Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, pronounced [nɔʏˈʃvaːnʃtaɪn]) is a 19th-century Romanesque Revivalpalace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds (see below).
The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.
The Free State of Bavaria (German: Freistaat Bayern, pronounced [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈbaɪ.ɐn] ( listen)), is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of 70,548 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany. Bavaria is Germany's second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia), with 12.5 million inhabitants, more than any of the three sovereign nations on its borders. Bavaria's capital and largest city is Munich, the third largest city in Germany.
One of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy in the mid first millennium. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, and Bavaria has since been a free state (republic). Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia, Upper Palatinate and Swabia.