Neuschwanstein castle perched atop the rugged hills overlooking the village of Hohenschwangau, surrounded by the Bavarian Alps, is also an inspiration for Disneyland’s sleeping beauty castle, winter might without doubt be the best time to visit the castle, as it looks like chocolate all those ice cream like snow-covered mountains giving an alluring setting than ever; a perfect escapade, the castle towers over the lush greenery looking chimerical.
Which in-fact is true, the story of the New Swan Stone castle begins at the hands of a painter named Christian Jank who had delineated a castle at that very location. The Architect Eduard Riedel refashioned the make-believe into a reality when commissioned by King Ludwig II. The swan King was an epicurean, more towards the finer things in life than ruling Bavaria; he was a connoisseur of art, architecture, theatrics, and Richard Wagner’s music. Plucked at the ripe age of eighteen to adorn the throne of Bavaria, the King himself felt that he was not well versed enough for the role, but being easy on the eyes, many ladies adored King Ludwig II.
Having grown up around French influences as his grandfather’s godfather was King Louis XVI, the House of Bourbon and the Versailles seems to have made an impression on the young boy Ludwig who had many aspirations and ideologies to follow up on.
When Bavaria lost the war with Prussia, it had allied with Austria using a defense-offense strategy, in the end, losing control over the Bavarian army and he was no longer a sovereign ruler. This was probably his biggest loss. King Ludwig II made up for his losses by building castles and palaces of his own, giving him a chance to be a ruler that he never was.
He lived in a fantasy world, one that interested him much more than his reality, which might have been the reason for not working properly through state affairs and maybe even for losing the war against Prussia. When he first saw the painting of the Neuschwanstein, it looked straight out of a fairy tale just like his fantasies, and even after knowing that the castle would ruin him, he commissioned its construction.
The aesthete had only lived about eleven nights in the castle, at that point yet under construction and incomplete, with only the royal apartment on the third floor and a few other rooms above and below standing. The foreign banks had threatened to seize the Neuschwanstein; mad Ludwig’s refusal to act rationally ended with his and his psychiatrist, who had attested to the enigma’s lunacy, death in Lake Sternberg. The castle today holds the memory of King Ludwig II and his many mysteries, a palace that could uncover so many stories with an idyllic atmosphere, is a cultural and heritage tourist site.
The architecture of Neuschwanstein conveys through its Romanesque-Revival style the period of construction as around the mid-nineteenth centuries, the Romanesque architectural style has influenced the design of the castle, with large spires and semi-circular arches; a style that gained popularity around this period in Europe and sailed all the way to America. The tower also displays Byzantine and gothic influences in its long lines and slime towers. The numerous towers, gables, and long windows characterized the colossal castle. The castle built out of brick, marble, and white limestone gives it its gleaming appearance. The interior of the castle was much more ornately designed; it might even be a tie with the Versailles.
Royal structures like a castle also incarcerate a political agenda, to hold themselves guard from revolts among their people and to avoid infiltration of the troops of other nations. It also shows the social hierarchy of the nobility, while leaving behind the legends and history of the very nation it ruled over.
Every stone in a cultural site speaks to the lineage of the king, the subjects, and our very own ancestors. Not only does it provide its people with an indisputable identity reminding one of their cultures and traditions but also becomes the pride of the nation, it gives a depth to the history of the country.
Even today in a fast-paced metropolitan, these royal structures have found a place for themselves in the economy of a country. While there are many forms of attraction, Neuschwanstein holds both heritage and natural attractions. The Neuschwanstein has over 1.3 million visitors yearly. Tourism alone in Germany contributes to about two hundred and ninety billion turnover a year. It also employs those in the sector. In an urban fabric, the royal structure holds almost the same importance as a museum if not more for both convey the same, the antiquity. We might have moved on from our nativity to the hamster cage, sometimes even living away from our countries but it is always important for a man to know his origins, for what else shapes us if not our past. Past that these castle walls hold.