Mediaeval romanticism and the operas of Wagner are the reigning aesthetic at this over-the-top castle, a popular day trip from Munich
Arising like a grandiose chivalric fantasy in the forested hills an hour and 40 minutes' drive southwest of Munich, the Romanesque-Revival-style Schloss Neuschwanstein was commissioned by Bavaria's "Mad King Ludwig" in 1869. In fact, the designer - in close cooperation with Ludwig - was a prominent stage designer of the day, and the interior decoration of its more than 200 rooms and chambres was inspired by the dramatic operas of Ludwig's friend Richard Wagner, the composer. After the king died in 1886, the castle was opened to the public, and to this day it's still one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Munich and Bavaria. If it looks familiar, that's because it was a prime inspiration for the Cinderella's Castles of the Disney theme parks.