Friday, May 4, 2012

Neuschwanstein Castle

We woke up on Saturday to a bright sunny day with a beautiful blue sky!!!  The Lord really blessed.  It was great finally having a sunny day!!  We visited Neuschwanstein Castle.  This was such a lovely day to visit the castle and we were able to get some great pictures - I hope you enjoy them!!

Neuschwanstein Castle is actually one of the most popular castles in all of Europe.  We heard that in the summer, more than 6,000 people visit every day.  That is a lot!!  We thought it was busy when we were there. :)

The castle was built by King Ludwig II starting in 1869.  The king actually only got to live here for a couple of months before he died and the castle was never completely finished.  Ludwig II is often referred to as "crazy king Ludwig", often living in a fantasy world of his own, but going to the castle gave us a better look into his life.  Maybe one of the reasons he was referred to as crazy was because of his castle building plans.  After Neuschwanstein, he had plans for as many as 4-5 other castles even more elaborate than this one!!!  The people apparently didn't like the amount of money being spent on numerous castles. :)  He died in his early 40's.  It's still a mystery how he died.  He was deposed in June of 1886.  He was taken into custody by government officials who declared him supposedly unfit to rule.  He was found dead in a lake two days later with his doctor.  Hmmm...

Anyway, regardless of  whether he was crazy or not, and no matter how he died, his castle is a beautiful piece of architecture and we greatly enjoyed visiting it.  Of all of the castles we've visited, the paintings inside of this one are my favorite.  They remind me greatly of Edmond Blair Leighton's paintings (which I very much enjoy).  Are you familiar with "Godspeed" or "The Accolade"?  You should look them up - Leighton's medieval paintings are wonderful.

The Alps were spectacular!!

Our first glimpse of the castle

Yes - we were disappointed to see that it is under scaffolding.  Wait until you see the pictures that we got on the other side... :) :)

We met this frog in the woods by the castle

We took a carriage ride up to the castle - it was nice to have a break from the walking!!

There it is through the trees!!

Daddy, Shenandoah and Mommy

"Our" horses

It's beautiful (despite the scaffolding!)

The front of Neuschwanstein

I couldn't decide which picture I liked better :)

And we enter!!!

Inside the walls

Do you see the bridge and waterfall in the distance?

Here's a slightly closer look.  You'll be hearing more about this in a few moments.

We begin our tour!

On the stairs

Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of the inside of the castle.  I wish I did because as I already told you, the paintings were some of my favorite!!  I took the following pictures before the guide told us that we couldn't take pictures.  Thankfully I wasn't the only one. :)  I decide we might as well keep the ones I already had!!

The wall above the throne in the throne room

We thought it was interesting that Ludwig would have a painting of Jesus holding the book with the "Alpha and Omega" on it.  He obviously had some since of spiritual things.

This chandelier weighs over 2,000 pounds, holds 96 candles and is made of gilded brass - wow - how would you like for this to fall on your head?!!!

The design on the floor is amazing.  It's made up of many individual tiny pieces all put together to make the picture.

Painting of the legend of St. George and the Dragon

Here are a couple of models of Neuschwanstein

This is one of the other castles that Ludwig had plans for, but never was built.
If you wanted a neat castle, too bad he wasn't still alive, you could refer to him for plans. :)

After touring the inside, we took a walk...

It is so wooded, but the view on the other side of the trees is amazing

Hmmm... I don't care for signs like this

Hohenschwangau, which you'll see in a picture in a few minutes, was where king Ludwig lived growing up.  His mother then lived there when he was in Neuschwanstein.

Map of the area

I thought this was a neat picture with the tree roots and all

The scenery is really spectacular


Waiting our turn to go out on the bridge

It was packed!!!

We went in two different groups because we had a couple members of our family who weren't too keen on the bridge.  I did go out, but I don't blame them.  They need some scaffolding work on that bridge!!!  It was SO rickety - it actually creaked under your feet!!!  Do you remember how high up that was?  I tried not to think about it. :)  The pictures from the center of it...

...were awesome!!!

A closer look

Don't look down!!!

What are we looking at?

Those people were out of their mind!!!  We weren't the only ones thinking that though because there were people around us who actually said "They're going to die".  Thankfully, I don't think they did (they were coming down by the time we left).

Sayer faced his fear and went out to the middle with daddy (even though he was still a little unsure :).  Good job buddy!!!

Family picture

Another one!!

We got some treats on the way down.

Ice cream and...

..."snowballs"!!!  (one or the other. :) - these tasted like funnel cake!!)

Guten Appetite!!

We got to sit up front on the way down


... and Stasia even got to drive!!

We grabbed some quick food before heading to our next stop 
(stay tuned for my next post)

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