The New Swan Stone Castle. Probably one of the most famous castles ever built / not finished. A crazy king + romantic architecture + alpine mountains + Disney magic (Sleeping Beauty’s castle) = a wildly popular destination.
150 years ago, Ludwig the 2nd retreated away from politics and society to focus on his passion, building castles in the romantic architecture style. Unfortunately his passions to accurately reproduce romantic architecture with the most modern of 19th century conveniences, cost a lot of money. 7 unfinished castles later, found Ludwig in debt to his own country with a price tag of 22 million Marks. Making the politicians and his family terribly nervous with his reckless spending, Ludwig was declared insane by several well respected physicians who interviewed everyone except Ludwig himself. Once he was declared unfit to rule the country, it was only a matter of time before his dreadful drowning “accident”.
Today, the state of Bavaria turns a very nice profit on all of these majestic castles. 6000 people walk through Neuschwanstein each and every day of the year. Not even counting the people who just stop and take pictures. In addition to his mothers castle, Hohenschwangau that sits “across the street” there is also a town and museums that have sprung up to support the tourism that drives the region. Bavaria may just need to thank Ludwig after all.