Thursday, April 23, 2009

München and Neuschwanstein (Part 2)

The next morning we were off to see Castle Neuschwanstein and Castle Hohenschwangau.
Here is a preview:

Castle Neuschwanstein

Castle Hohenschwangau.

Neuschwanstein is pronounced New-shvon-stine. Neuschwanstein means New-Swan-Stone and you can see the evidence of the swan theme all over.

Castle Neuschwanstein was built starting in 1869 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Wikipedia tells us:

The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. The conception of the palace was outlined by Ludwig II in a letter to Richard Wagner, dated May 13, 1868;

"It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin at Hohenschwangau near the Pollat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles... the location is the most beautiful one could find, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world."”

The palace was originally called New Hohenschwangau Castle until the king's death, when it was re-named Neuschwanstein, the castle of the Swan Knight Lohengrin, of Wagner's opera of the same name. In origin, the palace has been the Schwanstein, the seat of the knights of Schwangau, whose emblem had been the swan.

The "old" Hohenschwangau Castle is Ludwig's child home and is near by to Neuschwanstein. We visited there too.

As we drove down from Munich, the Alps started to come into view.

As we drive up the road toward the castles:

And soon, we could see the castle!

But first we went to get tickets for the two castles in the village of Hohenschwangau.

The Germans are so efficient...your ticket has the Tour Number (435 in the above ticket) and then you get into line that matches your tour at the appointed time. They also make sure when you buy tickets for both castles you have enough time to get from one to the other.

You can get tickets to English speaking tours for both of the castles. The castles are up on hills, so you can either walk, take a bus, or take a horse drawn carriage. For Hohenschwangau we walked up.

Views from outside Hohenschwangau.

The view from the castle:

Hohenschwangau means High-Swan-District. Here are more swans:

You can see Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau:

Now to walk up to Neuschwanstein it is a 40 minute walk, so we opted for the horse-drawn it is more romantic. We were in a carriage such as this:

As we approach the castle:
This looks super spooky but it wasn't really raining much...

View from the window:


As you may know, Neuschwanstein was an inspiration for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.

(not my pictures)


Emma said...

I love reading these! What a great view to have from a window.

Lara said...

Ok, I'm ready for a vacation now.

Laura said...

Nice! We were there about 4 years ago, makes me want to return. I was surprised at how short the Newuschwanstein guided tour was, but one still saw all the highlights and it was absolutely worth it! Laura from

Beth said...

Can you see why the flag is blue and white? What a backdrop! You must go back and see Neuschweinstein under snow.