This is a postcard write out of a fairy-tale storybook about a romantic fairy-tale king who built a fairy-tale castle on top of a hill in a quaint little town in his fairy-tale kingdom. I would start with a line like "Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far, away,..." but that would be lying, because it's actually not far at all, today! This is the castle that Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland is modeled on, and is by far the most elaborate, ornate, and details-worked-out castle that I have seen. Not all the rooms in the castle were finished before King Ludwig's death, but our tour included only those rooms that had been at least nearly finished. (The tour was the only way to enter the castle.) Everything was built with quite modern technology very impressive for the time. Memorable rooms included an indoor cave, amazingly acoustic performance hall, royal golden throne room, and a bedroom with woodwork ornate enough to boggle even a focused mind (perhaps that was part of his slight insanity?). As the name may imply (if you know German), swans were a recurring theme inside and out, as a family symbol and favorite animal of the king. He also had magnificent view over the town, hills, Alps, and a still Alpen lake, as well as a view of the nearby castle where Ludwig grew up.
This photo was taken from a bridge called the Marienbrucke, which is quite high up (50 m?) above the river and waterfalls descending from the Alps (just behind me) to the deepest parts of the valley below.
There are only so many words that can describe the outstanding beauty and romanticism of this place, and fewer still that can fit in a fairy tale on the back of a postcard. So I'll send this now and head to Cologne!
Living happily ever after,
Postcard photo, text, & software ©2007 W. Ben Towne / WBT Productions.