Ludwig II Konig von Bayern

the best site for King Ludwig II of Bavaria – the ‘Swan King’
The Arms of the House of Wittlesbach
King of Bavaria was a title held by the hereditary Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria in the state known as the Kingdom of Bavaria from 1805 until 1918, when the kingdom was abolished.
It was the second kingdom, almost a thousand years after the short-lived Carolingian kingdom of Bavaria.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Pressburg concluded December 26, 1805 between Napoleonic France and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, several principalities allied to Napoleon were elevated to kingdoms.
One of the staunchest of these had been the prince-elector of Bavaria, Maximilian IV Joseph, and on January 1, 1806, he formally assumed the title King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria.
He was a member of the Wittelsbach branch Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken.
On 26 May 1818, the constitution of the Kingdom of Bavaria was proclaimed.

The parliament would have two houses, an upper house comprising the aristocracy and noblemen, including the high-class hereditary landowners, government officials and nominees of the crown.
The second house, a lower house, would include representatives of small landowners, the towns and the peasants.
The rights of Protestants were safeguarded in the constitution with articles supporting the equality of all religions, despite opposition by supporters of the Roman Catholic Church.
The initial constitution almost proved disastrous for the monarchy, with controversies such as the army having to swear allegiance to the new constitution.
The monarchy appealed to the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire for advice, the two refused to take action on Bavaria’s behalf, but the debacles lessened and the state stabilized with the accession of Ludwig I to the throne following the death of Maximilian in 1825.

In 1864, Maximilian II died early, and his eighteen year-old son, Ludwig II (see left), arguably the most famous of the Bavarian kings, became King of Bavaria as escalating tensions between Austria and Prussia grew steadily. Prussia’s Minister-President Otto von Bismarck (see right), recognizing the immediate likelihood of war, attempted to sway Bavaria towards neutrality in the conflict. Ludwig II refused Bismarck’s offers and continued Bavaria’s alliance with Austria.
In 1866, violence erupted between Austria and Prussia and the Austro-Prussian War began. Bavaria and most of the south German states, with the exception of Austria and Saxony, contributed far less to the war effort against Prussia.
Austria quickly faltered after its defeat at the Battle of Königgrätz and was totally defeated shortly afterward.
Austria was humiliated by defeat and was forced to concede control, and its sphere of influence, over the south German states.
Bavaria was spared harsh terms in the peace settlement, however from this point on it and the other south German states steadily progressed into Prussia’s sphere of influence.
With Austria’s defeat in the Austro-Prussian War, the northern German states quickly unified into the North German Confederation, with Prussia’s King leading the state.
Bavaria’s previous inhibitions towards Prussia changed, along with those of many of the south German states, after French emperor Napoleon III began speaking of France’s need for “compensation” from its loss in 1814 and included Bavarian-held Palatinate as part of its territorial claims.
Ludwig II joined an alliance with Prussia, in 1870, against France, which was seen by Germans as the greatest enemy to a united Germany.
At the same time, Bavaria increased its political, legal, and trade ties with the North German Confederation. In 1870, war erupted between France and Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War.
The Bavarian Army was sent under the command of the Prussian crown prince against the French army.
With France’s defeat and humiliation against the combined German forces, it was Ludwig II who proposed that Prussian King Wilhelm I be proclaimed German Emperor or “Kaiser” of the German Empire (“Deutsches Reich”), which occurred in 1871 in German occupied Versailles, France.
The territories of the German Empire were declared, which included the states of the North German Confederation and all of the south German states, with the major exception of Austria. The Empire also annexed the formerly French territory of Alsace-Lorraine, due in large part to Ludwig’s desire to move the French frontier away from the Palatinate.
Bavaria’s entry into the German Empire changed, from jubilation over France’s defeat, to dismay shortly afterward, over the direction of Germany under the new German Chancellor and Prussian Prime Minister, Otto von Bismarck.
The Bavarian delegation under Count Otto von Bray-Steinburg had secured a privileged status of the Kingdom of Bavaria within the German Empire (Reservatrechte).
Within the Empire the Kingdom of Bavaria was even able to retain its own diplomatic body and its own army, which would fall under Prussian command only in times of war.
But the persecution of the Catholic Church in Bismarck’s Kulturkampf frustrated the predominantly Catholic southern German states, including Bavaria, although Bismarck was eventually compelled to moderate his policies.
After Bavaria’s unification into Germany, Ludwig II became increasingly detached from Bavaria’s political affairs and spent vast amounts of money on personal projects, such as the construction of a number of fairytale-like castles and palaces, the most famous being the Wagnerian-style Castle Neuschwanstein (see left and below).
Although Ludwig used his personal wealth to finance these projects instead of state funds, the construction projects landed him deeply in debt.
These debts caused much concern among Bavaria’s political elite, who sought to persuade Ludwig to cease his building; he refused, and relations between the government’s ministers and the crown deteriorated.
At last, in 1886, the crisis came to a head: the Bavarian ministers deposed the king, organizing a medical commission to declare him insane, and therefore incapable of executing his governmental powers.
A day after Ludwig’s deposition, the king died mysteriously after asking the commission’s chief psychiatrist to go on a walk with him along Lake Starnberg (then called Lake Würm).
Ludwig and the psychiatrist were found dead, floating in the lake.
An autopsy listed cause of death as suicide by drowning, but some sources claim that no water was found in Ludwig’s lungs.
These facts have led to many conspiracy theories of political assassination.

The crown passed to Ludwig’s brother Otto I, but since Otto had a clear history of mental illness, the duties of the throne actually rested in the hands of the brothers’ uncle, Prince Luitpold, serving as regent.
During the regency of Prince-Regent Luitpold, from 1886 to 1913, relations between Bavarians and Prussians remained cold, with Bavarians remembering the anti-Catholic agenda of Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, as well as Prussia’s strategic dominance over the empire.

Bavaria protested Prussian dominance over Germany and snubbed the Prussian-born German Emperor, Wilhelm II, in 1900, by forbidding the flying of any other flag other than the Bavarian flag on public buildings for the Emperor’s Birthday, but this was swiftly modified afterwards, allowing the German imperial flag to be hung side by side with the Bavarian flag.
In 1912, Luitpold died, and his son, Prince-Regent Ludwig, took over as regent of Bavaria.
A year later, the regency ended when Ludwig declared himself King of Bavaria and from that point on was known as Ludwig III.

