Apr
16
2009

What is Neuschwanstein Castle?

Neuschwanstein Castle - courtesy Mathieu B - CC-BY

Neuschwanstein Castle - courtesy Mathieu B - CC-BY

Neuschwanstein Castle (New Swan Stone palace) is a 19th-century palace, 3306 feet above sea-level, in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat. If it looks somewhat familiar, that may be because Walt Disney used it as inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle at the Disney theme parks. The foundation stone of the building was laid September 5, 1869. The Hohenschwangau Castle was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, rather than an architect. Seven weeks after the mysterious death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Hohenschwangau was opened to the public. (it only acquired the name of “Neuschwanstein” after the death of the king) In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day wander through rooms that were meant for a single inhabitant.

The setting of Neuschwanstein could not be more picturesque but movement in the foundation has to be continuously monitored, and the sheer rock walls must be repeatedly secured. The castle is built in the style of the late romanesque period of the early 13th century. In spite of its medieval look, the construction of Neuschwanstein required the modern technology of the day. The intact kitchen shows how modern technology was allowed within the atmosphere of the middle ages. The equipment includes hot and cold running water, and automatic spit roasters. The castle was also electrified, had forced-air heating and indoor plumbing.

When he finally moved in, the king lived there for a grand total of only eleven days before dying under suspicious circumstances in 1886 at the age of 41.

For more information about Germany

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1 Comment

  • eiffel says:

    If it looks somewhat familiar, it might also be because it featured in the 1960s movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

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