Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most viited German castles and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” referring to “the Swan Knight”, one of the Wagner’s characters. Eduard Riedel, stage-painter Christian Jank and the architect Georg Dollman designed the Castle. It is a fantasy, made up of stone. The palace can be regarded as a typical 19th century architecture.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany The shapes of Romanesque style, simple geometric figures such as cuboids and semicircular arches, Gothic style, upward-pointing lines, slim towers, delicate embellishments and Byzantine architecture and art, the Throne Hall decor, were mingled in an eclectic fusion and complemented 19th century technical achievements.
King Ludwig II used Wartburg Castle as a model, enriched with many scenes from Wagner’s stage characters, which as a result is an example of a romantic, medieval castle. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
The Entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany The entrance is through the symmetrical Gatehouse flanked by two stair towers. The eastern gate building is the only structure of the palace the wall area of which is painted in high-contrast colors; the exterior walls are covered with red bricks contrasting the yellow limestone.

The passage through the Gatehouse, crowned with the royal Bavarian coat of arms, leads directly into a courtyard.
The roof cornice is surrounded by pinnacles. Above the upper floor of the Gatehouse rises a crow-stepped gable. This floor was Ludwig II’s first lodging at Neuschwanstein. The ground floors of the Gatehouse were intended to accommodate the stables. The Entrance of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

The courtyard has two levels, the lower one being directed to the east by the Gatehouse and to the north by the foundations of the so-called Rectangular Tower and by the Gallery Building. The southern end of the courtyard is open, offering a view of the surrounding mountain scenery. At its western end the courtyard is surrounded by a bricked embankment, whose polygonal protracting bulge marks the choir of the originally projected chapel; this three-nave church, never built, was intended to form the base of a 90-metre keep, the planned centerpiece of the architectural ensemble. A flight of steps at the side gives access to the upper level.

The Courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany The Courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Like most of the court buildings, the Rectangular Tower mostly has a decorative purpose  in the ensemble.
The northern end of the upper courtyard is close to the so-called Knights’ House. The three-storey building is connected to the Rectangular Tower and the Gatehouse by a continuous gallery, fashioned with a blind arcade.

Rectangular Tower - Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany Like most of the court buildings, the Rectangular Tower mostly has a decorative purpose  in the ensemble.
The northern end of the upper courtyard is close to the so-called Knights’ House. The three-storey building is connected to the Rectangular Tower and the Gatehouse by a continuous gallery, fashioned with a blind arcade.

View from location of unrealized chapel along upper courtyard level: Bower - left, Palace front, and Knights’ House - right.
From the point of view of castles’ Romanticism the Knights’ House was the dwelling of a stronghold’s menfolk; at Neuschwanstein, the estate and service rooms were envisioned here. The Bower, which complements the Knights’ House as the “ladies’ house” but was never used as such, defines the south side of the court yard. Both structures together represent the theme of the Antwerp Castle featuring in the first act of Lohengrin. Embedded in the pavement is the floor plan of the planned Palace chapel.
Rectangular Tower - Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany Had it been completed, the palace would have had more than 200 interior rooms, including premises for guests and servants as well as for service and logistics. Eventually, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were finished. As we mentioned taking photographs the Castle is forbidden. The Entrance Hall is decorated with scenes from Siegfried saga. The Throne Room was inspired by Hagia Sofia in Constantinople/now Istanbul/. The mosaic floor depicts animals and plants. The Tower Garet offers a magnificent overlook of Alpsee Lake and Bavarian landscape.
The romantic landscape of the Castle’s surroundings can be fully appreciated looking from Marienbbrucke – a cantilever bridge spanning the 45 m high waterfall.  Marienbrucke Waterfall Bridge - Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany Neuschwanstein Castle was intended to serve Ludwig II as a kind of inhabitable theatrical setting.

As a temple of friendship it was also devoted to life and work of Richard Wagner as we mentioned earlier who died in 1883 before he had set foot in the building. In the end Ludwig II only lived in the palace for a total of 172 days.

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Map of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

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