Local Heart, Global Soul

January 20, 2015

Neuschwanstein Castle: Fell Out Of The Pages Of A Children’s Storybook Illustration?

Filed under: CASTLES,GERMANY,Neuschwanstein Castle,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s archive post we have been standing on the Marienbrücke admiring the stunning views up a steep gorge, how the river first tumbles over the edge of rocks into a deep pool and then tumbles again out the other end of the pool, into another pool that empties into a river again and where the water takes the more usual journey  that rivers take down mountains.

Turing around to face the way we have come however produces a completely different view because perched on the very top of a rocky outcrop is a massive castle, looking every inch like it just fell out of the pages of a children’s storybook illustration.

It’s stunning, in fact the only word I hear escaping people’s lips (and my own) at first is “Wow!”.

Wow doesn’t even begin to cover it though, thoughts race though your mind, not least of all “How on earth did they manage to build this, here???

There is an information board close by that starts to give some of the castle’s history:

“Neuschwanstein”: In 1363 a round tower, belonging to the Lords of Schwanau, is mentioned. More than a hundred years later this tower became the Castle of Schwanstein which again changed it’s name in 1891 when it became the “Castle of Hohenschwangau”. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To increase the confusion the ancient Castle of Hohenschwangau then received it’s present name of  “Neuschwanstein”!

In 1868 King Ludwig II of Bavaria wrote to Richard Wagner that he intended to erect a genuine castle of the German Middle Ages.

This in fact is a remarkable statement as far as it reveals how far the 19 century had moved away from the authentic Middle ages, and how profoundly it misunderstood the medieval castle.

For we must know that Ludwig,  in order to realise his powerful vision of the castle of the grail, completely demolished one of the most important castles of Bavaria. Quite obviously the bulky ruin of the old castle of Schwangau didn’t meet his idea of a “genuine” medieval castle…

The old castle of Shwangau occupied adjacent rock with an outer castle sitting on the western rock and the main castle on the smaller eastern rock.

The later consisted of a might square  tower house which might well date back to the  early 12th century when the high nobility did erect much impressive tower houses elsewhere in Centural Europe.

The castle is mentioned indirectly for the first time in   1146/47 with a certain “Hiltipolt de Swanegowe”. His family served the actual Lords of the castle, the mighty house of the Welfs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

4 Comments »

  1. sure looks as though it did drop out of a story book

    Comment by kiwiskan — January 20, 2015 @ 1:53 am | Reply

  2. How absolutely delightful. The castle is somewhat reminiscent of Hogwarts.

    Comment by lulu — January 20, 2015 @ 2:03 am | Reply

  3. What beautiful pictures! Thank you for “taking me there” through your post! 🙂

    Comment by hmariehughes — January 20, 2015 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve been to Schloß Neuschwanstein twice and never get tired of that view!

    Comment by Carrie — January 25, 2015 @ 8:37 pm | Reply


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