The castle of Neuschwanstein (3306 feet above see-level) is built in the style of the
late romanesque period of the early 13th century. This style is obvious in the
construction of the building as a whole as well in its ornamentation: the round arched
portals, the arcade windows and towers, the position of columns and its bay windows and
pinnacles. The King's living quarters and representational rooms in the third and fourth
floor were more or less completed by 1886. The rooms on the second floor are still in bare
brickwork an not accessible.
The Entrance Hall , Throne-Room , Dining Room , Bedroom , Chapel , Dressing
Room , Living Room, Grotto
and winter garden, Study, Singer's Hall,
The Entrance Hall
The Entrance hall is divided into two aisles. Groined vaults adorned with decorative
paintings, floor covered with tiles from Mettlach. To the left of the corridor, behind
round-arched double windows, are the servants' quarters.
The Throne-Room was created as the Grail-Hall of Parsifal. It was designed in elaborate
Byzantine style by Eduard Ille and Julius Hofmann. Inspired by the Hagia Sophia in
Constantinople (now Istanbul), the 2-story Throne Room with its series of pillars of
imitation porphyry and lapis lazuli, was completed in the year of the king's death, 1886.
Set in half-domed, golden alcove, the throne platform is approached by a flight of white
marble steps. The throne itself, designed in gold and ivory, was never made. The platform
is flanked by paintings of the 12 Apostles, and behind the platform is a pattern of golden
lions, the symbol of Bavaria.
The Dining Room of carved oak is decorated with paintings by Ferdinand von Piloty and
Josef Aigner. They present figures from the "Minnesinger" period and scenes from
the Wartburg Castle at the time of the legendary Song Contest in 1207. Over the door to
the right is Wolfram von Eschenbach, the author of "Parzival" and
"Lohengrin". The interior design of the room is by Julius Hofmann. The table
sculpture, over 1 meter high, shows Siegfried fighting the dragon - a gift from Munich
artists to Ludwig II.
In contrast to the other rooms, the Bedroom is sumptuously carved in the Neo-Gothic
style. 14 woodcarvers are said to have worked 4½ years to create this room. The Monarch's
bed is covered with richly embroidered draperies. The wall paintings illustrate the
"Tristan and Isolde" story, a story which, in Wagner's operatic realization, had
deeply impressed he 20 year old King. A stream above the castle brings flowing water
directly to the washstand.
Adjoining the bedroom is the small Chapel, dedicated to the Patron Saint of the King -
Louis IX of France (St. Louis). The richly carved winged-altar is set into the decorated
wall, and the altar paintings show scenes from the life of St. Louis. The stained glass
windows to the right show St. Louis receiving the last sacraments. The windows are the
work of the "Mayerischen" Court Art-Studio.
The dressing Room is completed in relatively simple oak paneling, and the trellis-work
painted on the ceiling gives the impression of the room opening to the sky. The wall
paintings illustrate the life and work of Walther von der Vogelweide and Hans Sachs -
after the "Siegfried" motives of the Entrance Hall, and the "Tristan"
motives of the Bedroom, this room is given over to the world of the
The richly decorated Living Room with its extension chamber, the so-called "Swan's
Corner", is completely dedicated to the legend of the Swan Knight Lohengrin - a saga
of great meaning and importance for Ludwig II.
The Large murals by Hauschild and von Heckel depict "The Miracle of the Grail"
and "The Arrival of Lohengrin in Antwerp". The motive where - on the carved and
painted paneling of the walls and ceilings and in the golden needle-point of the silk
upholstery and draperies. Ludwig II, who as a young prince was so overwhelmed by Wagner's
opera Lohengrin that he considered it a form of enlightenment, identified himself wholly
with the Swan Knight, and enjoyed dressing up as Lohengrin. The tragedy of Lohengrin was
his essential loneliness. This was also the fate of the King.
Grotto and winter
Between the Living
Room and the Study Ludwig II had an artificial stalactite cavern built. These were in
romantic vogue at that time. The landscape sculptor, Dirrigl from Munich, who had also
built the grotto in the park of Schloss "Linderhof", built this grotto out of
oakum and plaster-of-Paris, which has an artificial waterfall and which, with its
illumination from above, is very effective.
As one goes out of the grotto, immediately to the right, after the Living Room, one comes
to the entrance to the Winter Garden which is closed off by means of a glass door, sunk
into the rock. The fountain in the Winter Garden was originally intended for the second
floor. There it was to have graced a Moorish hail (with the Alhambra in Granada as its
model). Because of the ceasing of the building work, with The Moorish hall not being built
this fountain was placed in the Winter Garden. As in Wagner's opera
"Tannhäuser", the grotto was to have represented the introduction to the study,
in which room the painting of the legend is to be seen.
The Gothic-styled Study of the King is stamped with references to the history of the
Wartburg Castle. The paintings, set in finely carved wall panels, are carried out on
Gobelin canvas by Josef Aigner and illustrate the Tannhäuser saga and the Song Contest of
The Singer's Hall occupies the entire 4th floor of the castle and is a copy of the
Minstrels Hall of the Wartburg Castle in Thuringia, designed by Julius Hofmann. The murals
in the hall and in the corridor depict scenes from the "Parzival" saga of the
middle-ages, which were, to a certain extent, incorporated by Wagner in his Sacred
Neuschwanstein Caslte, created by Ludwig as a Grail Castle and simultaneously a Castle of
the Swan Knight Lohengrin, embraces yet another hero in this hall, namely Tannhäuser.
The completely intact Kitchen shows how modern technology was allowed to take its place
whitin the atmosphere of the middle ages captured in the upper stories. The elaborate
equipment includes hot and cold running water, and automatic spit roasters.
The romantic landscape of the castles surroundings can be fully appreciated looking
from the bottom of the Pöllat Gorge up to the 92 meter Marienbrücke, a cantilever bridge
spanning the 45 meter high waterfall. The bridge, orginally of wood, was named after
Ludwig's mother, Queen Marie, a Prussian princess. In 1866 the present iron construction
replaced the wooden bridge.
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