The Fussen area of Germany has one of the best collections of castles in a small area in all of Europe. These castles were massive in size, and the enchanting atmosphere that surrounded them overwhelmed my senses. Arrive early so you can tour all of them. Each one deserves your full attention.
Neuschwanstein Castle was by far the most emblematic of the Disney Cinderella castle, even though the Cinderella castle was drawn from multiple castle aspects. It does not take a trained eye to see Neuschwanstein style grace in Disney’s iconic castle. Another backdrop of Neuschwanstein castle is that it had modern amenities that you would never have anticipated. There are a few museums and shops in this castle complex, and cliff-hanging trails throughout the mountains for those staying the night in this gorgeous castle complex retreat. They literally sit perched atop of hills overlooking the towns and lakes below, just ideal for couples and those wanting a quick weekend getaway.
The Werdenberg Castle
The Werdenberg Castle and the surrounding community of Werdenberg is a small tourist attraction. Like many places I visited, stopped and visited on a whim. No planning. Just enjoying the life. Things may seem good about this castle, but I will say personally that this is the scariest castle I visited. I am not easily scared or afraid of much and have been in a many castles and palaces, but Werdenberg takes the cake for me.
First off, even before I got to the castle there seemed to be no one on the pathway up the hill. Then as I entered the gates to the courtyard to purchase my ticket, there are just a couple of local townspeople and it seems deserted. But the doors to the castle are open like we dare you to walk in here alone without a guide.
So me being a good guy, I wait for the local historian to show up, and when she gets up to me she seems surprised and delighted. I brush it off, and we enter the castle. She walks with me through a few rooms and gives me the rundown on the castle that has four stories. She says, “Enjoy yourself. You’re on your own.”
I quickly called my sisters as I was walking through the castle from room to room. It was not until I got on the third floor that I really started feeling the hairs on my neck stand up. This floor looked like it was unfinished but also had some bedrooms. If you have ever been in the attic of a large house and you look in the corner and it’s dark and you can’t quite see everything but you feel like something is there—that is the feeling I was having. Their old family pictures were hanging on the walls, and I just knew their eyes were following me, so I headed into the first bedroom and the feeling got stronger. Somebody had placed two white dried-up roses across the bed in an X configuration, and it was eerie silence until I thought I heard talking in the kids’ room through the wall dude!
I just gathered my nerves and went out to investigate like I wasn’t the slightest bit afraid. Those pictures’ eyes followed me as I walked to the next room, and I followed them back! I got a good look at each one right up to the door of the kids’ room, where I immediately had an uneasy feeling.
There was this old black-forest wood throne sitting in front of a colorful stained glass window that let in zero light. And there was a massive wardrobe that you could hide three grown men in against the wall and more roses on the two kids’ beds, with their pictures hanging over the beds. The pictures showed them dressed in white, and some genius thought it would be nice to put a black light in this room so their eyes glowed. Then some slow slumbering music came on just as I was staring at the pictures. Yep I got my butt out of there quick.
Jonathan Dryer: The Unofficial Traveler.