Each year about 1,3 million tourists visit southern Bavaria, to see the "castle from a fairy tale." It stands proudly on a rugged hill, catching the eyes of every visitor. This 19th century Neuschwanstein castle is the most famous among all castles of Ludwig II.
Where is located the most visited European castle, which was an inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle project at Disneyland? In Germany, and more precisely in southern Bavaria. It’s called Neuschwanstein and stands on the site, which offers a magnificent view of three lakes: Alpsee, Forggensee and Bannwaldsee. The castle is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Germany, and enjoys the biggest popularity among all the castles of Bavarian King Ludwig II Wittelsbach.
Huge rooms of Neuschwanstein saved him from destruction during the two world wars – they were used as storages.
Neuschwanstein Castle’s debts
This majestic structure was built on the initiative of the king, who was fascinated with the Middle Ages and chivalry ideals. Ludwig II wanted Neuschwanstein to have possibly the most romantic references to ancient times (hence the slender, tall towers), though without heavy and clumsy fortifications, typical of the medieval buildings of this kind.
The construction of the castle took longer than it was planned, because the ambitions of the Bavarian king grew with the time. The castle grew together with them, the budget was exceeded twice, and after the death of King Ludwig II, the object fell into a massive debt. The fact that the building was made available to “mere mortals” we owe to the financial problems. People could admire its interiors for an appropriate charge, which allowed to pay a part of the debt. Currently, the castle can be visited only with a guide during the tour lasting about 35 minutes.
And when you can visit the delicious interiors of Neuschwanstein? From October 16th to March castle is open to visitors in the hours 9 am to 4 pm, and from April to October 15th from 8 am to 6 pm. Tickets can only be purchased in the ticket office at the foot of the mountain (they aren’t sold one hour before closing the castle). Normal ticket costs 12 EUR, while the discount - 11 EUR. People under 18 years old enter for free.
Accommodation with a view of the castle
After visiting a giant building proudly crowning the rock, we can explore the local area – it’s as beautiful as the castle. We are in the district of Ostallgäu, which belongs to Swabia, known for its exceptional picturesqueness. From the north, it’s decorated with numerous lakes, including the largest, Forggensee, covering an area of 15,2 km². Noteworthy is also a smaller lake, though more valuable for bird watchers (both amateurs and professionals) Bannwaldsee, which in a large part is a bird sanctuary.
People eager to explore the castle will be pleased with holidays in these regions. The setting is beautiful – it’s full of the green and blue color, which is due in the immediate vicinity of several large lakes. On the southern shore of Bannwaldsee, is located a campsite of the same name. On the area of several hectares there are numerous parking spaces, a restaurant and supermarket. There’s also a beach with a lifeguard, swimming equipment rental, pizzeria, laundry and drying room. Guests can use the wireless Internet. Per night, 2 adults will pay 27 EUR. A place for motorhome costs 23,5 EUR per day.
In a distance of about 2 km is situated the lower station of the cable car at Tegelberg, while around the campsite there’s a lot of hiking and biking trails. Before we go to sleep, we can throw the last look at the lofty outlines of the castle silhouetted on the top of the mountain. Let’s think of the Middle Ages, and a king, who wanted to create the perfect knight's castle.