Neuschwanstein Castle
When my mother and I were in Germany in 1972 we made a trip to Bertchesgaden Bavaria which is right next to Saltzburg Austria. We were staying with an Army Chaplain and his family. Part of our trip was a vacation in Bavaria. We rode in a big Mercedes bus to Bertchesgaden with other military families for their vacations etc.

Ludwig's castle  "New Swan on the Rock castle"

During our visit in Bavaria, we heard about the real castle that the locals called  "The Disney Castle" and I thought they told me it was in the center of the near by Chiemsee Lake.

My Mother remembered that story as well. Actually"The Disney Castle" which is really called NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE is not the one n the center of the lake. That castle was a complete replica of the Palace of Versailles in France. It is called.. Herrenchiemsee Palace.

In 1868, Ludwig commissioned the first drawings for two of his buildings. The first was Schloss Neuschwanstein, or "New Swan on the Rock castle", a dramatic Romanesque fortress with soaring fairy-tale towers situated on an Alpine crag above Ludwig's childhood home, Castle Hohenschwangau (approximately, "High Swan Region").

Hohenschwangau was a medieval knights' castle which his parents had purchased. Ludwig reputedly had spied the location and conceived of building a castle there while still a boy.

Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge.

Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.

Neuschwanstein Castle is a landmark well known by many non-Germans, and was used by Walt Disney in the twentieth century as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castles at Disneylands around the world. The castle has had over 50 million visitors since it was opened to the public on 1 August 1886, including 1.3 million in 2008 alone.

Opened July 17, 1955, the castle is the oldest of all Disney castles. Though it reaches a height of only 77 feet (23 m), it was designed to appear taller through a process known as forced perspective; design elements are larger at the foundation and smaller at the turrets.

The castle initially featured an empty upper level that was never intended to house an attraction, but Walt Disney was not satisfied with what he viewed as wasted space, and challenged his Imagineers to find some use for the space.

Beginning April 29, 1957, visitors were able to walk through the castle and view several dioramas depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty. The original dioramas were designed in the style of Eyvind Earle, production designer for Disney's 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, and were then redone in 1977 to resemble the window displays on Main Street, U.S.A..

The walkthrough was closed for unspecified reasons in October 2001; popular belief claims the September 11th attacks and the potential danger that ensued played a major factor in the closing.

Interesting Facts about Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein means "New Swan Stone". The name of the castle derives from one of Wagner's opera's character, the Swan Knight.

The Neuschwanstein castle was built for only one person – the King Ludwig II. Neuschwanstein is so immense though, that in some days it is visited by up to 6000 tourists.

Ludwig slept only 11 nights in the castle

Ludwig was Richard Wagner's patron, and many rooms of the castle were inspired by Wagner's operas. Despite of this, Wagner never visited the castle, as he died before its completion.

The castle is one of the most photographed buildings in the world, even if photography is not permitted inside of the castle.

There is no throne in the castle, as the Throne Hall was not completed before Ludwig's death.

  The King’s bedroom at Neuschwanstein.

The bed itself is only a single, and looks more like an altar than a place for catching some shut-eye. The wash basin to the left features swan-shaped taps. Fourteen carpenters worked for more than four years to make the woodwork in the bedroom.

Despite its medieval look, it was built in the 19th century, and it served no defensive purposes.
The original name of the castle was New Hohenschwangau Castle. It was renamed as Neuschwanstein castle just after Ludwig II's death.The designer of the castle was Christian Jank. He was not even an architect but a theatrical designer.

In 2012, the Neuschwanstein Castle appeared on a €2 commemorative coin.


Rachel said...

"been inside there- very cool. (Neuschwanstein, not Sleeping Beauty's!)"

Ted Boiteau said...

GREAT LAYOUT..........

Marijke Koger-Dunham said...

Lovely Kimmer, great to see the different angles and some of the interior.

Cynthia Nash Netemeyer said...

Very interesting article.

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