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Castle built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Although never finished, this remains one of the most popular castles of all time. Neuschwanstein, new swan stone, is a castle almost everyone has seen. Built in the thick forested hills of Bavaria, it resembles fairy tale castles. The construction of Neuschwanstein lasted from 1869-1892. Eduard Reidel, Georg Dollman, and Julius Hoffman were the engineering architects for the castle at different times. Along with Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee, this castle displayed Ludwig II's love of arts and bouts of insanity. The castle bears remarkable technologies. The inside contained a telephone system, warm and cold water, an elevator, and a dining table that could be set on one floor and dined on another. The castle could have never been finished the way Ludwig II desired. Gem lined doorways displayed fake gems without Ludwig II's knowledge due to the expense the architects knew he could't afford. Inspired by operas of Richard Wagner, Ludwig II demanded this castle be built. I have been to this castle, if you ever get a chance, you will never see anything like it.

Neuschwanstein Castle is a "fairy tale" castle located in the Bavarian Alps of southern Germany. Construction began in 1869 at the request of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria who was inspired by the Romanticism of the early 19th century, and by the early medieval castle the Wartburg. It is also said that Neuschwanstein became the inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle or Sleeping Beauty Castle (depending on the source). The financial resources of Bavaria were smaller than Ludwig's imagination, so construction stopped in 1886, the year Ludwig died, with only 15 of 228 planned rooms fully completed.

The castle is at an elevation of 3,165 feet, and covers and area of 63,884 square feet. The architecture of the castle is not limited to just one style: Roman, Baroque, Gothic and Byzantine styles are incorporated into the design.

Unlike many earlier castles, Neuschwanstein was equipped with many modern amenities including central heating, running water (including hot water) and a dumb waiter spanning three floors.

Mad King Ludwig was a lavish and eccentric decorator. His obsession with German composer Richard Wagner led him to decorate several rooms in ways that were representative of themes in Wagner's operas. Ludwig decorated his bedroom with Gothic style oak furnishings that took 14 craftsmen 4 years to complete. He also use bizarre lighting in several rooms that highlighted his eccentricities. In addition to Neuschwanstein, he built the castles Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee.

The castle is open to the public.

April–September: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday evening hours until 8:00 pm
October–March: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tours last about 35 minutes

Normal price: 7.00 Euro
Discount price: 6.00 Euro

There is only one road leading to Neuschwanstein, so be sure to get a map or ask for directions if you decide to visit. It is a very popular tourist destination, so expect crowds.


We all know about Neuschwanstein the castle, but not quite as many of us are familiar with Neuschwanstein the band.

Neuschwanstein is a legend of sorts to some progressive rock fans. Out of nowhere (also known as Germany*), six unknown, talented musicians came together and produced one fantastic album before vanishing again to the abyss whence they came. This album, Battlement, was recorded in 10 days in October 1978 and released in 1979.
*Kidding. I love Germany.

1. Loafer Jack (4'42)
2. Ice with Dwale (6'21)
3. Intruder and Punishment (7'34)
4. Beyond the Bulge (7'31)
5. Battlement (7'05)
6. Midsummer Day (7'42)
7. Zärtlicher Abschied** (5'52)
**This is a bonus track on the 1992 CD release, and the title translates to "Tender Parting"

This album is an absolute gem. Its acoustic sounds, along with the uncanny resemblance between the voices of Frédéric Joos and young Peter Gabriel, make Battlement sound a bit like early Genesis. However, they are by no means a direct ripoff. Their use of flute and some unique synthesizer sounds (like the beloved Mellotron!), as well as their style, add elements of Eloy and Camel. Of course, this is merely what others say. I am perfectly fine with accepting them as simply Neuschwanstein.

Their lineup, as it appears in the booklet:

Thomas NEUROTH: Keyboards.
Klaus MAYER: Flute, synthesizer.
Roger WEILER: Guitars.
Frédéric JOOS: Lead vocals, acoustic guitars.
Rainer ZIMMER: Bass, vocal on "Battlement".
Hans-Peter SCHWARZ: Drums, except on "Loafer Jack".

Hermann RAREBELL: Drums on "Loafer Jack".

It should be noted that Hermann Rarebell, the guest drummer on the first track, was also a drummer in the 80s German power-rock band The Scorpions; that Roger Weiler also wrote most of the lyrics, designed the cover, and helped with the 1992 remix of the album; and that Rainer Zimmer wrote the lyrics to "Battlement".

Whatever became of these fine musicians? Some say they now live in a magical land of music and warm root beer. Others say that they just went back to their everyday lives in Germany. I, however, maintain that they joined the Superfriends and, with their mysterious musical talent, subdued the Legion of Doom where the other superfriends had failed so many times before...but that's just me.

Main source: The CD Booklet of Battlement. Musea Records, France.
Other source: The New Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock. www.gepr.net

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