Neuschwanstein Castle - fairytale castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria
In 1864 Ludwig II climbed the throne at the age of 18 without any experience in regency and politics. In 1866 Bavaria, in alliance with Austria, was defeated in the war against the expanding Prussia. He was forced into a "protective and defensive alliance", as a result the king lost sovereign power over Bavaria. Ludwig II from that time on concentrated mainly on the realisation of his architectural projects and the support of the arts, especially the composer Richard Wagner.
Neuschwanstein Castle, built in 1869-1886, was planned as an idealized medieval knight's castle in the style of historicism and is not a copy of an existing building. The plans were made by Christian Jank, Eduard Riedel and Georg Dollmann were in charge of the realisation.
The foundation stone for the "New Castle" was laid on 5 September 1869, today's name has only been usual since 1886. Ludwig II lived only a few months in the castle, he drowned before the completion of his favourite castle in the Starnberger See under still unexplained circumstances.
Neuschwanstein is, along with Linderhof, Herrenchiemsee and the Königshaus am Schachen, the most famous of the Ludwig castles and is visited by about 1.5 million tourists every year.