Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.
A long 30 minute walk up hill to the castle was filled with amazing sights.
Had the weather not been about 15 degrees fahrenheit, we would have taken the horse drawn carriage. The uphill walk kept most of us warm.
Halfway up to the castle, we stopped for a rest to take a look at the scenery in part of the Swiss Alps.
The castle was not designed for royalty, but as a place of retreat for Ludwig II to escape into his dream world. Movement in the foundation area has to be continuously monitored, and the sheer rock walls must be repeatedly secured. The harsh climate also has a detrimental effect on the limestone facades, have been endlessly renovated section by section over the years.
We arrived at the top, and after a 15 minute wait, started the tour. Unfortunately, we were told in a stern manner by our tour guide not to take pictures of the inside. Yes, there was a sign as we walked in, but nobody reads signs, right? We could, though, take photos from the inside out through windows.
Although the castle looked medieval, Ludwig used the latest technology of the time for comfort. The rooms were fitted with hot air central heating. Running water was available on every floor and the kitchen had both hot and cold water.
The toilets had an automatic flushing system. Walls were thicher than usual to allow servants to move through out the castle, and to stock the rooms with wood in the fireplaces for heating.