13 Interesting Neuschwanstein Castle Facts
Neuschwanstein Castle, located in Bavaria, Germany, is a fantastic attraction for not one but many reasons.
From its unique architecture to its exciting history, this majestic castle has something for everyone.
Apart from its stunning architecture, there are many intriguing facts about the castle.
Let’s find out some fun Neuschwanstein castle facts before your visit.
1. It is a Tribute to Richard Wagner
King Ludwig II built this masterpiece to give an ode to his favorite composer, Richard Wagner.
The king was thoroughly influenced by Wagner’s play Libretto during his teenage years.
One of Ludwig’s cabinet members even stated that Wagner’s Tannhäuser almost had a “demoniacal” effect on the king.
Over the years, King Ludwig became Wagner’s loyal and dedicated patron.
So, it is not surprising that Wagner’s theater setup inspired many rooms in Neuschwanstein.
Another interesting Neuschwanstein Castle fact is that Christan Jank, who designed the castle, was an opera set designer.
2. The Name means “New Swan Castle”
Neuschwanstein’s name in English translates to “New Swan Castle.”
The castle is named after the swan, symbolizing purity and grace in Bavarian culture.
King Ludwig II, who built the castle, was fond of swans and incorporated the symbol into many of his everyday belongings.
It wasn’t until after Ludwig II’s passing that the castle got its name, Neuschwanstein, which is believed to be a reference to Wagner’s character in Swan Knight.
3. Neuschwanstein Does not Belong to the Middle Ages
With its gothic architecture and tall towers, one can easily mistake the castle for being older than it is.
But in reality, Neuschwanstein was built in the 1870s.
Originally intended to be a great reconstruction of Hohenschwangau Castle, Ludwig II’s childhood home, it was named New Hohenschwangau Castle.
Now, the older Schloss Hohenschwangau lies in the glorious shadow of Neuschwanstein.
The similarities between the two were so striking that Neuschwanstein was called ‘Neue Burg Hohenschwangau’ for a long time.
You can easily locate the similarities between the two when visiting both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles.
You can do that on a full-day trip from Munich for only €103.
4. The Construction took almost Two Decades
One of the fun facts about Neuschwanstein Castle is that its construction took almost two decades.
King Ludwig II was fascinated with castles and palaces and ordered the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle.
At eighteen, Ludwig II came to the throne in 1864 and set to work immediately on the construction of Neuschwanstein and other projects.
The foundation of the castle was laid in 1869, and construction continued until 1886, involving hundreds of laborers, including artisans, carpenters, and stonemasons.
This was the year King Ludwig died under mysterious circumstances, which ended the castle’s construction.
This castle, built for King Ludwig’s luxury, remains incomplete even today!
5. It is Built over Two Castles
The famous Neuschwanstein Castle is built over the ruins of two castles: Schwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle.
These two castles were built in the 12th and 13th centuries and were the seat of local lords and princes.
Unfortunately, the construction of Neuschwanstein required the complete demolition of the two castles.
It required extreme excavation and engineering work to create a foundation for the new castle.
As a tribute, the new castle included a few elements of the earlier structures along with the original walls and foundations.
This was particularly important for King Ludwig II, who wanted to create a sense of continuity and history.
6. The Castle has 200 Rooms
Neuschwanstein Castle has 200 rooms, with 14 of them completed with their interiors.
The rooms included a throne room, a bedroom, a study, and a cave with stunning decorations.
The throne room, for instance, is one of the most spectacular rooms, with intricate carvings and gilded decorations.
It also includes a throne made with ebony and ivory.
Visitors today can tour 14 rooms to get the gist of the majestic structure.
7. The Castle was King Ludwig II’s Retreat
An interesting Neuschwanstein Castle fact is that the castle was built for Ludwig’s retreat.
After losing a war and his sovereignty to the Prussian nation, he wanted to build his kingdom with palaces and castles.
That is when the idea of a magical medieval fairytale castle inspired by Richard Wagner’s plays took shape.
He was passionate about this project, as most of the construction was designed according to his vision.
8. King Ludwig II died before Neuschwanstein was completed
In unfortunate events, King Ludwig II died before the completion of the castle.
This is an interesting Neuschwanstein Castle fact: even though Ludwig moved into the structure, the construction was never completed.
History states that he only spent 11 days there after drowning under mysterious circumstances.
However, he was in serious debt, so the castle opened as a museum for the public.
9. The Disney Connection
When you see the castle, you will sense that you might have seen it before.
An interesting Neuschwanstein Castle fact is that it inspired Walt Disney to design the iconic Cinderella castle in 1950.
The castle enamored Walt Disney so much that it is also the official Disney logo.
The Neuschwanstein Castle features in the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, where the family flies over the castle singing a song.
If you want to know more about its connection with Disney Castle, read our detailed article.
10. Neuschwanstein has a Hidden Grotto (Cave)
One of the most astonishing architectural facts about Neuschwanstein Castle is that it houses a cave beneath its foundation.
King Ludwig II built this grotto as a private retreat where he could escape the pressures of royal life and spend time with nature.
Visitors today come across a beautiful underground chamber decorated by stalactites, stalagmites, and other natural rock formations.
Moreover, the grotto has a small artificial lake in between, fed by a natural spring that runs deep beneath the castle’s foundation.
11. It Includes Modern Technology
Despite its medieval structure, the Neuschwanstein Castle included modern technology of its time.
From centralized heating, flushing toilets, and sophisticated ventilation systems to brilliant engineering techniques, the castle was one of a kind.
The castle’s considerable use of state-of-the-art engineering techniques is among its most stunning features.
Apart from its inventive building methods, Neuschwanstein Castle was furnished with many modern facilities and comforts.
These features helped keep the castle cozy and habitable even during the severe Bavarian winters.
12. The Castle was a Nazi Hideaway
The Neuschwanstein Castle played a vital role in the Nazi takeover during World War II.
The Nazis used it as a storage facility for military guns and weapons and also as a hideout against the advancing Allied troops.
However, in 1945, as the war was ending, German soldiers occupied the castle to hold off the American troops.
But as they could not hold off, the American military broke through the defenses and recaptured the castle.
13. Rumors Say, “It is Haunted”
One of the most interesting facts about the castle is that many people have said it is haunted—not by an ordinary ghost but by its creator, King Ludwig II himself.
According to the legend, King Ludwig’s ghost wanders around the castle to reclaim his throne.
Visitors often report getting an eerily creepy feeling, and some have even claimed to see the ghost figure of the king.
But these are just rumors that might have come up due to the erratic and quirky persona of the king before his death.
What are the interesting facts about Neuschwanstein Castle?
Some of the interesting facts about Neuschwanstein Castle are:
– The Castle is not a medieval castle
– It was built over two castles
– King Ludwig II died before the completion of the castle
– The castle has 200 rooms
Why is the Neuschwanstein Castle so famous?
The fairytale castle is famous for being featured in the iconic 1950 Cinderella movie.
It is also the official Disney logo due to its majestic and beautiful architecture.
Which castle was Disney based on?
The Disney logo was based on the Neuschwanstein castle.
How old is Neuschwanstein Castle?
The Neuschwanstein Castle is about 154 years old.
It was built between the years 1869 to 1886 by King Ludwig II.
Why is it called Neuschwanstein Castle?
Neuschwanstein Castle means New Swan Castle.
Swans are the symbol of purity in Bavarian culture.
People also say that the castle’s name is derived from Richard Wagner’s famous character, Swan Knight.
Featured Image: Neuschwanstein.de