The Schloss Neuschwanstein im Allgau, Bavaria is undoubtedly the most visited modern-day castle in the world; receiving as many as 1.3 million visitors annually; or roughly about 6,000 people daily. There are varying reasons why many visit the magnificent castle Most of them led to the tragic history and mystery surrounding the life and times of Bavaria’s 19th century ruler King Ludwig II, a.k.a. “Mad King Ludwig.” a.k.a.“The Swan King”
The castle lies nestled at a rugged hill above the idyllic village of Hohenschwangau in the souther region of Bavaria, providing students of architecture, interior design and modern technology with a perfect example of how a medieval Romanesque style edifice can still impose a dominating presence in the world.
Now owned and managed by the Bavarian Palace Department, which sometime during the years after King Ludwig II’ s mysterious death had some parts of the unfinished castle attain completion.
Neuschwanstein Castle’s Architectural Style
The architectural design of Schloss Neuschwanstein is a blend of Gothic, Byzantine and Romanesque styles to capture the Bavarian King’s vision of a fairy tale medieval castle. Mainly because its architectural structure albeit resembling typical medieval fortresses has no defensive function. The spires, columns and towers are merely for aesthetic purposes.
As a matter of fact, King Ludwig II commissioned a famed stage designer named Christian Jank as the project architect. So it’s no wonder why Walt Disney was quite attracted to the castle, a similar looking castle was built in Disneyland. The castle image now appears as the entertainment company’s logo in the storybook opening of Disney movies.
Nevertheless, three engineers namely Eduard Riedel in 1874, Georg Dollmann; (1886 to 1892) and Julius Hofmann had rendered their professional knowledge expertise at some point during the 23-year construction period of Neuschwanstein Castle, Although the construction was halted after King Luwig’s death, construction resumed several years later as the castle museum began drawing droves of tourista to Bavaria.
The castle after all was the most technologically advanced palace ever built during the 19th century when industrialisation was bringing forth new innovation. King Ludwig II had his castle equipped with the latest technology at the time from large sliding glass doors, to elevators, running water, indoor plumbing systems, flushing toilets, central heating and telephone lines.
While it is said that King Luwig II built the castle to provide his famous musician friend, Robert Wagner, a theater in a secluded spot where King Ludwig can watch Wagner’s operas, the latter had never set foot in the castle. Presumably for political reasons since the Kingdom of Bavaria was forced to join Prussia during the Austro-Prussian War, Ludwig II essentially lost his powers as ruler of his kingdom.
Death of the King who Envisioned the Castle that Brought Worldwide Fame to Bavaria
Sometime in 1886, as the construction of the massively expensive Schloss Neuschwanstein neared completion, the the State Commissioner of Bavaria officially declared King Ludwig as insane and for some reason had him arrested. However, on the same day the Bavarian King was arrested, both he and the Commissioner were found dead in a nearby lake. While not much can be read about the cause of the Commissioner’s death, King Luwig II’s was declared as death by suicide.