Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany, Europe

by Kae Lani Palmisano for USA TODAY 10Best

Explore Neuschwanstein, an enchanting fairy tale castle

On the edge of the Bavarian Alps is one of Germany’s most famous castles: Neuschwanstein. Pulled from the romantic imagination of King Ludwig II, the castle celebrates medieval fantasies.

The castle offers incredible views of the nearby village of Hohenschwangau, and guests can see both the Alpsee and Schwansee lakes.

Two medieval twin castles were demolished in 1868 to make way for Neuschwanstein. It was supposed to be finished within three years, but construction went on nearly 25 years past its completion date and cost around 6.2 million marks.

The original plans for the castle were that it would have around 200 rooms, but only 14 were complete. The finished rooms are elaborate with ornate decorations and paintings, but the rest of the castle still remains bare.

The magnificent home was built with many modern conveniences that were virtually unheard of in the 1870s and 1880s, such as hot and cold running water, a working telephone and even central air heating.

After Ludwig II’s passing, the Prince Regent of Bavaria opened up the palace to paying visitors in order to repay some of the debts of the king’s estate. Today, Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited castles in the world, drawing upwards of 1.5 million visitors per year.

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