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Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge.

Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.

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.

Since 1990 the Free State of Bavaria has spent around 14.5 million euros on the renovation and maintenance of the castle and improvement of the visitor service. Ludwig's bedroom with the richly decorated, cathedral-like bed. On the walls paintings illustrating the Tristan and Isolde epic, August Spieß, 1881.

The kitchen is also equipped with the latest technology – the spit in the background is driven by a turbine. The crockery was warmed with hot air from the stove.

The Singers' Hall under the roof of the Palas was inspired by a Munich performance of Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser. It was modelled on the historic Singers' Hall of the Wartburg. The Singers' Bower can be seen in the background.

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