NEUSCHWANSTEIN IN THE BAVARIAN ALPS -- GERMANY
The Bavarian Alps are littered with castles and palaces due to King Ludwig II but Neuschwantein is the most famous because Walt Disney copied it for its Disney Parks and films.
Neuschwanstein in the Bavarian Alps, Germany, was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century as a treat and homage to Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin.
It is the most photographed building in Germany and popular tourist attraction. It had 50 million visitors since it was open to the public after the King's death. A 1.3 million tourists a year and in the summer 6.000 visitors per day. The castle had appeared in several movies and Walt Disney copied it for his parks.
1868 King Ludwig decided to build a castle on the ruins of Hohenschwangau in the style of the old German knight's castles. The building began on 5 September 1869.
|KING LUDWIG II|
Neuschwanstein was designed by Christian Jank, a designer for theatres, which explains the fantastical nature of the building. An architect was necessary to design the construction especially on such a perilous site. He was Munich Court Architect Eduard Riedel and then Leo von Klenze.
The original palace of Schwanstein was the seat of the knights of Schwangau. It was the castle of the knight Lohengrin about which Richard Wagner wrote an opera. The opera describes the legend of the Knight Lohengrin, the swan knight.
The palace was first named Hohenschwangau until the king's death and after that it was renamed Neuschwanstein.
Neuschwanstein has a gatehouse, a tower, the knights' house with a square tower and a palace with two towers. The design is highly theatrical. King Ludwig took great interest in the design which shows in his statement that he wishes the ship further from the shore, Lohengrin's neck less tilted and the chain of the ship to the swan to be in gold and not in roses, also the style of the castle to be medieval.
On the king's death the palace had 14 finished and many unfinished rooms.
The throne room has a glass-gem-encrusted chandelier. Twelve apostle and six canonised kings painted on the walls surrounding the throne and a picture of Jesus behind the throne. It symbolises that King Ludwig II was chosen by God to be King. The throne was never finished.
The king's master suite includes a four poster bed hand carved. The canopy carved with cathedral towers which are of every cathedral of Bavaria. The toilet flushed with water which is collected from an aqueduct and has a running water sink shaped of a swan. The wood carving was so detailed and covered the whole room. It took ten years to finish.
The kitchen was with hot and cold running water and heated cupboards. Servant quarters, a study, a dining room and the Singers' Hall. The king died before he could see any performance.
Neuschwanstein was nearly completed when 1886 the Bavarian government had declared the King mental and confirmed by Dr von Gudden, a psychologist. The king said to Dr von Gudden, "how can you declare me for mad? You have not examined me". The king was arrested and brought to the castle Berg. On 13 June June 1886 the king was found drowned in shallow water with Dr von Gudden who previously certified him for mad. Nobody knows what happened in that night.
Neuschwanstein is an outstanding technological structural achievement. It has steam engines, electricity, modern venting, and modern water system on all floors and heating pipes are all part of the structure.
King Ludwig II was a pioneer for modern invention and introduced electricity in Bavaria. Also through his building kept many crafts, knowledge and expertise alive. He gave work to artisans, builders, plasterers and decorators. The people still love him today, especially in the Alps. He loved his people and talked to anybody. When he saw hardship he tried to help.
THE PLACE WHERE KING LUDWIG II DIED -- YOU CAN JUDGE FOR YOURSELF HOW SHALLOW THE WATER IS