Sunday, November 17, 2013

Geopiece of the Day: Neuschwanstein Castle

465 tonnes of Salzburg marble, 1,550 tonnes of sandstone, 400,000 bricks and 2,050 cubic metres of wood, 2 steam cranes and 300 artisans working day and night by the light of oil lamps. That is what it took to construct one of the most visited castles in the European Heartland.

Neuschwanstein Castle now

Built and paid for by Ludwig II of Bavaria the castle tried to revisit romantic architecture of the middle ages. The king was a lover of castles apparently as Neuschwanstein wasn't his only construction project. He was engaged in 2 more castle building projects, which never finished and indebted himself for more than 14 million Mark to achieve his goals. Ludwig was technically bankrupt and threatened suicide to stave off creditors from taking over his construction projects.

Panorama of the Castle

The King never saw the castle completed as he did before work was complete. His successor made the castle accessible to paying visitors to balance the debts and the royal house basically turned it into a cash cow tourist destination, which it still remains today. 

The setting of Neuschwanstein could not be more idyllic. However, movement in the foundation area has to be continuously monitored, and the sheer rock walls must be repeatedly secured. The harsh climate also has a detrimental effect on the limestone façades, which will have to be renovated section by section over the next few years.

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