Neuschwanstein Castle (or “New Swanstone Castle”) isn’t in my novel, Bavarian Beauty, that I’ve been pimping for two weeks (during the span of Oktoberfest), but I wanted to include the castle in my tour around Bavaria. The castle’s just too pretty not to include in the tour.
First, a little bit about this place — and all of this is from the Wikipedia article on it. Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the castle as a retreat (and some people just have a beach house) and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Yeah, the “Ride of the Valkyries” guy.
In 1882, the gatehouse was finished, so Ludwig could move in and see the construction of the palace. He was able to upgrade his living quarters to the Palas (hall) in 1884, even though it was still unfinished. Here’s a shot of the castle’s construction back in 1886:
Unfortunately, when Ludwig died in 1886, the castle still wasn’t finished — and he had lived in it for only 172 days. That’s not a lot of time in your castle. But at least he had that — especially with that view! Because Richard Wagner, who the castle was dedicated to, never even went into the castle (he died in 1883).
Well, it didn’t take long for the palace to become a tourist attraction. Regent Luitpold opened it up to visitors just six weeks after Ludwig died. And it’s still open today, with more than 1.3 million tourists walking through the halls every year.
But if you can’t make it to Bavaria anytime soon, here’s a short virtual vacation for you, thanks to talented Flickr photographers (click on each pic to jump to their webpage). If you’d like to see more pics (with interiors), go to the castle website’s tour of the castle and the Wikipedia article.