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Is Neuschwanstein worth the trip while being renovated?

I am planning a trip with my family this summer that includes staying in Fussen to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle. We will be traveling between Salzburg and Alsace Region with a 2 night stopover in Fussen to see the castle. After reading that there are major renovations going on, I am wondering if there is anyone who has been there recently and has a first-hand account of what they saw. Thank you for any information!!

Posted by
5499 posts

The exterior of N'stein is pretty stunning, but 2 nights for a weak 30-minute tour of a faux castle like N'stein is not something I can support, even when the scaffolding is down. Suggest you see Ludwig's Herrenchiemsee Palace instead; it's on an island in Prien's lake Chiemsee - in a setting as magnificent as N'stein and right on the route between Salzburg and Munich. http://www.herrenchiemsee.de/englisch/n_palace/index.htm For a genuine castle: from Salzburg, take the short trip to Hohenwerfen Castle; "Where Eagles Dare" was filmed here; see the falconry show there as well. Other Salzburg fortifications are described here as well: http://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/

Posted by
5499 posts

"the sweeping historical significance of Neuschwanstein"?? I think all travel advice is subjective. And as far as I know, nothing much ever took place there but a lot of tourism.

Posted by
9110 posts

Maybe we could get some elaboration on this historical business???

Posted by
296 posts

Historical? I thought the whole experience was a rip off. Herded like sheep is not for me. The castle itself is a thing of beauty no doubt and maybe that's what your "historical" reference is about but there is not enough freedom with that tour. One should be freed to wonder as one chooses IMO.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you pre-arm yourself with some knowledge of the German Romantic nationalist movement of the 19th century, Wagner's operas and Ludwig II's fascination with the above, the interior of the castle is absolutely fascinating. If not, it's just a bunch of pretty rooms. Yes, it's not medieval, but that's missing the point. I last took some family members there in October. There was some scaffolding, but the outline and general impression of the castle was still very visible.

Posted by
27440 posts

One should be freed to wonder as one chooses IMO. I guess you hated Burg Eltz for the same reason?

Posted by
68 posts

So....the bottom line with the renovation is :
If you were planning to visit Neuschwanstein--don't let the renovation change your plans as it has not substantially affected the experience????? (opinions aside as to whether or not it is worth taking the time to visit in the first place). Personally, I am not so much for visiting it but my son has specifically requested a sidetrip there and he is more the European history/German culture expert so I am defering to his wishes (as long as any renovation isn't going to seriously degrade the location).

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you everyone! I appreciate the lively debate on the historical significance of Neuschwanstein, the personal opinions, and suggestions of other sites to see. That's what I needed...I guess there is no guarantee of one's experience prior to a trip. Still not sure if we'll take our chances...will have my family read all your opinions and take a vote. Thanks again!

Posted by
5499 posts

"Neuschwanstein is the finest architectural expression of his relationship with Wagner." Which I'm sure was historically quite significant in a sweeping way to those two. Most visitors I know have gone to N'stein because to them, its historical significance lies in the fact that Walt Disney modeled part of his theme park after the place and used a logo of his creation so extensively over the years to promote his "Wonderful World of Disney" TV programming. If you have other goals in the Füssen area, it might be worth a trip there, but IMO not for N'stein alone.

Posted by
27440 posts

Thank you James. Where's that "Like" button?

Posted by
31435 posts

Debbie, Rather than staying in Füssen for two nights, you might also consider staying in Munich. From there it's very easy to visit Neuschwanstein as a day trip, either on your own or with Radius Tours. Staying in Munich will provide lots more to do in the evenings, and there are lots of sights to see there also. When you visit Neuschwanstein, be sure to allow some time to hike to Marienbrücke (the bridge over the deep canyon), as it provides an incredible view of the Castle (don't forget your Camera!). Happy travels!

Posted by
30 posts

Hi Debbie, I was just there 10 days ago. We actually stayed in Fussen for 3 nights because we needed 2 full days to do the activities we were going to do there. Day one found us going to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, they're near each other. We didn't go into either one, but walked around them. The scaffolding wasn't a big deal, it's still pretty amazing. What was the BEST part of our day there though was going up to the bridge that was mentioned, and then hiking beyond far up onto the mountain. The view there was breathtaking! You could see down to the 2 castles and the lakes around them. I don't know if you're hikers, but if you are, you'll enjoy this view of the castle. (our kids bounced ahead, we took it slow but had no problems). From up there, you were on the backside of Neuschwanstein so you didn't even see the scaffolding. A tip: when you walk down from the castle the back way, there is a stand where a man is selling schneeballs. These are NOT the ones you usually see, they are actually like a donut. They are fabulous. Someone had told me about them, and I sought this man out....he did not disappoint. He's sort of in front of a cafe/restaurant. That night we went into Fussen on the main touristy area to eat. The night before though we just went to a local grocery and for about 30 Euro's we feasted on cold cuts, bread, cheese, snacks and drinks galore for 4 of us. The next day we went to Linderhof castle. This one we did go into, would recommend it. The grotto is really cool also, as well as the grounds. We also squeezed in the Ehrenburg ruins, this was a highlight for our family. I LOVE ruins! It's some serious walking to get up there, but fun, fun, fun. Amazing views. There is a restaurant at the base of that mountain (the only one there) that had good food at good prices. A cool playground outside as well. Feel free to ask me anymore questions you might have!
Angela

