Leaving Austria, we took a few hours to explore the Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwagau, Germany. The castle was built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, however he died only a couple years after it was finished, so he never had the opportunity to get comfy in the home he funded completely.
This is the castle that inspired the design for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was extremely breathtaking and so much fun to experience since I grew up watching Disney as often as possible (and still do to this day).
When you arrive to the little town below the castle, you have these amazing views of the surrounding mountains and great hiking grounds. We did decide to hike up rather than take transportation up, since at this point in the trip a lot of us felt as if we were a bit stressed with the amount of travel we had experienced during the first leg of our trip. It was a great way to clear our heads, break a little sweat, and get some fresh air.
When you get up to the top, you are stunned by the beauty of your surroundings. The castle was gorgeous and the weather was perfect.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of the interior of the castle, but you can check out the website to see the nineteenth century Romanesque Revival art and architecture. Our guide explained to us that Neuschwanstein Castle translates to Swanstone Castle, which made sense since King Ludwig II was known as the Swan King.
The interior had a ton of gorgeous woodwork – including swan designs and structures everywhere, but the part that stood out was the King’s throne room. The ceilings, floors, and walls were all decorated with biblical figures and stories. I remember standing in the throne room and realizing how much of an impact religion had been to the leaders of Europe’s past – something I find to be very different from what we experience in the United States.
After our tour, we hiked back down the hill, grabbed some schnitzel, and had a couple steins of beer. All in all, it was a great day trip on our way to Munich!