In 1914, a clash of alliances occurred over Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia following the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Bosnian Serb militant.
Germany went to the side of its former rival-turned-ally, Austria-Hungary, while France, Russia, and the United Kingdom declared war on Austria-Hungary and Germany.
Initially, in Bavaria and all across Germany, recruits flocked enthusiastically to the German Army. At the outbreak of World War I King Ludwig III sent an official dispatch to Berlin to express Bavaria’s solidarity.
Later Ludwig even claimed annexations for Bavaria (Alsace and the city of Antwerp in Belgium, to receive an access to the sea).
His hidden agenda was to maintain the balance of power between Prussia and Bavaria within the German Empire after a victory.
Over time, with a stalemated and bloody war on the western front, Bavarians, like many Germans, grew weary of a continuing war.
In 1917, when Germany’s situation had gradually worsened due to World War I, the Bavarian Prime Minister Georg von Hertling became German Chancellor and Prime Minister of Prussia and Otto Ritter von Dandl was made new Prime Minister of Bavaria.
Accused of showing blind loyalty to Prussia, Ludwig III became increasingly unpopular during the war.
In 1918, the kingdom attempted to negotiate a separate peace with the allies but failed.

By 1918, civil unrest was spreading across Bavaria and Germany; Bavarian defiance to Prussian hegemony and Bavarian separatism being key motivators.
In November 1918, William II abdicated the throne of Germany, and Ludwig III, along with the other German monarchs, issuing the Anif declaration, followed in abdication shortly afterwards. With this, the Wittelsbach dynasty came to an end, and the former Kingdom of Bavaria became the Free State of Bavaria.
Kings of Bavaria

Maximilian I Joseph 1805–1825

Ludwig I 1825–1848 (d.1868)

Maximilian II 1848–1864

Ludwig II 1864–1886

Otto 1886–1913 (d.1916)

Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, Regent 1886–1912

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Regent 1912–1913

Ludwig III 1913–1918

König Ludwig von Bayern 
Ludwig II (Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm; sometimes rendered as Louis II in English) (25 August 1845 – 13 June 1886) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death.
He is sometimes called the Swan King (English) and der Märchenkönig, the Fairy tale King, (German).
Additional titles were Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Franconia and in Swabia.
Ludwig is sometimes also called “Mad King Ludwig”, though the accuracy of that label has been disputed. Because Ludwig was deposed on grounds of mental illness without any medical examination and died a day later under mysterious circumstances, questions about the medical “diagnosis” remain controversial.
One of his most quoted sayings was “I wish to remain an eternal enigma to myself and to others.”
Ludwig is best known as an eccentric whose legacy is intertwined with the history of art and architecture. He commissioned the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles and palaces, the most famous being Neuschwanstein, and was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Since his legacy of grandiose castles lives on in the form of massive tourist revenue, King Ludwig is generally well liked and even revered by many in Bavaria today.
Ludwig II. Otto Friedrich Wilhelm von Bayern (* 25. August 1845 auf Schloss Nymphenburg, München; † 13. Juni 1886 im Würmsee, dem heutigen Starnberger See, bei Schloss Berg), aus dem deutschen Fürstenhaus Wittelsbach stammend, war vom 10. März 1864 an bis zu seinem Tod König von Bayern. Nach seiner Entmündigung am 10. Juni 1886 übernahm sein Onkel Luitpold als Prinzregent die Regierungsgeschäfte. Ludwig II. hat sich in der bayerischen Geschichte vor allem als leidenschaftlicher Schlossbauherr, unter anderem von Neuschwanstein, ein Denkmal gesetzt, weshalb er volkstümlich auch als Märchenkönig bezeichnet wird.
T H E   F A M I L Y
Ludwig’s father – Ludwig I
Ludwig (left) with his parents & brother Otto
Born in Nymphenburg Palace (today located in suburban Munich), he was the eldest son ofMaximilian II of Bavaria (then Crown Prince) and his wife Princess Marie of Prussia.
His parents intended to name him Otto, but his grandfather,Ludwig I of Bavaria, insisted his grandson was to be named after him, since their common birthday, 25 August, is the feast day of Saint Louis, patron saint of Bavaria.
A younger brother, born three years later, was named Otto.
Like many young heirs in an age when Kings governed most of Europe, Ludwig was continually reminded of his royal status.
King Maximilian wanted to instruct both of his sons in the burdens of royal duty from an early age.
Ludwig was both extremely indulged and severely controlled by his tutors and subjected to a strict regimen of study and exercise.
There are some who point to these stresses of growing up in a royal family as the causes for much of his odd behavior as an adult.
Ludwig was not close with either of his parents.
King Maximilian’s advisers had suggested that on his daily walks he might like, at times, to be accompanied by his future successor.
The King replied, “But what am I to say to him? After all, my son takes no interest in what other people tell him.”
Later, Ludwig would refer to his mother as “my predecessor’s consort”.
 Marie Friederike Franziska Hedwig von Preußen
Königin von Bayern

Ludwig’s mother was  (so it’s interesting that he so quickly submitted to Prussia’s military will; see post below). She married Ludwig’s father, Maximilian II, at 17 (he was twice her age), and gave birth to Ludwig at 19; she was also her husband’s cousin. Marie was considered a socially engaged monarch, and was well-liked by Bavaria’s Catholics, even though she herself was an Evangelical Protestant (not quite like today’s evangelicals, however; those of Marie’s day were dedicated to personal salvation and piety, and such social causes as temperance and abolitionism). While no intellectual – she once wondered aloud why anyone would spend time reading – Marie nevertheless revived the dormant Bavarian Women’s Association, a service organization which eventually was taken over by the Red Cross. She had the reputation of being a well-meaning, but distant, mother – by most accounts, Ludwig found what motherly affection he came by from his governess (not dramatized in Valhalla), Sybille Meilhaus. Meanwhile Ludwig’s father doted on his brother Otto, who was considered a far happier child than Ludwig, who even as a boy was perceived as inclined to romantic melancholy. To “correct” this tendency, his governess was replaced by a strict military tutor when Ludwig was nine (tellingly, he remained in touch with her for the rest of his life). After Maximilian’s death, Marie converted to Catholicism, at first living with Ludwig in the castle her husband had built for them. But as Ludwig grew more eccentric, she slowly withdrew, spending more and more of her time at her own estate in the Alps. She outlived Ludwig by three years.

