Rick Steves' Europe: Medieval Castles | Rick Steves | Smithsonian
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Rick Steves' Europe: Medieval Castles

Ancient fortresses offer glimpses of medieval brutality and 19th-century Romanticism

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany
(Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa / Corbis)

Germany's Neushwanstein is a textbook-like example of 19th-century Romanticism. In 1869, King Ludwig began building his medieval fantasy on the hilltop not for defensive reasons, but because he liked the view.

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