A castle I’ve seen photos of years ago before coming to Germany is the Neuschwanstein. Some call it the most beautiful castles in Germany, I call it the most beautiful castle I have ever seen so far. The castle is located in southern Germany very close the border of Austria. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived, but it’s a pretty touristy town. Above is a restaurant and shop I saw at the base of the mountain. It turns out it’s over a mile walk to the castle from the town below so you get to pass by these shops or have lunch like I did. I opted for the walk, but if you’d rather not do it, there are plenty of horses and carriages to pull you to the top.
The road up to the castle will give you some great views like this giant mountain above and the waterfall on the right. I’ve no idea what this mountain or the height, but it was my favorite of the ones I saw while in this part of Germany.
Hiking up to the castle is free, but if you want to go inside you have to purchase a ticket in the town below. The problem with the ticket is they only offer guided tours in a first come first serve basis. When I got my ticket after waiting in line 15 minutes I was told the next available tour was in three hours! I figured I’d hang out in town but for some reason I decided to go hike up to the castle anyway. This turned out to be a wise decision, as there are plenty of hiking trails to explore while you wait. The photo on the left is the Marienbrucke bridge seen from a distance. It takes about 15 minutes to hike to it, where you’ll get some great views of the castle and the river underneath which is photographed below.
Beyond the bridge the hiking trail changes from pavement to a more rugged and steep climb. I’m not sure what the sign on the left says, but apparently you can die somehow on the trail. I assume they mean if you stumble down a steep section which actually isn’t that hard to do if you’re not careful!
From the trails I did beyond the bridge I got by far the best views of the Neuschwanstein Castle. Above is a shot from the hiking trail on the left, and on the right is a shot I took from the final part of the road I as approached it from the town. I always assumed that this castle was a medieval one, but as it turns out it was built fairly recently in the late 19th century. It was finished 1892 by the King of Bavaria, Ludwig the Second.
These photos above of the outside of the castle are still free to the public without a ticket. This impressive courtyard on the right is roped off however, and this is as close as you can get to it. The King of Bavaria came into power at the young age of 18, and was known for his extravagant projects and such as his castle. Some of his advisers even went as far as to call him insane! Despite protests from his council, Ludwig II opted to build the castle anyway using royal funds and borrowing heavily.
As Ludwig continued to build his castle and have other crazy lavish plans, he continued to alienate his own people, council, and even his family. Things worsened to the point that legal action was taken to formally arrest the King and remove him from power. As the party came to the castle to make the arrest, Ludwig attempted to flee but was found dead the next morning. It never was found for certain how he was killed, but the official case is a suicide. This is a bit sketchy since one of the people with him at the time was also found dead and clearly not from suicide! Above are some photos of Ludwig that were displayed inside the castle. The upper right shows a collection of real photos being offered as posters. I wish I was able to capture something like this as well but the hazy weather with the dead trees wasn’t going to cut it. Below are two photos from the inside, one of the nicely decorated hallways on the lower left, and the actual royal bed chambers themselves on the lower right.