Posted by
2966 posts

The "genuine castle" and "neuschwanstein isn't historic!" argument, one of my favorites, even though it has little to do with the original question asked! I have friends who went recently and really enjoyed it despite the scaffolding. You can see current pictures online too to judge for yourself. As far as the historical value, I find it bizarre that people obsess over the D-Day beaches in one breath and dismiss Romantic-era "fantasy" castles as "modern". Yes, if someone really wants to see a medevial fortress castle, Neuschwanstein isn't what you're looking for. If you want insight into the strange mind of one of Europe's last monarchs who was torn between a rapidly modernizing and industrial world and his own fantasies of the past, or just want to see something pretty and impressive, it's great.

Posted by
9110 posts

I'm still missing the historical business. What did Ludwig contribute to history in his powerful, lengthy, two-year reign? And what of any historical significace actually happened at Neuschwanstein? The most I can remember about the nutcase is that he pimped Wagner. One of the last monarchs? Some folks in Spain, Belgium, England, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, and Denmark might just want to nitpick that point.

Posted by
12040 posts

"in his powerful, lengthy, two-year reign?" Actually, it was 18 years, although Bavaria was a fully independent kingdom for only about the first 6 years of his rule.

Posted by
9110 posts

Boy, have I got egg on my face. I was thinking he died right after the american cilvil war - - which would have been well before Neuschwanstein was even built. I'll turn in my european history badge, but I'm akeeping the asian one in my sweaty little mitts.

Posted by
2966 posts

Ed, Ed, Ed... Ludwig was King of Bavaria for 16 years, not 2. For clarification, "One of the last monarchs" when monarchs actually had POWER. In fact, he was ruler when Germany was unified, so he went from being a King with power to being a mostly useless figurehead, which is what prompted his retreat into fantasy and Wagner fanboy-status. But that's part of what's so fascinating about him and his castles. As a person he represents in many ways the transition from monarchies/duchys/"old Europe" to modernity and the concept of the modern nation-state, the period of strife and revolution that took place right before and mostly after WWI. His patronage (and giant crush) on one of the most influential and impressive musicians of all time (for better or worse - as a Jew I have a hard time digging Wagner) is also pretty historically significant. If you were to tell most Germans that Ludwig II was irrelevant historically they'd think you were crazy. Did he individually impact much aside from his crazy building sprees and financing of the arts? Nah. But he was king during 2 major wars and again, when Germany went from being a collection of small kingdoms and duchies to being a modern unified nation-state. Maybe you don't find that history interesting, but many do. I don't get the weird reverence for him (his tomb to this day is always full of fresh flowers) but I find him a fascinating historical figure. edit: 18 years? apparently I can't math.

Posted by
2966 posts

For the record, I don't think Neuschwanstein is interesting as anything other than a pretty building independent of Ludwig. But as a window into the fantasies of a crazy monarch, I can see the appeal. And it's not like there isn't an actual royal residence just down the road either that people can easily visit in the same trip.

Posted by
709 posts

Tom, you nailed it. James, you nailed it even more. Debbie, I have been to all of Ludwig's castles, and while Linderhof is my favorite, N'stein definitely deserves a visit. It is a stunning piece of architecture, and if you spend a bit of time reading up on Wagner, it will have that much more of an impact. Even just dreaming what Falkenstein could have been by viewing the mural is mesmorizing.
With Hohenschwangau, it's worth a trip.

Posted by
1064 posts

Debbie, you don't have to tour the interior of the the castles to enjoy them. We spent two nights at the Villa Jägerhaus in the Hohenschwangau village between the two castles a couple of years ago and did not tour either one. Instead, we used that as a base for a daytrip to Wies Church, Oberammergau, Linderhof and a couple of other places. We liked touring Linderhof, have toured other castles and palaces and my wife just did not see the need to tour another. I agreed. But viewing the castles at night in the snow (it was March) was something special. Also, I enjoyed taking the trail to Neuschwanstein in the early morning before the buses got there. Then we took off for the day and returned when they had left. I don't know if that is feasible in the summer, but I would suggest that you stay close enough to enjoy the castle view at night and early morning.

Posted by
1064 posts

To each his or her own. If you have two days, do both: tour Neuschwanstein one day and make the circular route through southern Bavaria the next. Personally, Wieskirche is one of my favorite places in Bavaria, and I would rate it much higher in terms of beauty than Linderhof, which many people seem to prefer to Neuschwantein, at least on the inside. Maybe you ought to check them both out and help settle this matter. BTW: Oberammergau is a town you pass on the way to Linderhof. We stopped there for lunch, not as a destination, but we did admire the folk art on the buildings. If you have not had your fill of Baroque churches by then, I would also recommend the Ettal Abbey, which is just off the main road south of there. It is so baroque you want to fix it.

Posted by
107 posts

Has anyone else seen the castle recently? Tours still seem to be conducted. What I read is minor scaffolding on one side of the exterior?