Seeing this castle was one of my favorite sites of this trip. There was something very fairy-tale-like about driving through The Alps and seeing this beautiful castle setting up in the foothills (I’m not alone since this castle inspired Walt Disney).
Ludwig II of Bavaria, who seems to have been a very eccentric man, built this beautiful castle as an homage for Richard Wagner with whom he was quite infatuated. Each of the rooms is set up like a scene from one of Wagner’s operas. It’s really beautiful, but also a bit odd. The guide explained that Ludwig lived in a bit of a fantasy world. He was engaged to his cousin, who was also a big fan of Wagner, but he eventually called off the engagement, and it was later discovered from letters and diaries, that Ludwig II had homosexual desires.
Ludwig II died a bit mysteriously. He was declared insane and taken to a castle south of Munich. He went on a walk along Lake Starnberg with his doctor, and neither of them returned. They were both found dead in the lake and, to this day, both deaths remain a mystery.
This is the other castle nearby Hohenschwangau Castle. Ludwig dreamed up his castle as a child while living here. To get to the castle, it’s a about a mile-long walk uphill (either that or take a carriage or a little tram to the top) but the walk is the free option, and it’s a pretty walk as well!
Photos of the rooms in the castle aren’t allowed, but I have a few shots from the windows and hallways. Inside is a bit like walking through a fairy tale, especially with the tour guide connecting the paintings and decor to Wagner’s operas.
This is a gorgeous view of the Hohenschwangau Castle and the lake from a window in Neuschwanstein. On the way down there was a horse-drawn carriage offering rides for 2 Euros, so we decided to do that and enjoy the views of the castle on the way down and get our own little fairy tale experience.
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