Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
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The great Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria is one of Europe’s most popular castles. Thanks to its breathtaking location and architecture, the castle looks like something out of a fairy tale. This was somewhat the intention of Bavarian King Ludwig II, who ordered the construction of the castle as a fantasy retreat from reality.
After losing control of the Bavarian army and most of his real power, Ludwig II began planning a series of lavish palaces and castles where he could isolate himself and indulge his dreams of royalty. Neuschwanstein Castle was designed to be an idyllic medieval-style castle, with much of its design paying tribute to medieval legends, especially the legend of Parzival the Grail King, and the romantic operas of Richard Wagner, one of Ludwig’s heroes.
Unfortunately, the grandeur of Ludwig’s dreams exceeded his actual power and assets, driving him broke and leading to his deposal and later death. Though Neuschwanstein Castle was mocked at the time as an impractical project by “Mad King Ludwig,” today it is one of the region’s most respected assets and largest tourist draws.
Marc Antoine is contemporary jazz guitarist. Though gifted from a young age, his playing was threatened by a serious accident to his left hand while he was a teenager. Despite a grim prognosis, Antoine recovered to become one of today’s leading jazz guitar acts. Currently living in Spain, Antoine frequently tours with other contemporary jazz greats including David Benoit, Dave Koz, and Chris Botti.