A trip to Neuschwanstein

For many, it is the symbol for Germany par excellence – alongside beer, sauerkraut and dirndl: this is of course the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle, built by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria at the end of the 19th century. Every year, it attracts around one and a half million tourists from all over the world – and it is undoubtedly worthwhile! We have put together a great package for you around your visit to Neuschwanstein.

That’s why you just have to see this castle

At first glance, Neuschwanstein looks like a medieval knight’s castle – and this resemblance was intended: Neuschwanstein is an impressive example of historicist architecture. This building project of Ludwig II. was nothing unusual at first. Since the historical, and especially the medieval, was in a sense “fully in line with the trend”, princes throughout Europe had medieval castles rebuilt or rebuilt in the medieval style. Ludwig II was specifically inspired by others: the Wartburg in Eisenach – and Richard Wagner’s works on medieval themes.

In addition to its truly impressive architecture and interior design, Neuschwanstein also achieved sad fame as an example of Ludwig II’s financial mismanagement. The latter built two more castles in parallel – Neuschwanstein was “only” planned as a small private place of residence. Due to constantly changing plans and adjusted financial plans, the construction was protracted (a prankster, who now thinks of more recent events in Berlin or Hamburg!) Ludwig II resided on Neuschwanstein for only 174 days before he died – the castle was still a building site at that time.

What makes the visit to Neuschwanstein so valuable, however, is – in addition to the sheer imposing character of the building and its interior design – its historicist basic idea and eclectic architectural style. They make Neuschwanstein a resource for everything that the 19th century considered to be “typical German” and that it was historically valuable. That is why Ludwig II’s “fairy-tale castle” is so beautiful also culturally and historically so incredibly exciting.

Highlights on Neuschwanstein

One of the absolute highlights in the castle is probably the series of pictures, which Ludwig II., inspired by the works of his friend Richard Wagner, had created. They show excerpts from the legends of the Middle Ages, which Ludwig II, like so many others in this period of medieval Romanticism, was so enthusiastic about.

Guilt, atonement, love and salvation are the central themes of the murals. Connoisseurs of German literary history will also recognize three particularly important figures again and again: swan knight Lohengrin, king of the Grail Parzival and the poet Tannhäuser. The swan symbol also runs through the entire picturesquely beautifully designed interiors.
The fact that all these allusions and reminiscences were not entirely medieval proves the impressively modern technology in the castle. There was a telephone system, toilets with automatic flushing and food elevators.

Perhaps no wonder, then, given the state-of-the-art technical equipment available at the time, that the building was so much more expensive than originally planned – and that only about 20 of the planned 200 rooms were completed…

Beautiful experiences after the castle

After your visit to the castle and so much historical information, a little change will certainly do you good. The Allgäu mountains offer you many opportunities for biking tours and hikes in fine weather. After a guided tour through the castle, plan a short, two to three hour tour through nature! If the weather is not nice enough, you can also do it in the climbing hall Rieden.

Your overnight stay in Füssen

For your trip, it is a good idea to stay overnight in the nearby village of Füssen. There is a nice youth hostel, where you can stay for a reasonable price. The hostel is located about 7 km from the “Fairytale Castle” Neuschwanstein. You can stay there overnight from about 24 €. If you are travelling alone, you might meet some nice people here, with whom you can do something together!

This is what you can do the next day

Let’s start the next day relaxed and enjoy a nice breakfast in Füssen. Then take one of the many mountain railways, which you can not only use when the ski is on. They take you comfortably to higher vantage points – before you can hike or simply enjoy the magnificent view over a truly fairytale landscape. In the afternoon you should definitely have a look at the beautiful old town of Füssens before you start your way back. Visit the High Castle, which today houses the Branalgalerie der Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlung and the Städtische Galerie. Stroll through the picturesque Reichenstraße in the heart of the old town, where you can also stop for a cup of coffee or dinner.

A little tip for coffee drinkers and bookworms: In the public library in the St. Mang monastery there is a charming little reading cafe!

How to get there: Arrival

The best way to get to Neuschwanstein by car is via the A7 motorway (until the end of the motorway), then via the B17 to Neuschwanstein. Drive to Schwangau and then turn right to Hohenschwangau. You can take the train to Füssen – from there a bus will take you to the castle.

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|| Last change: 26-05-2018
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