He was far closer to his grandfather, the deposed and notorious King Ludwig I, who came from a family of eccentrics.
Ludwig’s childhood years did have happy moments.
He lived for much of the time at Castle Hohenschwangau, a fantasy castle his father had built near the Schwansee (Swan Lake) near Füssen.
It was decorated in the Gothic style with countless frescoes depicting heroic German sagas.
The family also visited Lake Starnberg.
Teenaged Ludwig became best friends with (and possibly the lover of) his aide-de-camp, the handsome aristocrat and sometime actor Paul Maximilian Lamoral, a scion of the wealthy Thurn and Taxis dynasty.
The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged excerpts from the operas of their idol, Richard Wagner.
Their relationship lapsed when Paul became engaged in 1866.
During his youth Ludwig also initiated a lifelong friendship with his half-first cousin once removed, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, later Empress of Austria.
They loved nature and poetry; Elisabeth called Ludwig “Eagle” and he called her “Dove.”
Young Ludwig in Uniform

Ludwig’s brother – Prince Otto
Prince Otto served in the Bavarian army from 1863.
When King Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor on 18 January 1871 at the Palace of Versailles, Prince Otto represented his brother who refused to participate.
Otto then criticized the celebration as ostentatious and heartless in a letter to Ludwig.
It is claimed Otto suffered from severe mental illness.
He was declared insane in 1875.
The cause of his illness has not been revealed.
He was kept confined in Fürstenried Palace under medical supervision from 1875 until his death.
Otto became King of Bavaria upon his older brother’s deposition and unexplained death in 1886.
However, Otto never truly ruled as King and was by some accounts not even aware that he had become King.
Otto’s uncle, Prince Luitpold, served as Prince Regent for Otto until Luitpold’s death. Luitpold’s son Ludwig then became the next Prince Regent.
The constitution of Bavaria was amended on 4 November 1913, to include a clause specifying that if a regency for reasons of incapacity lasted for ten years with no expectation that the King would ever be able to reign, the Regent could proclaim the end of the regency and assume the crown himself.
The following day, Otto was deposed by his cousin, Prince Regent Ludwig, who then assumed the title Ludwig III.
The parliament assented on 6 November, and Ludwig III took the constitutional oath on 8 November. Otto was permitted to retain his title and honours until his death in 1916.
In this time Bavaria had “two kings”.
Otto’s remains were interred in the crypt of the Michaelskirche in Munich.
Bavarian tradition called for the heart of the king to be placed in a silver urn and sent to the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image) in Altötting, beside those of his brother, father and grandfather.
Portrait of König Ludwig II 

König Ludwig II 

König Ludwig II von Bayern – Portrait
König Ludwig II – right
Prince Otto of Bavaria – standing – Prince Wilhelm of Hesse – left
(1863 Munich)
König Ludwig II and Duchess Sophie in Bavaria
Ludwig became engaged to Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, his cousin and the youngest sister of his dear friend, Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
The engagement was publicized on 22 January 1867, but after repeatedly postponing the wedding date, Ludwig finally cancelled the engagement in October.
A few days before the engagement had been announced, Sophie had received a letter from the King telling her what she already knew: “The main substance of our relationship has always been … Richard Wagner’s remarkable and deeply moving destiny.”
After the engagement was broken off, Ludwig wrote to his former fiancee, “My beloved Elsa! Your cruel father has torn us apart. Eternally yours, Heinrich” (the names Elsa and Heinrich came from characters from Wagner operas).
Ludwig never married, but Sophie later married Ferdinand d’Orléans, duc d’Alençon (1844–1910).
Ludwig and Josef Kainz
Throughout his reign, Ludwig had a succession of close friendships with men, including his chief equerry and Master of the Horse, Richard Hornig (1843–1911), Hungarian theatre actor Josef Kainz, courtier Alfons Weber (born c.1862) and Richard Wagner.
He began keeping a diary in which he recorded his private thoughts and his attempts to suppress his sexual desires and remain true to his Roman Catholic faith.
Ludwig’s original diaries from 1869 were lost during World War II, and all that remains today are copies of entries during the 1886 plot to depose him.
These transcribed diary entries, along with private letters and other surviving personal documents, suggest that Ludwig was homosexual and struggled with his orientation throughout his life.
Homosexuality had not been punishable in Bavaria since 1813.
Some earlier diaries have survived in the Geheimes Hausarchiv in Munich and extracts starting in 1858 were published by Evers in 1986.
Josef Kainz
Josef Gottfried Ignaz Kainz (2 January 1858 – 20 September 1910) was an Austrian actor of Hungarian birth. He was highly active in theatres in Austria and Germany from 1873–1910.
Revered as one of the greatest actors of the German-speaking theatre, the city of Vienna annually bestowed a theatre award for outstanding acting performance named after him, the Kainz Medal, from 1958 to 1999 (replaced by the Nestroy Award in 2000).
From 1880 he worked with Ernst von Possart at the National Theatre Munich and became one of the favourite actors of King Ludwig II of Bavaria appearing in private performance exclusively for the monarch’s delight. 
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
LUDWIG II and RICHARD WAGNER

Richard Wagner’s great opera cycles might not exist were it not for the support of his patron Ludwig II, King of Bavaria (1845–86).

By 1864 Wagner’s life was at its lowest point,his marriage was over, many operas were unproduceable by musicians, and he was in heavy debts.
Wagner was almost suicidal with despair when on 3 May 1864, he received a card from Herr Pflstermeister, secretary to King Ludwig II of Bavaria, requesting to see him.

