Neuschwanstein: Maddeningly beautiful




It’s the perfect castle nestled deep within the bowels of the German Alps and it makes for a picture perfect postcard. Clouds swirling all around, they part like curtains would to reveal a star and what you then see is Neuschwanstein castle; it is (was) the awe spectacular retreat of the ruler they called “fairy-tale king,” Ludwig II of Bavaria. In fact, so gorgeous is Neuschwanstein that Walt Disney chose it as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland and Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom amongst other magical castles in the Disney catalog.

Neuschwanstein

The milky white limestone facades and spires spearing the skywere all built several hundreds of years after medieval times had passed on by and the large windows dotting the exterior are proof enough that this was meant to be a summer home, not a fortress of any kind. Thank god for that, the world would have lost a priceless beauty had Neuschwanstein castle fallen to marauding attackers. Located near evergreen mountains and still lakes, King Ludwig’s corpse was actually found floating in one of these lakes not soon after he was said to go insane. His lasting legacy is Neuschwanstein, and he had it built in the 1860’s in memory of an era of knights and legendary figures gone by.

Clouds float by over villages and mountains, but the only thing proving that this, in fact,  not the 1860’s are the modern roads snaking their way across the landscape below. Colors seem more alive here than anywhere else, as the colors of the lake is more aquamarine than anything, the vegetation passing by me a rich shade of jade. But all of that paled in comparison when the bus rounded the corner and the castle came into sight, flirting with the sky. When the first impression is so awe-inspiring, there is no question as to why Walt Disney chose this as the motif for some of his most memorable locations.

Neuschwanstein tours

Stepping inside, I instantly felt a sense of déjà vu, and I realized why this was the case; the only other place where this kind of elegance was seen was in Versailles, right from the oak-paneled walls to the elegant furniture dotting the palace, everything was tasteful almost in an extreme, but never gaudily so.

Having had my hearts fill of the castle from inside the palace, I moved over to the Marienbrucke bridge where I got some sensational photos from what was a terrific vantage point. It is, however, a 100 year old bridge and you tend to think twice about stepping on wooden planks that are that old. My eyes went automatically to the planks below, looking for any signs of strain. What transfixed me instead was the waterfall far below and then the castle again. For sure, it is one of the most regal and beautiful sights in all of the known world, and it is a sight of maddening beauty.

Marienbrucke bridge

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  1. Angie Williams says:

    Neuschwanstein is indeed the world’s best known castle! For all the money spent on it it seems that the king spent only 170 days in residence..! King Ludwig II took help of a state designer rather than an architect to design and build the castle! Many of the themes of castle were drawn from German mythology..and couldn’t be completed….

    Beautiful pictures there! Thanks for the post! :-)

  2. Alan O'Reilly says:

    The area below and surrounding the castle is a bit queer, and a bit heavy on tourist trappings. Often, the restaurants are over-priced and just decent enough. Many foreigners love to scoop up things fro shops that sell ‘All things German’.. Don’t miss the small lake near the castle and the swans!
    The trip up the mountain is steep and requires physical fitness..So you must be in good shape before you attempt the climb..There is also a carriage ride available to the top..

    The views at the top are breath-taking…The overall experience was just above average..The tour was nothing great but the Castle itself is just AWESOME!!

    The Bavarian region and drive into its castle area are unsurpassable as its BEAUTY is concerned!
    See this castle for that alone!!

    Lovely pictures …Thanks for the post :-)

  3. Cecil Fernandes says:

    Nothing bad about the castle visit to Neuschwanstein..We caught a bus from Schwangu and then took a short steep walk to the ENIGMATIC Castle! Our tour guide who was an Englishman was friendly and answered all my questions, he gave all the information about the castle precisely..The Bridge is not to be missed…The Castle is really nice but the views we got as we went in the month of December were even more amazing!! Everything was covered with a thin sparkling layer of snow! The Scenery was just AMAZING!

    A few tips children under 18 get there inside the Castle for free..

    Thanks for the great post!

  4. Freud Rubble says:

    Marien Bruck the wooden bridge over Pollack gorge is a must visit vantage point behind the Castle…

    If you want the best experience out of this visit, don’t look to your left when you climb the bridge..Keeping walking till you reach almost the center of the bridge and then turn towards your left..

    Having turned, open your eyes and behold!The MAJESTIC schloss rises from the foggy valley beneath like sphinx..The slowly swinging bridge and the hushed tones of fellow travelers and the awesome wind adds to the overall impact of the sight..You feel like living in a fairytale literally…!!

    Travelers who have difficulty in climbing should use the approach from Marienbruck to Schloss and then towards the foothill as the climb is tougher the other way round!

  5. Anne Cullen says:

    Oh Thanks so much for that lovely piece on the most beautiful Fairy tale castle ever built…!!

    A must visit in one’s lifetime….!! :-)

  6. Bree Maxmueller says:

    Oh I loved your post! Thank you so much…Definitely keep posting more on such interesting and wonderful places!! :-)

  7. Candice Baxter says:

    A BEAUTIFUL castle with fantastic views …I really enjoyed this place….!Thanks a lot for the useful post! :-)

  8. Yanira Warmbier says:

    Wow What wonderful details. Thank you for the time you spent on this post.

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