Friday, September 27, 2013

Neuschwanstein Castle: The Inside

So the title of this post is a bit misleading. I was actually only able to sneak a few photos from the actual inside of the castle because you are not really allowed to take photos, even without flash, inside the castle. I was, however, allowed to photograph from the inside out. So I'll present lots of gorgeous views but not as much of the inside as I would have liked to have shared. 
First of all you are already overwhelmed by the grandeur of this place just standing in front of it. The Fairy Tale Turrets at the entrance have already swept your imagination to a place where Knights and Ladies are now walking with you. You just can't help yourself!
 You get a number when you buy a ticket and then you just reference the sign with the red numbers for your ticket number or group number to appear before entering. This is your first glimpse of the inner courtyard as well.
 It is almost impossible to not be overwhelmed when you first see this from the inside. Hidden by the very tall walls outside you really can't see the beautiful courtyard at all from there.
I love the castle within a castle on the front of the castle! The grand paintings of the Knight on his Steed and the religious painting on the other side is a definite indication that you have entered the Fairy Tale.
 If you look to the left you will see a man walking down the grand staircase. This gives you an idea of how large it is. Unfortunately it was SO crowded in the courtyard I was not able to get a full panoramic view of the courtyard...I pretty much just saw heads. So, on those rare moments when I found an opening, I took detail photos instead.
 This is one of my favorite detail photos. The arched windows, the scallop curves on the stairs and window frames echoing the turrets adds such a romantic flare to the courtyard.
 From the courtyard you can see the waterfall that was part of King Ludwig II's view each day. Actually the waterfall has a lot to do with why he picked this location. He would hike up to the waterfall from the castle below and look down upon the hilltop where he finally built Neuschwanstein. It just seemed like the perfect location, filled with all of the views of his beloved countryside, to build his dream castle upon.
 The details were very important to him when he was building. Little pieces here and there all help make up a very romantic and flamboyant look to his Fairy Tale Castle.
 We entered and began our climb up. You can only go so far up and there are a lot of stairs so if you have any problems walking stairs you may want to take them very slowly. The guides are happy to let you take your time. 
If you power your way up the stairs you will miss the beautiful views. From one of the windows was this view of the terrace, the turret and the courtyard below. Remember the salmon colored entryway? The gold marble is what covers the other, inner courtyard, side of that same wall.
 Each window provided different views and there were always more details from each level. Notice the statue on the inner wall and the gargoyle on the outer wall. 
 Make sure to look out of each and every window including this amazing view of the lake in the valley below.
And not all of the windows were patterned the same way with the lead. Some of them had a very different pattern from the usual crosshatch design.
 You can even see Hohenschwangau from Neuschwanstein's windows.
 From one of the clear glass windows you get this amazing view of both the lake and of Hohenschwangau Castle.
Thanks to a long lens I was able to zoom in and was delighted by the huge swan that sits atop Hohenschwangau Castle. (click on the photo to see the larger version) I, personally, don't think it looks like much like a swan but they did.
 Some of the window views were very grand indeed. This one took my breath away.
 I did sneak a few from the inside. They are crooked because I couldn't actually see what I was shooting but you get to see the paintings on the walls in this photo. All of the artwork, and it was grand artwork, museum quality murals and carvings and engravings, depicted different fairy tales from books and from Operas. King Ludwig II was in love with Wagner, the opera composer, and so many of the paintings were of the fairy tales in Wagner's Operas.
 This is a hallway. Yup, just a hallway. To imagine someone walking these gold enlayed ceilings and giving them no more consideration than we do our own hallways just floors me. 
 But the views are panoramic. I took three images and they all overlap for one complete panoramic view from one of the balconies at the castle. So here is left....
 This is center...
 This is right. 
You get the whole panoramic view from this balcony. Just so amazing and beautiful!
This was the last view of the Castle from the valley floor. One of my favorite photos from this trip. In fact, it's my wallpaper on my computer. The Alps behind, the Castle in the middle and the blooming with Spring flowers valley floor below just combines for such a romantic view of this Fairy Tale Castle. (click on the photos for the larger version and better view)

Next week I'm going to start covering our first trip to Italy which includes Lake Como, the Italian Riviera including the Cinque Terra, Pisa, Milan and Venice. Hope you can come back then. In the meantime you can get daily photos of beautiful places on Instagram. Just follow shutterbugtraveler there!


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