Neuschwanstein Castle, built for King Ludwig II between 1869 and 1886 on a rugged cliff against a scenic mountain backdrop, was intended to "embody the true spirit of the medieval German castle", as the king wrote in a letter to Richard Wagner. While the building itself replicates the 13th century Romanesque style, some of the images of the murals are based on themes from Wagnerian operas such as "Tannhäuser" and "Lohengrin".
In 1867 Ludwig II visited the recently "rebuilt". Wartburg. Here he was patricularly inspired by the Singers' Hall, allegedly the location of the legendary "Singers' Contest". The Wartburg and its hall became the leitmotif of the "New Castle". The architect Eduard Riedel also had to process ideas based on stage sets designed by the Munich scene painter Christian Jank. The castle was not built as rapidly as the king expected. The project was too comprehensive and the building site on the mountain presented difficulties. Set designers, architects and artisans implemented the king's detailed ideas. The inconsiderate deadlines he set could sometimes only be met by working day and night. The foundation stone of the "New Castle" was laid on 5 September 1869. The Gateway Building was constructed first, and Ludwig II lived here for a number of years. The topping-out ceremony for the Palas was not until 1880, and the king moved in in 1884.
When Ludwig II died in 1886, the "New Castle" was still not complete. Work stopped on the keep, the foundations of which can be seen in the "Upper Courtyard". A simplified version of the "Kemenate" on the south side of the Upper Courtyard was completed in 1891.