Essential Architecture-  Germany

Neuschwanstein (candidate for the new seven wonders of the world)


Christian Jank


near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, not far from the Austrian border


c. 1880






castle Palace
  An 1890s photochrom print of the castle.
  Neuschwanstein seen from the Marienbrücke.
Images copyright Tim Devlin.
  The coat of arms of Ludwig over the entrance to the castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, lit. New Swan Stone Castle; IPA pronunciation: /nɔɪˈʃvaːnʃtain/) is a late 19th century castle in Germany, near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, not far from the Austrian border at approximately 47°33′16″N, 10°44′10″E. It is the most photographed building in Germany [1], and is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations.

Conception and construction

Construction was started by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as "Mad King Ludwig". It was named after the Swan Knight, Lohengrin, of Wagner's opera of the same name, and was designed by Christian Jank. The castle is located near Ludwig's childhood residence Hohenschwangau Castle, an older structure restored by Ludwig's father, Maximilian II of Bavaria. Owing to his eccentricites and his perceived use of Bavarian funds (a myth, as Ludwig actually used his own money to finance the construction of the castle), Ludwig was removed from power before the castle was completed. Soon after Ludwig's mysterious death (he and a doctor were found in Lake Starnberg) in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. Many tapestries and paintings depict scenes from the operas of Richard Wagner, a reflection of Ludwig's love for Wagner's work. However, many of the interior rooms remain undecorated; only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig's death.[2]


The nearby Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) over Pöllat Gorge, named after Marie of Prussia, provides a view of one of Neuschwanstein's façades.
After the German spelling reform of 1996, the officially correct name is "Schloss Neuschwanstein". However, the castle is frequently still referred to using the old spelling: "Schloß Neuschwanstein".
Neuschwanstein served as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. (The inspiration for the Cinderella Castles at other Disney parks is sometimes incorrectly attributed to Neuschwanstein.)
Neuschwanstein appears prominently in several films, including The Great Escape, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Timekeeper, Ludwig, and Spaceballs.
Neuschwanstein has also appeared in many television programs, including: The Amazing Race and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics.
A photo of Neuschwanstein is on the cover of the British pop-group Blur's single "Country House" of 1995.
The interior of Neuschwanstein is copyrighted and taking photographs of the interior is strictly forbidden.
Neuschwanstein is to appear on a German Bundesländer series of €2 commemorative coins in 2012.
The castle is owned by the state of Bavaria, unlike Hohenschwangau which is owned by Franz, Duke of Bavaria

[edit] Notes and references
^ Dummies::Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau: Castles in the Air. Adapted From: Germany For Dummies, 2nd Edition. Retrieved on 2006-06-09.
^ Desing, Julius (1998). Bonny Schmid-Burleson (trans.): The Royal Castle of Neuschwanstein. Lechbruck, Germany: Verlag Wilhelm Kienberger.