Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloss Neuschwanstein) is without doubt one of the most visited German Castles. More than one million visitors travel to the fairy-tale palace in southern Bavaria every year.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who is often attributed as the "mad", "eccentric", "swan" or "fairy-tale" king, had his dream palace built in Gothic Revival style on a rocky ridge not far from Hohenschwangau.
Neuschwanstein's dramatic setting on the ridge that borders the Pöllat Gorge in the west has indeed contributed to the castle's fairy-tale image.
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Since the Middle Ages two small castles sat on the rugged hill where Neuschwanstein stands today. Ludwig II knew and loved the two castle ruins since his childhood, after all, nearby Hohenschwangau castle was the summer residence of the royal family.
Although it is said that the Wartburg was one of the models for Neuschwanstein, the final exterior design of the castle resembles more the second model, Chateau de Pierrefonds in France.
During the Romantic Era in the early 19th century many castles in Germany were rebuilt romanticising medieval life (Burgenromantik). King Ludwig II of Bavaria was heavily influenced by Richard Wagner's operas about medieval sagas and knights. From an early age Ludwig escaped from the live filled with duties into his dream world of sagas and heroes.
Want to do a virtual tour, see more rooms, how the king lived? Follow the palace tour on the Bavarian Palace Department website.
For tips about tours or how to get there on your own, please visit the Neuschwanstein Tips page for more useful information.
Discover why Ludwig II was fascinated by this area in southern Bavaria. Take your time and stay a while when you visit Neuschwanstein castle.
Hotels are nice and comfortable and offer great country hospitality. Use the search box to find a hotel in Hohenschwangau, Schwangau, or Füssen. These towns are convenient to stay when you want to visit the royal castles.