Inside Germany: The Neuschwanstein Castle
Located on top of the hill overlooking the village, it was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a personal refuge and in honor of his favorite composer, Richard Wagner.
From the parking lot, we had several options to reach the castle: (1) take the shuttle bus for a fee; (2) ride a horse-drawn carriage for a fee; or (3) go on foot for free. Which option do you think most of us chose?
The climb to the castle wasn’t for the faint of heart. It was along a steep path and could take up to an hour depending on what shape you’re in. Once inside the castle, there were 165 steps upstairs and 181 downstairs to further take your breath away. But it was all worth it. The castle was gorgeous both inside and out. Small wonder it became the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland.
After King Ludwig’s death in 1886, the Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public. It has since become one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Unfortunately, taking pictures inside the castle is strictly forbidden.
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After visiting the castle, we hiked to the nearby Marienbrücke (Mary’s bridge) located above the Pöllat gorge. It was crowded when we arrived. From there, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the castle and surrounding landscape. While on the bridge, I found looking down below a little scary. The gorge is about 295 feet deep.
It was a shame that Richard Wagner didn’t get to see the Neuschwanstein Castle and the effort of King Ludwig to showcase his works. In that regard, I considered myself lucky.