Friday, July 18, 2008

True Fairy Tales

The world is full of castles. I love many of them for different reasons, but my favorite is the Neuschwanstein Castle in the heart of Germany. This is a fairytale castle, created by a fairytale king... the mysterious King Ludwig II.
A very romantic dreamer, adored by women, a knight and a proud leader; he loved art, acting and music, so much so that he brought composer Robert Wagner to the palace and for many years was his patron. Wagner said, "... Today I was brought to him. He is unfortunately so beautiful and wise, soulful and lordly, that I fear his life must fade away like a divine dream in this base world... You cannot imagine the magic of his regard: if he remains alive it will be a great miracle!"

King Ludwig II created an unrealistic fairytale kingdom around himself. He began to sleep during the day and spend his waking hours at night, traveling then (often in costume), by fanciful coach or sleigh.
He intertwined his fascination with the Holy Grail into his life and his palace, and as years passed, he began to retreat into his castle more and more often, where reality almost didn't exist. In a tragic, heartbreaking twist, he was removed from the throne by reason of mental incompetency, and shortly thereafter, he and the psychiatrist who declared him insane were both found dead in a lake.

This castle, its history and its fairytale king appeal to me on several levels, but more than any single reason, simply because there are times when I wish I could step into a dream and live in it for a long while... and he did. It delights me that someone, somewhere in time, was able to do that. He did it beautifully, and it's still there for others to come share in it, in a very small way... to step into his dream and walk through the echoes of it that fill his halls and his countryside.

He may not have known it, but he is also a member of the League of Dreamers... and by default, that is an eternal company of souls.

Ludwig II as the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St George. G. Schachinger, Munich, 1887.

Thanks to the Neuschwanstein Castle website for the photographs.


Clowncar said...

That really is a castle from a dream. As if he conjured it to life from his subconscious mind.

Nice post.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


Isn't it fantastic? The inside is really amazing too, if you check out the website and look through the photos.

Just stunning.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Sameera Ansari said...

That really looks like something out of a fairytale :)

Great are those who dare to dream,greater are those who make them come true.

Have a nice weekend dear!

Suburbia said...

It is such a perfect castle isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I went there last week! It's so beautiful...

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


You speak the words of my soul so often.
Let's make the good dreams come true!!
Very poetic.


Actually, it's so perfect that Disney used this as its model for their logo castle; Cinderella's castle.
Nice huh?
Good to know it's really there.


I *WISH* I had written that! HA! But I will get there soon enough.
Very glad that you got to see it though, but really... you can't just drop a tidbit like that and run off.
Details! I need details!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Kay Cooke said...

Thanks for telling me about the castle and the king - I've learnt something new - and fascinating.

The Passionate Palate said...

More proof that we are kindred spirits! I used to frequently stare at a poster of this castle when I was younger, and whenever I saw it, I was transported to my future wedding. Yes, I wanted to get married, right there, on one of those huge roof top terraces. I am one of the league of dreamers too, and love being transported to fairy-tale-like settings in other times. Ahhh...nice escape dear Scarlett. Thank you.

molly said...

Sorry to be so unromantic, but maybe the mental incompetency thing wasn't so far off the mark! Lovely castle though....

rel said...

I've not been there, but of course, It is near the top of the places to see list. So far my favorite castle is the one at Chenencoue (sp?) in the Loire Valley in France.
The walls of ancient castles as well as churches speak to me when I'm in them and fuel my dreams for months.
Living a dream for a few moments or a few days is the best way to recharge our batteries.

Anonymous said...

I saw you already found my blog entry with the travel description. :) If you ever visit Neuschwanstein, make sure to climb a bit further up the hill to the Mariƫnbrucke to get an amazing view of the castle. It's so incredibly beautiful.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

*le sigh*

I actually thought that *was* the Disney castle when I first saw the post. What a dreamy life! Thanks for sharing :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a beautiful castle! It looks exactly as a castle should if one has a solid grounding in fairy tales.

Did his death remain an unsolved mystery?

His lifestyle almost sounds like Michael Jackson's in some ways, a dreamer if ever there was one.

Lena said...

thanks a lot for sharing the castle's story. This one looks fantabulous!

Pearl said...

Been a while since I heard a snippet about him. Thanks for more of his story.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hello Kay!

Aren't fairy stories wonderful? And this one is all true, which makes it magic right away.

Hey Jeni!

Very nice to see you here. I did the same thing when I was younger, with this castle and with the Taj Mahal in the last post... it's the romantic streak that illuminates our souls, my friend. That's what it is.

Miss Molly,

Yes. I know... but ever the optimist, I'd like to believe he just had a different view of the world. God knows we've seen pure evil in the form of insanity (and from that same country... WWII), but this leader was a dreamer, and perhaps was disillusioned with the world around him enough that he wanted to be in a different one.
I have those days at least twice a week.

Dearest Rel,

Yay!!! A new castle to explore! Thanks for the tip, I'm off to recharge batteries now, and my dreams will be refueled for a long time to come as well.


When, dear girl, when I get to Germany... and I certainly will do as you suggest.
I drink in the beauty of the world around us, constantly.

Dear Sognatrice,

Cara, I know you like the older, time touched castles better, but this is a fairytale castle, and an enchanted one at that.
It's the model for Cinderella's castle, which was made for dreams.


Yes, his death is still a mystery - and a fascinating one at that... died with the psych who declared him insane? In a lake? Mmm Hmmm.
Something fishy going on there.

...and, em... I don't think there's anyone like Michael Jackson. Ever in history. He's the only one, even if We Are The World.

Hello Lena,

It does look that, lady. It certainly does.


I am not surprised at all that you knew of him before this post... most wise and wondrous lady! I'm curious to know what you already knew!
He is very interesting, I think perhaps I may research him some more. All of the history I know of him is from the Neuschwanstein Castle website.
I'll dive into the books next...

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


PS - I googled your castle... it was misspelled, but I found it and LOVE the photos, it's so beautiful!
Check this out:

There are castles available to rent.. by the room, or cottage nearby from about 200E to 400E, 'uncatered'... (do your own grocery shopping), but it's quite lovely, and the idea of staying in a castle is thrilling for me!

That's just made it on my list of things to do. Soon.

Thank you, dear sir!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

Those paintings of Ludwig are amazing! So luxe.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hey Leslie!

Aren't those gorgeous paintings?
Love the richness and depth. They portray his highness very well.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

The castle looks like one from Disney World. I can't believe anyone would wear that get-up (last photo). What we do for fashion.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hey Colleen!

I think kings are exempt from fashion... if centuries of paintings are any indication...


But his castle is truly amazing, is it not?

Good to see you, lady!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore