Located atop a hill overlooking the village of Hohenschwangau in Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle was commissioned to be built in 1868 by King Louis II. Better known by many as the Mad King Ludwig, the Bavarian King never lived to see the completion of his castle, nor was the castle ever fully completed. King Louis II’s ultimate goal was to build a castle that was not only a recreation, but an upgrade to the childhood castle (Hohenschwangau Castle) he grew up in. Originally called the New Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein’s architectural design was heavily inspired by Ludwig’s imagination as well as his goal to match the idyllic feeling of the castle with his (what he believed to be) idyllic reign. But given by his nickname I think it’s safe to say his thoughts vs. how history actually perceived him are slightly askew.
So what exactly made this castle special and why am I even talking about it? Let’s look a little closer. One of the fascinating concepts about the castle and it’s medieval design is the fact that it was commissioned in 1868 like I already stated above. By the look of the castle it would seem much older than it actually is based on it’s architecture. But as soon as you take a step within, you’ll learn it was planned to be much more modern for it’s late 1800s build. The Mad King demanded the castle be filled with the latest luxuries from across the globe. This included running water systems, working toilets, even an elevator and a telephone! The reason for most of this being, the castle remained under construction until Ludwig’s death in 1886. After that the unfinished castle was opened to the public and became a museum.
The castle itself looked like it came straight out of a fairytale. Today, it is the basis for what a ‘typical’ castle would look like in the minds of many. Neuschwanstein became such a romanticized symbol that even one of history’s most creative masterminds became inspired by it’s turrets and whimsical features. Can you guess who? Wow great guess, you got it right! Not like the title totally give it away or anything…. ANYWAYS. That’s right, Walt Disney found the castle so fanatical that it was the main inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. It was actually during a trip to Europe, prior to the opening of Disneyland, with his wife that Walt saw the castle in person and knew from that moment forward it would be an inspiration. It would later also be the inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World although Walt did not live to see his second park’s opening.
So there you have it. A short little fun history article! I’ve always found the Neuschwanstein Castle both beautiful and fascinating. Both for it’s history as well as it’s ties to the Walt Disney Company. It would be a dream to one day be able to tour the castle grounds (but maybe not right now cause ya know… Pandemic and all…). One last little interesting piece of information that I always find cool is that the updated version of Soarin’ in Epcot has a scene where you actually fly over the Neuschwanstein castle! I think it’s a nice little homage to the original inspiration! So there you have it guys! Once again I apologize for not posting as much or doing my usual 25 Days of Christmas this year, but honestly I have been slightly busy but also very uninspired recently unfortunately. This year’s Christmas didn’t feel quite as magical as prior years with everything going on, but I am hoping with the new year will come new inspiration and articles! Stay strong everyone!!! We can get through this historical moment in life!
Travel & Leisure: https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/neuschwanstein-castle-germany?slide=787a133b-9265-4a4a-982a-33a6c48db7ab#787a133b-9265-4a4a-982a-33a6c48db7ab