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Neuschwanstein Castle - castles and palaces

Legendary Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale castle built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, is perched on a steep cliff with the Bavarian, Lechtal and Allgäu Alps as a panoramic backdrop. Its architecture and interior furnishings are a prime example of the romantic historicism and eclecticism of the 19th century.

A legend set against a scenic mountain backdrop
It was King Ludwig II (1845-1886), King of Bavaria from 1864 to 1886, that commissioned the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein set against this scenic mountain backdrop in 1869. He ordered it to be built "in the true style of the old German knights' castles". The architects Eduard Riedel and Georg Dollmann built the castle according to the King's wishes; the plans were based on stage sets designed by the Munich scene painter Christian Jank. However, Ludwig was only able to reside in the neo-Romanesque and neo-Gothic fantasy castle with its battlements, gables, turrets, drawbridges and snow-white walls for a short period after 1880. When seeing the king's castle for the first time, it feels like you are being transported into a magical fairytale world. Today, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most frequently visited castles in Europe.
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While the building itself replicates the 13th century Romanesque style, some of the images of the murals are based on themes from Wagnerian operas such as "Tannhäuser" and "Lohengrin". When entering the castle you find yourself in the forecourt, which is surrounded by scenes from the Sigurd legend. This is followed by floor after floor of gilded objects, mosaics, marquetry floors, velvets, silks, huge chandeliers and mirrors. The 15-metre high, magnificent throne room, which stretches over two floors, is furnished in luxurious Byzantine style. A spiral staircase with a star-covered canopy leads up to the Singers' Hall from Ludwig's private rooms on the third floor, which are filled with images of swans, Siegfried and the dragon, Tristan and Iseult, scenes from the Lohengrin saga, and also feature an illuminated cave and candelabras.
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Other castles and palaces in Germany

A selection of other castle and palace museums in Germany
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