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Neuschwanstein is an ivory castle with majestic spires sitting on a solitary peak and it is a very pretty castle, like a place any princess would want to wake up in.

The entire façade of the castle is from limestone found near Swansee (Swan Lake) nearby, and the walls that supported the stones are of brick. Against the backdrop of Bavarian Alps, this white castle with red trim (because of the bricks) stands like in a dream.

Neuschwanstein castle was built during the second half of the nineteenth century, as an imitation of a medieval castle. Then this castle itself was imitated by Walt Disney for his sleeping beauty’s castle.

King Ludwig was said to be homosexual and had a special relationship with Richard Wagner as the musician’s patron. Rooms on the third floor are based upon the legends of Wagner’s operas. For Tannhauser a winter garden and grotto and for Lohengrin a chamber and a throne room with a vaulted ceiling supported by columns and decorated with stars. The throne room is almost exactly like the inside of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

King Ludwig was a romantic. Besides his fantasy of the third floor cave built for Wagner’s Tannhauser, the king had a love for swans. The motif of swans repeated itself in small statuettes throughout the castle. There’s a life size porcelain swan which is said to be the king’s favorite. Even the tap in the kitchen had a swan head.

All through the castle there are breathtaking chandeliers. King Ludwig’s Bed boasted the most intricate woodcarvings with the bed covers embroidered in glitzy decorations.

The kitchen is large with a vaulted ceiling and a huge stove in the middle of it. There is a basin near a window. The story is that it was for keeping the king’s fish fresh.

Neuschwanstein Castle had been equipped with the best technology of its times. The toilets were flushable at each story and there was running water on all floors. The castle had central heating system and a winter garden with glass sliding doors.

Known by many nicknames as the Swan King, Dream King, Mad Ludwig or The Mad King of Bavaria, Ludwig was an extravagant spender who became king at the age of 19 and never fit in with the royal crowd. He had serious problems relating to all people in general and to women in particular.

Even as a child of 12, King Ludwig was fascinated by the legends and Wagner. After becoming king, when he couldn’t stand Munich’s society, he withdrew to the Bavarian Alps where he met Wagner and began a long but very stormy friendship with him until Wagner’s death.

Ludwig’s death was a puzzle also, for he died under questionable circumstances three days after he was declared insane. Some think that he might have been murdered. His death was by drowning in a lake to the south of Munich.


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