Neuschwanstein Castle over looks Alps the lake.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

King Ludwig II Mystery: Murder or Suicide

King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Germany, had spent large sums of money to build the elaborate Neuschwanstein Castle for his residence. In effect, spending vast amounts of currency maddened his enemies.

Consequently, in 1886, four government psychiatrists certified King Ludwig II insane. Additionally, they transferred him away from Neuschwanstein Castle to Berg Castle.

A few days later, the king and one of those psychiatrists were found dead near Berg Castle in Lake Starnberg. To this day, it’s questionable whether it was murder, suicide, or both.

Hohenschwangau 

King Ludwig II led an exceptional life. He grew up in Hohenschwangau castle, and when he turned eighteen, his father died, and Ludwig stepped into the role of king.

 

Hohenschwangau overlooks the lake Alpsee
King Ludwig II grew up in Hohenschwangau Castle pictured in the distance.

King Ludwig II “The Mad King”

Two years later, King Ludwig allied with Austria during the Austro-Prussian War. When Prussia had won the war, the king lost his power. Because of this setback, Ludwig had become a recluse. In addition, he built extravagant castles and created a fantasy world where he could reign like a medieval king. Hence, he was called “The Mad King.”

Obsession with the Composer Richard Wagner

This is the view from Marienbruke.
Neuschwanstein Castle overlooks Hohenschwangau village and the lake Alpsee in Bavaria.

In 1868, the king had broken ground for his most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, and within four years he had access to parts of it.  Neuschwanstein represented King Ludwig’s fixation on Richard Wagner.

The king attended “private performances” of Wagner’s operas where he was the sole member of the audience. Furthermore, he had built Neuschwanstein to honor the composer.

He accomplished this by hiring a theatrical scene painter to design the castle with scenes from Wagner’s operas. Ironically, the composer died before he saw it.

View of Queen Mary’s Bridge or Marienbrucke Bridge

Queen Mary's Bridge sways over Pollat Gorge.
This is a view from Neuschwanstein of Queen Mary’s Bridge and the Alps.

The Interior of Neuschwanstein Castle 

While building Neuschwanstein, Ludwig used technology unheard of in the 19th century. His builders installed flushing toilets and central heat. Plus they furnished his kitchen with two ovens, a stove, spit, sideboard, and hot and cold running water.

Queen Mary's Bridge is named after King Ludwig's mother.
The waterfall and Pollat Gorge from Queen Mary’s Bridge in Bavaria are spectacular.

Ludwig’s extravagances incurred massive debt, and his ministers deposed him by reason of insanity. However, though his behavior was exceptional, evidence had accumulated indicating that he may have been set up.

Neuschwanstein Castle over looks Alps the lake.
This is the view from Queen Mary’s Bridge of Neuschwanstein Castle.

Suspiciously, within weeks of his death, Ludwig’s descendants opened the castle for tourism. Since then, it has become one of the most photographed castles in the world and attracts as many as 6,000 visitors a day.

Neuschwanstein Castle and Walt Disney

2048px-Sleeping_Beauty_Castle_Disneyland_Anaheim_2013
Sleeping_Beauty_Castle_Disneyland_Anaheim_2013           https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Sources say that after Walt Disney toured Germany and visited Neuschwanstein Castle, he created Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In essence, if you look closely at the two Disney castles, you can detect Neuschwanstein characteristics.

Neuschwanstein overlooks the Alps.
Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the Bavarian Alps.

Best Time to Visit Neuschwanstein

We visited Neuschwanstein near the end of September and purchased our tickets at 11:30 a.m. for a 1:00 p.m. tour. We rode the bus up and ate lunch at the castle restaurant. The crowds were not overwhelming, and the temperatures ranged in the high sixties to seventies with a slight breeze that cooled our skin.

The foliage colored the Bavarian hills and valleys with splashes of orange, gold, and green. We felt like we had arrived at the perfect time.

Visiting Neuschwanstein

Tickets can be reserved in advance or purchased at Hohenschwangau ticket office on the day that you visit. Management suggests collecting your tickets an hour before your tour. On busy summer days or holidays, tickets can sell out early.

You can hike, take a carriage, or a bus up to the castle. Tickets include a guided tour, but inside photos are prohibited. Once inside the castle be prepared to walk up 165 steps and down 180.

Neuschwanstein Ticket Cost

Adults: 13 euros

Children under 18 accompanied by an adult: Free

Groups and senior citizens: 12 euros.

Conclusion

As you tour Neuschwanstein Castle and listen to stories about King Ludwig II of Bavaria, you can decide whether it was murder or suicide. What do you think?

Related Posts

Octoberfest Munich, Germany

Germany Points of Interest

https://www.exploring-castles.com/europe/germany/

The castle behind Disney’s castle

King Ludwig II of Bavaria

https://www.hohenschwangau.de/1397.0.html

Two Traveling Texans

 

7 thoughts on “Neuschwanstein Castle

  1. We were there last year but didn’t book tickets upfront. It was so busy we had to wait for hours. We didn”t feel like that and left. Our youngest was so disappointed. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  2. I am a big fan of castles but haven’t been to this one yet. I really want to go. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

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