Did you know that many Disney castles took inspiration from real European ones?
Walt, during a trip to Europe, fell in love with one in particular: the Neuschwanstein Castle.
It is located in southwest Bavaria (Germany) and it is pretty clear why Walt Disney fell in love with it. The castle itself and the surrounding landscape make you feel part of a fairy tail… It’s a kind of magic! You can have a walk into the wood and around the area, or book (in advance) a tour of the castle. Do not forget to reach the bridge which stands just in front of it, the view is definitely breathtaking.
Another landmark which is really worth a visit is the medieval Hochosterwitz Castle, located in Sankt Georgen am Längsee (Austria). It was strategically built on a summit and nowadays you can reach it by an elevator or through the old rocky footpath, which counts 14 gates. Up there, you could enjoy the stunning panorama, taste some local food at the restaurant and visit the fortress along with its museum, courtyard and chapel.
Rumours has it that this place inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle by Disney.
Last but not least, a third MUST-VISIT castle: the Grafenegg Castle, located in Grafenegg (Austria). It is the most important example of historicism in the country and its Gargoyles will remind you of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It stands in the middle of a huge park featuring rare plants from all over the world, a pavilion, modern artworks and the Wolkenturm (an open air stage hosting concerts).
- Castle in Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle
- Castles in Austria: Hochosterwitz and Grafenegg Castles