History

Falkenstein Castle: A Texas-Sized Fairy Tale in the Hill Country

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Welcome to Burnet, Texas. A charming town nestled in the heart of the Hill Country – a land teeming with bluebonnets and home to all manner of wildlife, natural wonders, and… castles? Indeed. Rising not far from this Texas town stands Falkenstein Castle. The home, and public venue, of Terry and Kim Young. The castle’s history is truly a Texas-sized fairy tale.

Of kings and dreams.

Falkenstein Castle: A Texas-Sized Fairy Tale in the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Falkenstein Castle

On a rugged hilltop near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany sits the fairy tale inspiration, Neuschwanstein Castle. Commissioned by King Ludwig the II of Bavaria, the building of the estate began in 1878 and continued for the next 17 years. Sadly King Ludwig died in 1886 before he could see the castle completed. His deep love of architecture and art lived on, however, and now thousands of people every year come to visit this idyllic scene. People like Terry and Kim Young.

A dream is a wish.

Falkenstein Castle: A Texas-Sized Fairy Tale in the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Falkenstein Castle

Being fans of King Ludwig’s many building endeavors, it was only natural that in 1995 the Youngs chose to make the trek to Neuschwanstein Castle, King Ludwig’s favorite project and very own texas-sized fairy tale. The Youngs were eager to tour the interior of the castle (or at least the 25% that is finished). The tour exited through a long gallery hall hung with pictures and drawing of Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee (King Ludwig’s three main buildings). There among these familiar designs hung plans for a project that Mr. and Mrs. Young were not familiar with. Both of their interests were peaked, however, and they inquired as to what this unknown design plan represented. The youngs were intrigued to learn that indeed, King Ludwig had been making plans to build another castle, to be named “Falkenstein”. The castle was to be built approximately 20 kilometers from Fussen, which is the old town located just below Neuschwanstein.

A Texas-sized fairy tale.

Falkenstein Castle: A Texas-Sized Fairy Tale in the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Jeffrey Phillips

The director of the museum at Neuschwanstein went on to explain that because of disagreements over his construction projects with his uncle, King Ludwig had kept the Falkenstein project secret and had hidden the drawings in Neuschwanstein. Even more intrigued now, the Youngs asked the director to see the drawings in question. The director regretfully explained that the previous director, Wilhelm Kienberger, had taken the drawings with him to work on a book about King Ludwig. He did, however, give them the former castle director’s address in Lechbruch, Germany, and a complete tour of the remaining unfinished sections of the castle normally closed to the general public.

The Youngs departed and went to Lechbruch to locate Mr. Kienberger.  After hearing the passion and interest of the Youngs, Mr. Kienberger went so far as to make copies of Christian Janks artist rendering of Falkenstein Castle along with other detail sketches. Terry and Kim left with the ineffable feeling that they truly had something special. Upon their return flight home, Mr. Young looked at Mrs. Young and boldly asked, “Sweetheart,  what would you think about spending the next ten years or so, building our own Falkenstein Castle,  in Texas?”  To which Kim smiled and replied, “Why not!” And so they did.

The Youngs returned to the town of Burnet, Texas, and began the process of building their very own Texas-sized fairy tale castle. Today, Falkenstein Castle is a popular wedding and event destination. The grounds are teeming with the beauty of the Texas Hill Country and new people every day share in the magic inspired by the “mad King of Bavaria.”