Füssen and then walk to get the tickets to enter the mansion. There are also public transports like train to Füssen.