Franz Seraph von Pfistermeister 

Franz Seraph von Pfistermeister (14 December 1820 – 2 March 1912), was the court secretary and State Council of the Kingdom of Bavaria. Pfistermeister entered history not only as a politician, but also musically when in his first official administrative function he was ordered by King Ludwig II to find the composer Richard Wagner and bring him to Munich. Franz Seraph Freiherr von Pfistermeister was born on 14 December 1820 in Amberg, Germany. After attending the gymnasium in Amberg, Franz Pfistermeister began his career in the Royal Bavarian governmental service as military fiscal adjunct. In 1849 he was appointed to the Court Office in Munich, and by the year 1866 he then began working as Cabinet Secretary to Kings Maximilian II and Ludwig II.
Because of his opposition to Richard Wagner, and his costly promotion by King Ludwig II in 1866, his dismissal from the 1866 service was “the highest immediate service”. From 1864 to 1895 he served as State Council of the Kingdom of Bavaria. He died on the 2 March 1912 in his home on Knöbelstraße, Munich, where he lived from 1881

Not seeing any point to the visit, Wagner refused but Herr Pfistermeister persisted, and when Wagner eventually agreed to meet, he realised that his salvation was at hand – King Ludwig II had decided to pay all the debts of Wagner, and also finance his Operas.
The young, handsome King Ludwig was truly besotted with Wagner’s music and wanted to become his patron.
He offered to take all the financial burden away from Wagner leaving him free to create his art in an ideal atmosphere.
To this end, King Ludwig installed Wagner in a beautiful villa close to the royal castle of Hohenschwangau.

It was on May 5 1864 the monarch and the composer met for the first time.
After their first meeting in May 1864, King Ludwig wrote to Richard Wagner: 
Be assured that I will do everything in my power to make up for your suffering of the past.”
At the time Richard Wagner is in deep financial troubles, he is sickly and homeless. The king is his salvation.

Tristan und Isolde

After his audience with King Ludwig II. Wagner wrote: 
“…he loves me with the sincerity and glow of a first love… I am to complete the Nibelungen….he will give me everything necessary for me to perform my works. I shall be relieved of all problems. Can that be anything but a dream ?” 
The composer’s debts are paid, he receives the impressive salary of 4000 guilders and is able to move into a large house in Munich.Preparations begin for the performance of “Tristan und Isolde”.

More than 20 rehearsals place.
Stage scenery and costumes swallow up large amounts of money.
Following several postponements the day of the premiere the king had waited for so long finally arrived on June 10 1865.
The king was received with loud cheers and fanfare in the royal Court Theater.
The public broke out into enormous storms of applause, and the opera is a great triumph for Wager as well as for Ludwig.

Ludwig’s enormous fairy-tale castles, Teutonic, neo-gothic and oriental versions of Versailles which virtually bankrupted the country, were the grand opera sets made flesh.
He endeavoured to be an absolute monarch at the dawn of the modern republican world, when such goals were impossible.
But having failed in the political and domestic realm, he made his dream reality in art and music.
No expense was spared for the staging of Wagner’s operas, which were often performed with Ludwig the sole member of the audience, and in return Wagner gave him his genius and his love.
Wagner acknowledged that :
Without him I am as nothing ! Even in loving him he was my first teacher. O my King ! You are divine! 
They exchanged some 600 letters, and it is hard to say who was more enthusiastic, at least in the beginning.
Wagner: “What bliss enfolds me! A wonderful dream has become a reality! . . . I am in the Gralsburg, in Parsifal’s sublime and loving care. . . . I am in your angelic arms! We are near to one another.” Or Ludwig: “My only beloved Friend! My saviour! My god! . . . Ah, now I am happy, for I know that my Only One draws near. Stay, oh stay! adored one for whom alone I live, with whom I die.”
Their relationship was almost certainly physical, though not necessarily “genital.”
Wagner at one time held homoerotic ideals, and in ‘Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft’ (The Art-work of the Future), comments on the love of comrades in Sparta :
“This beauteous naked man is the kernel of all Spartanhood; from genuine delight in the beauty of the most perfect human body – that of the male – arose that spirit of comradeship which pervades and shapes the whole economy of the Spartan State. This love of man to man, in its primitive purity, proclaims itself as the noblest and least selfish utterance of man’s sense of beauty, for it teaches man to sink and merge his entire self in the object of his affection. . . . The higher element of that love of man to man . . . not only included a purely spiritual bond of friendship, but this spiritual friendship was the blossom and the crown of the physical friendship. The latter sprang directly from delight in the beauty, aye in the material bodily beauty of the beloved comrade.”
Ludwig refused to get married, even for state reasons, and wanted to give up the throne to live with and for Wagner, but it was not to be, for Wagner loved women as well as music and power.

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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013




LUDWIG’S DOWNFALL

Why, after years of eccentric behavior, was Ludwig finally declared insane and deposed by his Cabinet? The reasons were probably financial in nature.
While Ludwig paid for his palaces out of his own resources, his relentless building program had dragged him deeper and deeper into debt, and the scandal of royal bankruptcy had begun to loom.
In 1884 a loan had to be secured from the Bavarian State Bank to continue the work on Neuschwanstein, but rather than economize as a result, Ludwig only planned even grander projects – he had the site cleared for Castle Falkenstein, and announced Byzantine and Chinese palaces would soon follow.
When Ludwig turned to his Cabinet for a second loan, however, they refused; the king responded by sending servants out to other monarchs to beg for funds, and gossip arose that he was seeking men for a crazed plan to break into banks in Berlin, Frankfurt and Paris.
By 1886, it was rumored Ludwig had even begun seeking new ministers for his Cabinet, and the ruling clique decided it had to act.

The Cabinet settled on a plan to depose Ludwig for constitutional reasons (rather than through a coup d’etat), by removing him due to his unfitness to govern, by reason of insanity. One problem with this plan was that Ludwig’s brother Otto, next in line to the throne, was clearly incurably mad, and had been institutionalized since 1872. Ludwig’s uncle, Prince Luitpold, however, agreed to act as Regent, but only on the condition that he was convinced Ludwig was truly unfit to govern. Thus a team of four eminent psychiatrists, headed by Dr Berhard von Gudden – the leading German psychiatrist of the day – was chartered to compile an official report on Ludwig, and Count von Holnstein, Ludwig’s Master the Horse, set about collecting stories and gossip about the king.
There was no shortage of lurid rumors.
Ludwig’s public appearances were bizarre enough – he often chattered to himself, pulling his beard, and was so shy on state occasions that he sometimes hid behind screens of flowers. The king was also known to repeatedly hug various pillars and architectural features of his castles, and enjoyed dressing up as Lohengrin and other medieval heroes.

