Neuschwanstein Castle

This is my painting of Neuschwanstein. My blog is not about art, but I couldn’t resist because I’m pretty proud of it.

Kissed by celestial breezes, Neuschwanstein stands on a mountain in a high Alpine region, far from the hustle and bustle of the human crowd. Ludwig II of Bavaria built this fairy-tale castle. Perhaps that’s why he was sometimes called the fairy-tale king. He spent a great deal of his childhood at nearby Hohenschwangau Castle and loved to ride his horse in the mountains, so he knew the area well. When he was ready to build his fabulous creation he already had a site in mind: on a rugged hilltop where the ruins of a much older castle stood overlooking two lovely lakes, the Alpsee and Schwansee, as well as the spectacular Pollat Gorge. From Hohenschwangau, he was able to watch his castle rising on its towering peak.

Neuschwanstein was intended as a refuge for Ludwig from the increasingly onerous duties of kingship, as well as a memorial to Richard Wagner, who never set foot there. Ludwig himself spent only a little time in the castle. It wasn’t quite finished by the time he was deposed by his own government. One of the pretexts was his out-of-control spending on building castles. Shortly after his deposition, he committed suicide. Ironically, it took the government only a few months to open Neuschwanstein to the public. I have no doubt that Ludwig would be spinning in his grave if he knew of all those profane feet trudging through his personal Monsalvat.

Mine were two of the feet that trudged in awe-struck wonder through those hallowed spaces in August 2016, an experience which I hope never to forget.