Neuschwanstein Castle, Allgäu, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is located on a high rocky outcrop 200 meters near Füssen, in the Allgäu, Germany. Louis II of Bavaria order to build it in the 19th century, at the site of two ancient castles. He asked Richard Wagner, his friend, to come to live with him. In 1884, Louis II stablished in the Palace but died two years later. After his mysterious death, the castle was opened to the public, although it was not yet finished. The initial project was more ambitious, but the Bavarian State decided not to pursue the work after the death of the King. It was built largely in the late Romanesque style from the beginning of the 13th century. Noted in the construction of the building as well as in its ornamentation: portals arches, arcades of windows and towers, the position of columns and pinnacles. The housing of the king rooms and rooms of pageantry of the third and fourth floors were more or less completed at his death. The rooms on the second floor are always bare brick and are not visited. The castle is an example of eclectic architecture of the romantic era. Walt Disney is inspired by this castle to create the castle at the first Disneyland opened in California in 1955, becoming also the logo of Walt Disney Studios and its subsidiaries. It receives over one million three hundred thousand visitors per year.

Tips

Before going to the Castle, you will need to get the tickets in Hohenschwangau castle below. The ticket you will make a guided tour (only way to be able to visit it) has the right time you must respect, in case of delay, you may not participate.

If you like taking pictures, you can just do it outside the Castle, even for video-films.

Big bags, luggage, strollers-children, are not allowed in the Castle.You should leave your belongings in a small space but nobody assumes responsibility for these objects.

Children and young people under the age of 18, do not pay.

If you like castles, there are annual or multi-year tickets that will allow you to visit more than 40 places of Bavaria.

If you wish, you can see a film about the life of the King at the end of your visit.

Tower of London, London, England

The Tower of London is a historic fortress located on the north bank of the River Thames in London, England. The tower is located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets located east of the city of London in a space known as Tower Hill. Its construction began in 1066. at the time of the Norman Conquest of England. William the conqueror in 1078, had built the White Tower which gave its name to the castle. As early as 1100, it was used as a prison while he served as a royal residence and grand palace. There were several phases of expansion, but it was mainly formed by several buildings surrounded by two concentric defensive walls and a moat. The Tower served as an armory, a menagerie, a treasury, welcomed the Royal Mint, the archives and the British Crown jewels. 112 people were executed there over a period of 400 years at the north of the tower. During the two world wars the tower was used as a prison again and 12 more executions took place. The tower has been repaired after World War II and was reopened to the public, being classified in the world heritage of the UNESCO. The tower, which controlled traffic on the Thames consists of three walls. It is a place of essential interest for millions of tourists who visit the city.

Tips

If you buy the ticket on Internet, you will pay a little less than if you would do on the spot. It will be good for a week from the date of purchase. You will be also asked to make a contribution for repairs of the place and its maintenance as the site receives nothing from the authorities; it is an organization, Historic Royal Palaces Enterprises Ltd, that operates only with what they get with the visit of tourists and their donations. They deal also with other historical sites.
You can also rent audio-guides in different languages.
The site has 5 shops that offer different products and there are also cafes and restaurants to enjoy a full day.
There is a legend that says that the Kingdom will be over if ever the ravens residents leave the Tower of London; you can also admire them during your visit.

Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands Archipelago, Alexandria, New York, USA

Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands Archipelago on the St. Lawrence River, along the northern border of the State of New York, in Alexandria. This is a very important and known touristic place. Millionaire George Boldt, general manager of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and manager of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, and his family, used to stay in a cottage in the area near Wellesley Island. He loved the region very much and decided to build a castle for his beloved wife; Louise. The Boldt family asked to the GW & WD Hewitt architectural firm to build a sumptuous 6-storey castle with Italian gardens, tennis courts, golf courses, stables, a polo field and other four buildings on Heart Island with a yacht shelter on a neighboring island which they owned as well. He wanted to give this monument to his wife for Valentine’s Day but unfortunately she died in 1904 because of heart problems. After the tragedy, the millionaire decided to stop everything … After 73 years, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought Heart Island and the nearby yacht shelter in 1977 for one dollar, with the agreement that all revenues from the operation of the castle would be reserved for the restoration. The site followed improvements for several years and the original construction was also improved with marble, a dome of stained glass windows and the woodwork of the grand staircase; contemporary innovations that have embellished even more the castle. Most of the rooms are furnished with contemporary objects. In the unfurnished rooms of the castle there are exhibits showing images and objects made in the archipelago of the Thousand Islands at the time when the Boldt lived there. The bridge that connects the two banks can be lifted and lowered as required.

Tips

The castle can be visited with a fee in US dollar with a very good exchange rate for the Canadians. The price includes the shuttle transfer to the quay of the family ships, where 4 boats that belong to them are in demonstration.

It is accessible by ferry or tourist boat from Alexandria Bay or Gananoque, Rockport or Ivy Lea, all three in Ontario.

You must pass the US Customs and Border Protection office so you must provide proper identification.