Otto Eduard Leopold
Fürst von Bismarck

But servants also told tales of beatings, children’s games, and stable-boys dancing naked before the king in the moonlight.
The report convinced Prince Luitpold, and a mission was sent to Neuschwanstein to arrest the king.
Appropriately enough, the mission ended in a debacle – alerted to its approach, peasants loyal to Ludwig swarmed the castle, and a baroness in love with the king caused a scene by brandishing her parasol menacingly at the gate.
Loyalists tried to persuade Ludwig to flee over the Alps, but he refused; the king then attempted to issue a proclamation protesting the mission, but it was suppressed by the government.
From Berlin, Bismarck – who was only partly sympathetic to the Cabinet – advised Ludwig that to hold onto the throne, he must show himself to the people, but the neurotic Ludwig refused this course of action, too.

Schloß Berg – Starnberg See
The Arrest of Ludwig

At 4 a.m. on 10 June 1886, a government commission including Holnstein and von Gudden arrived at Neuschwanstein to formally deliver the document of deposition to the king and place him in custody. 
Tipped off an hour or two earlier by a faithful servant, his coachman Fritz Osterholzer, Ludwig ordered the local police to protect him, and the commissioners were turned back at the castle gate at gun-point. 
That same day, the Government publicly proclaimed Luitpold as Prince Regent.
The king’s friends and allies urged him to flee, or to show himself in Munich and thus regain the support of the people.
Ludwig hesitated, instead issuing a statement, allegedly drafted by his aide-de-camp Count Alfred Dürckheim, which was published by a Bamberg newspaper on 11 June:
‘The Prince Luitpold intends, against my will, to ascend to the Regency of my land, and my erstwhile ministry has, through false allegations regarding the state of my health, deceived my beloved people, and is preparing to commit acts of high treason. I call upon every loyal Bavarian to rally around my loyal supporters to thwart the planned treason against the King and the fatherland.’
The government succeeded in suppressing the statement by seizing most copies of the newspaper and handbills.
As the king dithered, his support waned.
Peasants who rallied to his cause were dispersed, and the police who guarded his castle were replaced by a police detachment of 36 men who sealed off all entrances to the castle.
Eventually the king decided he would like to escape, but it was too late.
In the early hours of 12 June, a second commission arrived.
The King was seized just after midnight and at 4 a.m. taken to a waiting carriage.
Ludwig was then transported to Castle Berg (see above) on the shores of Lake Starnberg, south of Munich.
Starnberg See
On 13 June 1886, around 6:00 pm, Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a walk through the Schloß Berg parkland along the shore of Lake Starnberg.
Gudden agreed; the walk may even have been his suggestion, and he told the nurses not to accompany them.
His words were ambiguous (“Es darf kein Pfleger mit gehen”) and whether they were meant to follow at a discreet distance is not clear.
The two men were last seen at about 6:30; they were due back at eight but never returned.
After searches were made for more than three hours by the entire castle personnel in a gale with heavy rain, at 11:30 that night the bodies of both the King and Gudden were found, floating in the shallow water near the shore.
The King’s watch had stopped at 6:54. Gendarmes patrolling the park had heard and seen nothing.
Ludwig’s death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but this has been questioned.
Ludwig was known to be a strong swimmer in his youth, the water was less than waist-deep where his body was found, and the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs.
Ludwig had expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis, but the suicide theory does not fully explain Gudden’s death.
Gudden’s body showed signs of strangulation and of a struggle, leading to the suspicion that he was strangled to death by Ludwig.
Many hold that Ludwig was murdered by his enemies while attempting to escape from Berg.
Ludwig II Lying in State
Ludwig’s body was dressed in the regalia of the Order of Saint Hubert, and lay in state in the royal chapel at the Munich Residence Palace.
In his right hand he held a posy of white jasmine picked for him by his cousin the Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
After an elaborate funeral on 19 June 1886, Ludwig’s remains were interred in the crypt of the Michaelskirche in Munich.
His heart, however, does not lie with the rest of his body.
Bavarian tradition called for the heart of the king to be placed in a silver urn and sent to the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Mercy) in Altötting, where it was placed beside those of his father and grandfather.
König Ludwig II von Bayern – Death Mask
König Otto von Bayern (1848-1916)
King Ludwig II was succeeded by his brother Otto, but since Otto was genuinely incapacitated by mental illness, the king’s uncle Luitpold remained regent.

