The Fairytale Castle
|Neuschwanstein Castle from Mary's Bridge (it was very misty)
Today we went to the most famous castle in Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle, better known as the fairytale castle. (Also the one Disney used as the model for the Disney World Castle). We had a private tour of the castle, before it was open to the public for the day. The castle was never completed, due to the king’s death. However he did stay there for 127 days during the construction then returned to Linderhof Palace. We saw the completed rooms which included the bedroom, the throne room, the study, a few ancillary rooms and the theater room. Most of the castle is done in a Gothic style except the throne room which used Byzantine styling and architecture and done in bright royal blues and golds with a mosaic floor. The throne room resembled in my mind a church with the pictures of the Apostles, the Saints and Christ around the throne. The bedroom was definitely Gothic styling with dark wood paneling and ornate wood carvings. The one of the most interesting parts of the castle wasn’t a room but the telephone in the castle, which rang only the post office at the bottom of the mountain. The other interesting item is that they have pictures of the castle being built; which surprised me until I realized construction started in 1868. So it the castle is relatively new.
Once we finished the tour we found something to eat for breakfast before doing the hike around the castle. Since the tour was so early we did not have a chance to eat breakfast at the hotel. We had hot chocolate and a piece of berry strudel; it was good and not overly sweet. Now it was raining/misting during our hike over to Mary’s Bridge to get a better view of the castle. Then we walked down to see the waterfall and the base of the castle. That bit of the hike included a metal walkway that was cantilevered out over the river from the rock face. It the walk way was not there you would be walking in very cold mountain glacier river water. After that we found lunch in the little town at the base of the mountain hill before heading over to Füssen for a little bit. We went to see their small castle before heading back to the hotel via Austria and Lake Plansee.
Overall the castle is generally impressive and beautiful. However, I was a bit of letdown, like when I saw the Mona Lisa. Everyone talks about how magical it is, but I did not get that magical feeling. Was it worth the 30 minute hike up the very large hill (the castle is at about 3,000 feet above sea level) to see it, generally yes. But if I ever visit again I want to take the horse carriage. I would agree it is a must see thing if you are in Bavaria region of Germany.You can see pictures from the castle here.Tomorrow we leave Oberammergau and head to Berchtesgaden to see the Eagle’s Nest and Königssee.