Work on the future building site began in the summer of 1868 with up to 8 metres of stone outcrop removed to make way for the foundations. In June 1869, the new access road was completed. The foundation stone was laid on September 5, 1869 with the building plan, portraits of Ludwig II and coins from his reign incorporated in it in accordance with the tradition established by Ludwig I. The latest building techniques and materials were used in the construction of the castle. The foundations were cemented and the walls built of brick with light-coloured limestone used merely as cladding.
The Gateway Building was completed first. The opening ceremony was celebrated on June 11, 1872 and the castle was ready for occupation at the end of 1873. For years Ludwig II used the upper floor as provisional accommodation when he visited the site. Building of the Palas commenced in September 1872. For structural reasons, the latest technology was required in order to incorporate the large Throne Hall subsequently requested by the king, which was built as an encased steel construction. Another ceremony was held on January 29, 1880. The decoration and technical fittings of the interior were only completed in mid 1884, though without all the final details. Ludwig II only ever saw his new castle as a building site. The Bower and the Square Tower, simplified versions of the originally planned buildings, were not completed until 1892.
The tour of the palas (the residential part of a medieval castle) begins with a view into the servants’ rooms with authentic oak furnishings on the first upper floor. The rooms on the second floor were never finished and today house a shop, a cafeteria and a multimedia room. The apartments and state rooms of the king are on the third and fourth floors.
Visiting the castle is through guided tour only, no exceptions. You will be able to follow a guide in different languages or with an audio guide. Your ticket will include a number and specific time entry. You are unable to enter before or after that time, so be at least 15-20 minutes early on the spot, knowing that it is sometimes difficult to move because of many tourists waiting their turn to enter the castle.
It is strictly forbidden to smoke, photograph and film inside both castles, but despite this, the visit was great and very interesting!