König Ludwig III von Bayern
Ludwig III (Ludwig Luitpold Josef Maria Aloys Alfried), (January 7, 1845 – October 18, 1921) was the last King of Bavaria, reigning from 1913 to 1918.
Ludwig was born in Munich, the eldest son of Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and of his wife, Archduchess Augusta of Austria (daughter of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany).
Hailing from Florence, Augusta always spoke in Italian to her four children.
Ludwig was named for his grandfather, King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Ludwig spent his first years living in the Electoral rooms of the Munich Residenz and in the Wittelsbacher Palace.
When he was ten years old, the family moved to the Leuchtenberg Palace.
In 1861 at the age of sixteen, Ludwig began his military career when his uncle, King Maximilian II of Bavaria, gave him a commission as a lieutenant in the 6th Jägerbattalion.
A year later he entered the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich where he studied law and economics.
When he was eighteen, he automatically became a member of the Senate of the Bavarian Legislature as a prince of the royal house.
In 1866, Bavaria was allied with the Austrian Empire in the Austro-Prussian War.
Ludwig held the rank of Oberleutnant; he was wounded at the Battle of Helmstedt, taking a bullet in his thigh.
He received the Knight’s Cross 1st Class of the Bavarian Military Merit Order
M Ü N C H E N
Residenz – Műnchen
As admirer of ancient Greece and the Italian renaissance Ludwig patronized the arts as principal of many neoclassical buildings, especially in Munich, and as fanatic collector.
Among others he had built were the Walhalla temple, the Befreiungshalle, the Ludwigstrasse, the Bavaria statue, the Glyptothek, the Old and the New Pinakothek.
His architects Leo von Klenze and Friedrich von Gärtner also strongly influenced the cityscape of modern Athens. The king collected Greek and Roman sculptures, Early German and Early Dutch paintings, masterpieces of the Italian renaissance, and contemporary art for his museums and galleries.
He placed special emphasis on collecting Greek and Roman sculpture.
One of his most famous conceptions is the celebrated “Schönheitengalerie” (Gallery of Beauties), in the south pavilion of his Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. A collection of 36 portraits of the beautiful women painted between 1827 and 1850 mostly by Joseph Karl Stieler.
After his abdication, Ludwig remained an important and lavish sponsor for the arts. This caused several conflicts with his son and successor Maximilian. Finally Ludwig financed his projects from his own resources.
Melchio Frank – Thronsall -Residenz Műnchen – Bayern Deutschland
München – Glyptothek
The Glyptothek is a museum in Munich, Germany, which was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I to house his collection of Greek and Roman sculptures (hence γλυπτο- glypto- “sculpture”, from the Greek verb γλύφειν glyphein “to carve”). It was designed by Leo von Klenze in the Neoclassical style, and built from 1816 to 1830. 
The Glyptothek was commissioned by the Crown Prince (later King) Ludwig I of Bavaria alongside other projects, such as the neighboring Königsplatz and the building which houses the State Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, as a monument to ancient Greece.
He envisioned a “German Athens”, in which the ancient Greek culture would be remembered; he had this built in front of the gates of Munich.
The layout of the Königsplatz complex was designed by the architects Karl von Fischer and Leo von Klenze in 1815, the latter arranged it in the style of a forum, with the Glyptothek on the north side.
Colorful frescoes and stuccos made by distinguished artists such as Peter von Cornelius, Clemens von Zimmermann, and Wilhelm von Kaulbach adorned the walls of the museum.
Propyläen – München
The Propyläen is constructed in Doric order and was completed by Leo von Klenze in 1862, and evokes the monumental entrance of the Propylaea for the Athenian Acropolis.
The gate was created as a memorial for the accession to the throne of Otto of Greece, a son of the principal King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
The reliefs and sculptures celebrating the Bavarian prince and the Greek War of Independence were created by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler.
Bavaria with Ruhmeshalle 
Bavaria is the name given to a monumental, bronze sand-cast 19th-century statue in Munich, southern Germany. It is a female personification of the Bavarian homeland, and by extension its strength and glory.
The statue is part of an ensemble which also includes a hall of fame (Ruhmeshalle) and a stairway.
It was commissioned by Ludwig I of Bavaria, with the specific design being chosen by competition.
It was cast at the Munich foundry of J.B. Stiglmair between 1844 and 1850 and is the first colossal statue since Classical Antiquity to consist entirely of cast bronze.
It was and is up to the present day considered a technological masterpiece. Because of its size it had to be produced in several parts; it is 18.52 meters high and weighs about 87.36 tons.
It rests on a stone base which is 8.92 meters high.
L U D W I G ‘ S C A S T L E S
SCHLOß  HOHENSCHWANGAU
Hohenschwangau Castle or Schloss Hohenschwangau (lit: High Swan County Palace) is a 19th century palace in southern Germany.
It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.
It is located in the German village of Schwangau near the town of Füssen, part of the county of Ostallgäu in southwestern Bavaria, Germany, very close to the border with Austria.
Schloß Hohenschwangau
Schloß Hohenschwangau
As a boy Ludwig lived for much of the time at Castle Hohenschwangau, a fantasy castle his father had built near the Schwansee (Swan Lake) near Füssen.
In 1832, Ludwig’s father King Maximilian II of Bavaria bought its ruins to replace them by the comfortable neo-Gothic palace known as Hohenschwangau Castle. Finished in 1837, the palace became his family’s summer residence.
It was decorated in the gothic style with countless frescoes depicting heroic German sagas.
The family also visited Lake Starnberg.
As an adolescent, Ludwig became best friends with his aide de camp, Prince Paul of Bavaria’s wealthy Thurn und Taxis family. The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. 
Schloß Hohenschwangau
Schloß Hohenschwangau
Schloß Hohenschwangau
Music Room with the ‘Wagner Piano’


Richard Wagner
portrait by Franz Von Lenbach
One of Ludwig’s first royal acts was to become an official patron of Wagner, and he invited the composer to visit his court, despite Wagner’s controversial political past, and what was perceived as the “radicalism” of his operas.
Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’, with its Swan Knight hero, had particularly captured the young king’s fancy, and no wonder – his childhood home, Schloss Hohenschwangau, was built by Ludwig’s father, Maximilian, on the remains of the fortress Schwanstein (or “Swan Stone” Castle), which was first mentioned in records from the 12th century.
Legend had it that a family of knights was responsible for its construction.
After the demise of their order in the 16th century, the fortress changed hands several times, and had fallen into ruin by the time Maximilian ascended the throne.
Ludwig’s awareness that his home was built on the ruins of this legendary fortress would eventually combine with his obsession with Lohengrin to produce his greatest architectural folly – the castle later known as Neuschwanstein (“New Swan Stone” Castle).
Ludwig outlined his vision in a letter to 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…the location is the most beautiful one could find, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world.
The foundations of the building were laid on September 5, 1869 – although Ludwig would not live to see the project completed. Neuschwanstein was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer, which explains much of its fantastic decoration.
Despite its faux-medieval appearance, however, the castle was built on a steel frame and came outfitted with every modern convenience.
During Ludwig’s life, the building was known as ‘Schloß Neuhohenschwangau’  (New Hohenschwangau Castle); it was only after his death that the name “Neuschwanstein” became popular, melding Ludwig’s identity with that of the Swan Knights.

SCHLOß   NEUSCHWANSTEIN

‘Schloß Neuhohenschwangau’

Schloss Neuschwanstein, is a 19th-century Gothic Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner.
Neuschwanstein is comprised of a gatehouse, a “Bower,” the Knight’s House with a square tower, and a Palas, or citadel (above), with two towers to the Western end.
On the exterior, it is a fanciful pastiche of medieval and Romanesque elements; its interior, however, was intended as an even more flamboyant evocation of the chivalric ethos of Richard Wagner’s operas.
The rooms within the Palas that were finished by Ludwig are so overdecorated as to be almost overwhelming; the Throne Room in particular was intended to resemble the legendary Grail-Hall of Parsifal (father of Lohengrin), and so was designed in an elaborate Byzantine style by Eduard Ille and Julius Hofmann.

