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Visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

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LISTED 34

Neuschwanstein Castle, which King Ludwig II built on a rugged hill against a backdrop of picturesque mountain scenery, was prompted by the idea of rebuilding an existing ruin "in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles", as he wrote in a letter to Richard Wagner.

The castle was built by Eduard Riedel and Georg Dollmann from idealized sketches by the scene painter Christian Jank. While the building itself imitates the 13th-century Romanesque style, the paintings inside predominantly depict scenes from Wagner's operas such as "Tannhäuser" and "Lohengrin". The Singers' Hall is modelled on the banqueting hall of the Wartburg near Eisenach; the decoration includes wall paintings illustrating the Parzival saga.

The church-like Throne Hall was modelled on Byzantine domed architecture and the Allerheiligenhofkirche (Court Church of All-Saints) in the Munich Residence and symbolizes Ludwig II's idea of a monarchy by God's grace. Neuschwanstein is not a copy of a medieval castle but a typical Historicist creation.