There is a castle in Southern Germany that many believe to be one of the most stunning buildings of its kind. Neuschwanstein Castle emerges from the trees atop a hill overlooking the scenic Alps, making the view of the castle as impressive as the one visitors will see from the windows of this building. Travelers who visit Schwangau, Germany, on their Danube cruises will have no trouble understanding why Neuschwanstein Castle has captivated people for hundreds of years.
Neuschwanstein Castle is so beautiful that it is known as "the castle of the fairy-tale king," and it was actually used by Disney as a reference to create Sleeping Beauty's castle. Unlike many of castles and palaces throughout Europe, this particular building is not very old. Construction began in 1869, by order of Bavarian King Ludwig II, who was also known to some as "Mad King Ludwig," according to Castles.org.
The building was decked out with every modern convenience of the time, setting it further apart from other royal residences. There is running water on every floor, thanks to a spring located higher up the mountain. It was also given a warm air heating system so King Ludwig could reside there in the utmost comfort. Unfortunately, the royal leader died before construction was finished, so he never got to enjoy the fruits of his idea. However, shortly after the king's passing, the castle opened its doors to the public, the Bavarian Palace Department reports.
Now, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular destinations in Southern Germany, with more than 1.3 million visitors each year. Guests can snap a few choice photos and learn about the modernization of royal residences all in one place. The unique history of this structure, coupled with its immaculate beauty and serene setting, make this an unforgettable part of any Europe tour that passes through Germany.