Fake for Real: Fantasy Castle

Van Mensvoort
January 30th 2008

fantasy castle
Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle could be the single best-loved structure in the world. Ever wondered where Walt Disney got his enchanting fairytale aesthetic? The castle, which was featured in the classic animated film, was modeled on Bavaria's Neuschwanstein a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II in homage to composer Richard Wagner. After seeing it in the movie, children of all ages dreamed of seeing it in real life. And since Disney is in the dream realisation business, in 1955 they built "the castle from the movie" at Disneyland.

Today the castle is a major Disney icon, and you will find both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty castles in different variations all around the globe.disneylands

A selection of Disneyland castles around the globe (don't think we've got them all).

cinderella castle blueprint

A blueprint of a Disney castle, so you can build one in your garden?

walt disney and his castle

Walt Disney inspects the original Magic Kingdom prior to opening.

Neuschwanstein old photoAn 1890s photochrom print of the Neuschwanstein Castle.

The idea of the castle was outlined by Ludwig II in a letter to Richard Wagner, dated 13 May 1868; "It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin at Hohenschwangau near the Pollat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles".

Neuschwanstein was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, rather than an architect, which says much regarding Ludwig's intentions and explains much of the fantastical nature of the resulting building.

Excalibur Hotel las vegas

Both the Neuschwanstein Castle (1886) and the Excalibur Hotel (1990) in Las Vegas are based on the architecture of Medieval Castles.

Neuschwanstein in Lego

The Neuschwanstein Castle in Lego Land.

From our Fake for Real series. See also: Disney made in China, Redefining Nemo, Simulacra and Simulations.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1


Shelly Allen
Posted 03/11/2010 – 04:57

I love castles and somebody is building one about 6 miles from my little home,when I was a little girl I told my Father that he was going to build me a castle fireplace unfortunately he past on, but I will someday get one build, Now I am thinking about building castle birdhouses and castle dog and cat houses maybe all little girls who have pets would like to have one of them

Posted 10/08/2010 – 07:41

Gotta love those castles!
Just an interesting tidbit...
The Castle at Disneyland (The one that looks most like Neuschwanstein) was actually built before Sleeping Beauty was released!! (1955) They actually named the castle "Sleeping Beauty's Castle" to help promote the film, released in 1959

Posted 25/05/2010 – 13:29

Cool, these castles are amazing!

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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