3 April 2016

Suitcase. Neuschwanstein, Germany - Travel Guide

At just 8 years old I discovered that Walt Disney's castle was inspired by Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. 18 years later I found myself climbing the road to this magnificent, dream-like castle. My fairytale was right in front of me.

Located in the very southern region of Germany, Neuschwanstein is truly a sight to behold yet despite its grand romanticist exterior, the castle is only a third complete on the inside. Constructed over 17 years, it was King Ludwig's castle, a man fascinated with the fantastical and dream-like. Yet his untimely death aged just 42 caused all construction to cease in 1886. The castle would never be finished.

It has fascinated me to no end over all these years that such a beautiful and iconic building holds mainly ghostly rooms and empty halls. It's beautiful yet sad, as the best romantic tales often are.

Nestled in the mountains, Neuswanstein looms over the valley above the town of Schwangau. I'd driven from Tegernsee to reach it and as I first rounded the corner and caught sight of it tears certainly pricked my eyes. It was something I'd waited so long to see and it truly was breath-taking.

Up I climbed (the road is 1 mile and steep so bring good walking shoes), the higher I got the clearer the air became, the anticipation bubbled like nervous excitement as it peered at me through the trees.

Finally I was there. The sheer scale is difficult to comprehend until you see it. No wonder it took 17 years to complete this much.

Tours operate inside covering the rooms that were completed. Sadly pictures inside are forbidden so you'll have to use your imagination. The grandeur is unthinkable. It's clear no expense was spared. Within the King's bedroom the woodwork carvings are so intricate it took 14 workers, 4 years to complete. One room! There's also a faux drip stone cave and even a conservatory just off his private quarters.

If ever Prince Charming comes a calling and my fairytale comes to life then this is a place I'd love to call home.

And they lived happily ever after...

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Photos by Krissie.