It seems like many cities in europe will have a church, building, or something architectural that they would claim inspired the Walt Disney castles.
The Tyn Church in Prague (click for pictures and my previous blog post) and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany both claim to have inspired the Cinderella castle in the Walt Disney films. I kind of don't agree because, in my opinion, neither looks particularly like the castle in the film. Regardless, ALL of them are stunning and have marvellous architectural design.
When Jerald and I were in Munich, we decided to take a day trip out to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle. We joined a Sandermans tour again, and were really pleased with the experience.
To get to the castle, we had to take a 2 hour train and a short bus ride, after which we had to climb up to the castle. That was the worst part.
Whilst we were climbing up, no doubt the view was FANTASTIC, it was snowing heavily, and the winds were so strong I had snow flying horizontally into my eyes(!!!) Actually, I was slightly amused by that, and I kept laughing. Half the time I did not know where I was going. Thankfully, foot prints on the ground in front of me could lead the way.
The great thing about our guide was that she gave us a story like description of the history behind the Neuschwanstein Castle. The Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Ludwig II, and she told us bit by bit about his life story, his strict parents, and his character, allowing us to fully appreciate the castle and why he designed it the way he did.
We finally got into the castle at around 2 in the afternoon (we left Munich at 9!) and there was a short 30 minutes tour of the interior of the castle. 30 minutes in my opinion was pretty short, but since we weren't allowed to take photographs in the castle, it meant that I could take the time to fully internalise its design and admire the beauty of it.
Unlike other castles i've visited (Versailles in Paris) this castle was preserved in its original form. Even though it was 1/3 completed, it was massive and obviously beautiful. The ceilings in the rooms were different, the carvings and details on each walls were unique, each room had its own character, and the halls had walls painted telling different stories from books that Ludwig loved. There was even one part of the castle that mimicked an underground cave with water flowing through, because the king was fascinated by that scene in a story.
In my opinion, the castle showed how King Ludwig II was a dreamer, a lover, an romantic. Unlike most Kings, there were NO pictures of himself in the castle, evidently, he was the least bit narcissistic. We also managed to observe a bell system the King used as well as the first telephone like thing that was invented. People were already so creative back in the 19th century.
Usually, if tourist visited the Neuschwanstein Castle (especially in the summer), they would be able to cross over to a bridge to get the most stunning view of the castle. Unfortunately, it was snowing heavily and the tour got delayed because of the delayed trains and bus, so we did not have the time to do that. Also, our guide mentioned that it was cordoned off due to safety reasons (of course many people went ahead and crossed the barrier anyway).
Even though I love the view of the castle in the winter with the snow, I guess it would have been greater if we could have visited the castle in the summer. The trees would be green and vibrant, everything would be so colourful.
If you're thinking about visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in the summer, I really do suggest going on a tour if you have never been to Germany and have little knowledge of the history behind the castle. However, if you're well-versed in its history, it would be better to go on your own to have more time to explore the area, spend more time around the castle or even climb up to the bridge for an amazing view.
Cinderella was my favourite fairytale story when I was young. So I guess its sort of like fulfilling a childhood "dream" visiting this castle ;)
Did you have dreams of being a princess or visiting castles when you were younger? Would you want to go to the Neuschwanstein Castle?
Share your thoughts in the comment section!