Lohengrin – Schwan Ritter – Swan Knight

Lohengrin first appears in the written record as “Loherangrin,” the son of Parzival, the Grail King, in the epic Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220). The Knight of the Swan story was part of a long oral tradition associated with Godfrey of Bouillon, but von Eschenbach was the first to tie the tale to the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail. In this version of the story, Loherangrin serves his father as one of the Grail Knights, who are sent out in secret to guard kingdoms that have lost their protectors. Loherangrin is eventually called to this duty in Brabant, where the duke has died without a male heir. The duke’s daughter Elsa fears the kingdom will be lost, but Loherangrin arrives in a boat pulled by a swan and offers to defend her, though he warns that she must never ask his name. They fall in love and eventually wed, but one day Elsa asks what she knows is verboten. The Swan Knight answers, but then regretfully steps back onto his boat, never to return.
In 1848 Richard Wagner adapted the tale into his wildly popular opera Lohengrin,the work through which the story is best known today. In the opera, Lohengrin appears on his favorite mode of transport to defend Princess Elsa from the false accusation of killing her brother (who turns out to be alive and well at the end of the opera). Intriguingly, Wagner extends the theme of the Holy Grail, and its symbolism of masculine purity, further into the story by adding an explanation for Lohengrin’s keeping his true identity in the closet: the Grail, recovered by Lohengrin’s father, imbues the Knight of the Swan with mystical powers that can only be maintained if their source remains unspoken.

Inspired by the Hagia Sophia, the two-story Throne Room was only completed in the year of the king’s death; the throne itself was never made.
The Grotto, which was not underground, as one might expect, but was located between Ludwig’s living room and his study, was one of the most unusual rooms in Neuschwanstein, and was used by the increasingly-isolated king as a refuge in which to indulge his melancholy moods.
Its artificial stalactites were built of oakum and plaster-of-Paris by the famed landscape sculptor Dirrigl of Munich.
Dirrigl had already built a far more extravagant grotto in the park of the Schloss Linderhof.
This artificial lake was designed as a kind of real-life stage set for the “Venus Grotto” scene from Wagner’s Tannhäuser.

Schloß Neuschwanstein
The building design was drafted by the stage designer Christian Jank and realized by the architect Eduard Riedel.
Initial ideas for the palace drew stylistically on Nuremberg Castle and envisaged a simple building in place of the old Vorderhohenschwangau Castle, but they were rejected and replaced by increasingly extensive drafts, culminating in a bigger palace modelled on the Wartburg.
The king insisted on a detailed plan and on personal approval of each draft.
His control went so far that the palace has been regarded as his own creation rather than that of the architects involved.
Whereas contemporary architecture critics derided Neuschwanstein, one of the last big palace building projects of the 19th century, as kitsch, Neuschwanstein and Ludwig II’s other buildings are now counted among the major works of European historicism.
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Plan – showing proposed un-built Chapel
Schloß Neuschwanstein under construction 1882-1885
Schloß Neuschwanstein under construction 1886
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Photochrom print c.1900
For financial reasons a project similar to Neuschwanstein – Fanstelkein Castle – never left the planning stages.
The palace can be regarded as typical for 19th century architecture.
The shapes of Romanesque (simple geometric figures such as cuboids and semicircular arches), Gothic (upward-pointing lines, slim towers, delicate embellishments) and Byzantine architecture and art (the Throne Hall décor) were mingled in an eclectic fashion and supplemented with 19th century technical achievements.
The Patrona Bavariae and Saint George on the court face of the Palas (main building) are depicted in the local Lüftlmalerei style, a fresco technique typical for Allgäu farmers’ houses, while the unimplemented drafts for the Knights’ House gallery foretell elements of Art Nouveau.
The basic style was originally planned to be neo-Gothic but was primarily built in Romanesque style in the end. The operatic themes moved gradually from Tannhäuser and Lohengrin to Parsifal.
for more information about Christian Jank, Fanstelkein and Parsifal see –

for more information about Richard Wagner see:
Schloß Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein Castle, or “New Swan Stone Castle”, is a dramatic Romanesque fortress with Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic interiors, which was built high above his father’s castle: Hohenschwangau.
Numerous wall paintings depict scenes from the legends Wagner used in his operas.
Christian glory and chaste love figure predominantly in the iconography, and may have been intended to help Ludwig live up to his religious ideals, but the bedroom decoration depicts the illicit love of Tristan & Isolde (after Gottfried von Strasbourg’s poem).
The castle was not finished at Ludwig’s death; the Kemenate was completed in 1892 but the watch-tower and chapel were only at the foundation stage in 1886 and were never built.
The residence quarters of the King – which he first occupied in May 1884 – can be visited along with the servant’s rooms, kitchens as well as the monumental throne room.
Unfortunately the throne was never completed although sketches show how it might have looked on completion.
Schloß Neuschwanstein
Schloß Neuschwanstein
Schloß Neuschwanstein
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Turm – (Tower)
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Turm – (Tower)
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Pforte
Schloß Neuschwanstein
SCHLOß  NEUSCHWANSTEIN

I N T E R I O R
Vestibule – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Staircase – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Corridor – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Salon – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Study – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Study – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Salon – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Salon – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Chapel – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Grotto – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Minstrel’s Hall – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Minstrel’s Hall – Schloß Neuschwanstein


Minstrel’s Hall – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Throne Hall – Schloß Neuschwanstein

Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal – Schloß Neuschwanstein
Thronsaal Dome – Schloß Neuschwanstein
View from Schloß Neuschwanstein
View from Schloß Neuschwanstein
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Project
Schloß Neuschwanstein – Swan Fabric
Because of its obvious beauty and elegance, the swan had long been a favored emblem of European nobility; nobles across Britain, Germany and France wanted swans in their moats and peacocks pecking at their lawns.
There seems to have been a “perfect storm” of swan imagery around Ludwig II, however.
The name of his childhood home, Hohenschwangau, literally translates as “High Swan District,” and it overlooked the Schwansee (“Swan Lake”), a natural habitat for the birds .
The foundation of Hohenschwangau had also been built centuries before by the Knights of Schwangau, or the Swan Knights; it’s not so strange, having grown up in this environment, that Ludwig should have been especially drawn to the mythical Swan Knight Lohengrin.
SCHLOß   LINDERHOF
Schloß Londerhof
Linderhof Palace (German: Schloss Linderhof) is in Germany, near Oberammergau in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey.
It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.
Atlas Sculpture – Schloß Linderhof
Schloß Linderhof – Fountain
The water parterre in front of the castle is dominated by a large basin with the gilt fountain group “Flora and puttos”. The fountain itself is nearly 25 meters high.
Schloß Linderhof at Night
Schloß Linderhof – Plan
Linderhof Castle is an ornate palace in neo-French Rococo style, with handsome formal gardens.
Just north of the palace, at the foot of the Hennenkopf, the park contains a Venus grotto where Ludwig was rowed in a shell-like boat on an underground lake lit with red, green or “Capri” blue effects by electricity, a novelty at that time, provided by one of the first generating plants in Bavaria.
In the forest nearby a romantic wooded hut was also built around an artificial tree (see Hundinghütte above).
Inside the palace, iconography reflects Ludwig’s fascination with the absolutist government of Ancien Régime France.
Ludwig saw himself as the “Moon King”, a romantic shadow of the earlier “Sun King”, Louis XIV of France.
From Linderhof, Ludwig enjoyed moonlit sleigh rides in an elaborate eighteenth century sleigh, complete with footmen in eighteenth century livery.
He was known to stop and visit with rural peasants while on rides, adding to his legend and popularity.
The sleigh can today be viewed with other royal carriages and sleds at the Carriage Museum (Marstallmusem) at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich.
Its lantern was illuminated by electricity supplied by a battery.
There is also a Moorish Pavilion in the park of Schloß Linderhof.
Schloß Linderhof – State Bedroom
Schloß Linderhof – State Bedroom
Schloß Linderhof – Salon
Schloß Linderhof – Salon
Schloß Linderhof -Ludwig’s Private bedroom
Schloß Linderhof – Peacock
Schloß Linderhof – Gardens
Schloß Linderhof – Garden Temple
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
This building was designed by the Berliner architect Karl von Diebitsch for the International Exhibition in Paris 1867.
Ludwig II wanted to buy it but was forestalled by the railroad king Bethel Henry Strousberg. Ludwig bought the pavilion after the bankruptcy of Strousberg.
The most notable piece of furniture of this building is the peacock throne.
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk – Interior
Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk – Interior


Schloß Linderhof – Maurischer Kiosk
The Peacock Throne
Schloß Linderhof – Venusgrotte
The building is wholly artificial and was built for the king as an illustration of the First Act of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”.
Ludwig liked to be rowed over the lake in his golden swan-boat but at the same time he wanted his own blue grotto of Capri. Therefore 24 dynamos had been installed and so already in the time of Ludwig II it was possible to illuminate the grotto in changing colours.
Schloß Linderhof – Venusgrotte
SCHLOß  HERRENCHIEMSEE
Schloß Herrenchiemsee
Herrenchiemsee is a replica (although only the central section was ever built) of Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles, France, which was meant to outdo its predecessor in scale and opulence – for instance, at 98 meters the Hall of Mirrors is a third longer than the original.
The palace is located on the Herren Island in the middle of the Chiemsee Lake.
Most of the palace was never completed once the king ran out of money, and Ludwig lived there for only 10 days in October 1885, less than a year before his mysterious death.
It is interesting to note that tourists come from France to view the recreation of the famous Ambassadors’ Staircase.
The original Ambassadors’ Staircase at Versailles was demolished in 1752.
Schloß Herrenchiemsee
Schloß Herrenchiemsee
The unfinished Neues Schloss (New Palace) was designed by Christian Jank, Franz Seitz, and Georg von Dollmann and built between 1878 and 1885.
Between 1863 and 1886 a total of 16,579,674 Marks was spent constructing Herrenchiemsee. An 1890 ’20 Mark’ gold coin contained 0.2304 troy ounce (7.171 g) of gold. Therefore, 16,579,674 Marks would equate to 190,998 oz of gold.
Ludwig only had the opportunity to stay within the Palace for a few days in September 1885. After his death in the following year, all construction work discontinued and the building was opened for the public.
In 1923 Crown Prince Rupprecht gave the palace to the State of Bavaria.
Schloß Herrenchiemsee
Schloß Herrenchiemsee – Spiegelgalerie – (Hall of Mirrors)
Schloß Herrenchiemsee – Ambassador’s Staircase
Schloß Herrenchiemsee – Ambassador’s Staircase
Schloß Herrenchiemsee – Spiegelgalerie – (Hall of Mirrors)
Unlike the medieval design of Neuschwanstein Castle begun in 1869, the New Palace is, in a sense, a Neo-Baroque monument to Ludwig’s admiration of King Louis XIV of France.
In the great hall of mirrors of the palace the ceiling is painted with 25 tableaux showing Louis XIV at his best.
It was to have been an equivalent to the Palace of Versailles, but only the central portion was built before the king died in 1886, where-after construction was discontinued leaving 50 of the 70 rooms of the palace incomplete.
It was never meant to be a perfectly exact replica of Versailles and in several places surpasses it.
With a length of 98 m (322 ft) and 23 arches the Hall of Mirrors is larger than the Versailles equivalent.
The dining room features an elevator table and a huge chandelier of Meissen porcelain, the largest in the world.
The building also benefits from nearly two centuries of technological progress, while the original Versailles palace did not have a single toilet and the only running water was outside in the fountains.
King Ludwig’s “copy” has more modern facilities including a central heating system and a large heated bathtub.
Schloß Herrenchiemsee – Gardens & Fountains
Also, unlike Versailles, it was built on an island and is now only accessible by a small ferry.
The formal gardens are filled with fountains, a copy of the Versailles Bassin de Latone and statues in both the classical style typical of Versailles and in the fantastic style typical of romanticism that was favored by King Ludwig. Cool maidens which look as if they have stepped out of a museum of classical antiquity are never too far from dragons, winged warriors, giant lizards and other extravagant beings which look as if they have come from one of Richard Wagner’s romantic operas.
Adolf Hitler visiting Schloß Herrenchiemsee
c1930s

Adolf Hitler visiting Schloß Herrenchiemsee
c1930s

click here for more information about Adolf Hitler
Wappen Freistaat Bayern
Bavaria, formally the Freistaat Bayern (Free State of Bavaria), pronounced is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of the country.
With an area of 70,548 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), it is the largest German state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany.
Bavaria is Germany’s second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia) with almost 12.5 million inhabitants, more than any of the three sovereign states on its borders.
Bavaria’s capital is Munich.
One of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy in the mid first millennium.
In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, and Bavaria has since been a free state (republic).
Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia.

for more information see
click here for ‘Richard Wagner
a fascinating, fully illustrated study of this
truly remarkable period of modern history
click here for ‘Parsifal’
Richard Wagner’s greates music drama
for the art of Peter Crawford go to

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