The setting of the 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle, on a rugged hill near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, could not be more idyllic. The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as his refuge and as homage to Richard Wagner, his inspirational muse. Ludwig II never saw his new castle completely finished. Seven weeks after his death in 1886, Neuschwanstein Castle was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life, but these days, vast numbers of people come to view his private retreat.
Today, it is one of the most popular palaces and castles in
Europe and is one of Germany's most visited tourist attractions. In
the summer months, around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms
that were intended for a single inhabitant. The palace has appeared
in several movies and was also Disney's inspiration for the
'Sleeping Beauty Castle'. Behind the medieval appearance of the
castle, King Ludwig II made sure, that the latest technology was in
operation such as hot air central heating, running water, toilets
with an automatic flush and even telephones.