Today we are going to visit a very beautiful place – one that our daughter in particular was excited to explore: Schloss Neuschwanstein. This beautiful Bavarian castle was built by none other than King Ludwig II. Ludwig II was called the Swan King as he had a fascination with swans. The German word for swan is “schwan” and stein means “stone”. Ludwig was also known as the “Mad King” as he was reportedly declared insane in a plot to bring him to his demise. While the reports are conflicting, the lake behind the castle is said to also be King Ludwig’s final resting place. On June 13, 1886 Ludwig II was found dead (along with his physician) in very unusual circumstances. There is a lot of speculation as to what really happened that day as Ludwig II had a lot of debtors he owed money to for all of his extravagant castles, but no one really knows what went wrong that fateful day. Interestingly enough, the beauty of this place is indescribable. Neuschwanstein Castle located in Schwangau, Germany, is said to have been a major influence in the design of Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle.
Here are a few books to read more about the subject if you interest is peaked:
When we went to visit the castle, I only took photos of the outer and inner courts as you are not permitted to take any photos on the inside. In addition to this, I did not get any full view shots of the castle (at least not yet as we’ll be going back again) as a terrible thunder storm came upon us while we were there! Twice! The walk up is a nice little workout – about a 20-30 minute hike. While you can take horse and carriage, we opted to walk and let the boys get their energy out.
Since I have been unable to obtain my own photo of the entire castle – here is one I found on the Flikr commons. I am hoping to replace this one sooner than not with my OWN work. It WILL happen!
Photo attribution: Jeff Wilcox via Flikr Commons
Here are my boys, all 4 of them, journeying on their way up to the castle! Our Standard Poodle, Samuel, drew so much attention from the tourists it was unreal! We stopped counting after 10 people asked to get their photo WITH my dog! Hahaha! In one of the photos below, you can see the storm brewing up, and shortly after we had to run all the way down the hill to some shelter – about a 30 minute adventure. Hopefully the next time we journey here the weather will cooperate so I can get “that shot” of the castle I am dreaming of!
The view from the top. It is a beautiful countryside! King Ludwig II may have been crazy, but his taste was impeccable!
I hope you have enjoyed our short but sweet trip to Schwangau to visit King Ludwig II’s amazing Neuschwanstein castle! Be sure to visit each day for a new adventure in the Exploring Germany series!