A Dream Built of Stones
If anyone talks about a fairy-tale castle, he usually means Neuschwanstein. This castle, built from 1869 to 1886, with its breathtaking location and fantastic interior decorations is unique in the world – and an attraction for millions of visitors.
The building was intended as a medieval knight’s castle in the 12th/13th-century style. The outer facade of the gateway was completed in 1873. The main building and the adjoining buildings were faced with Schwangau marble from the quarry at Schwansee (Swan Lake). It was modelled largely on the Wartburg in Thuringia. The castle was to consist of five buildings: the gatehouse, the Knight’s Building (the main residential tract) and the keep. The original construction work lasted 17 years and had to be discontinued because of Ludwig’s early death.
By then, of the rooms in the main residential tract only the ground floor (kitchen and adjacent rooms), the third floor (the king’s apartments and the Throne Room) and the fourth floor (Singers’ Hall) had been completed. The rooms are richly decorated with works of the arts and crafts, there are portrayals from the Tannhäuser saga, from Lohegrin, Tristan and Isolde, the Nibelungenlied, Parzival and from the life of Walter von der Vogelweide, a medieval German lyric poet.
The first concert in the Singer’s Hall was held in 1933 to mark the 50th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s death. Since 1969 the Neuschwanstein Castle Concerts have taken place every year in September.