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Ludwig II
King of Bavaria
Reign 10 March 1864 – 13 June 1886
Predecessor Maximilian II
Successor Otto
Father Maximilian II
Mother Marie of Prussia
Born 25 August 1845(1845-08-25)
Nymphenburg Palace
Died 13 June 1886 (aged 40)
Lake Starnberg
Burial St. Michael's Church, Munich

Ludwig II (Ludwig 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 referred to as the Swan King in English and der Märchenkönig (the Fairy tale King) in German.

Ludwig is sometimes also referred to as "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.[1]

Ludwig is best known as an eccentric whose legacy is intertwined with the history of art and architecture, as he commissioned the construction of several extravagant fantasy castles (the most famous being Neuschwanstein) and was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. King Ludwig is generally well liked and and still revered by many in Bavaria today as his legacy of grandiose castle building lives on in form of massive tourist revenue.

Contents

Life

Childhood and adolescent years

Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (left) with his parents and younger brother Prince Otto.

Born in Nymphenburg Palace (today located in suburban Munich), he was the eldest son of Maximilian II of Bavaria 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 they shared a common birthday and 24 August is the 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 during childhood of his royal status. King Maximilian wanted to instruct both of his sons in the burdens of royal duty from an early age.[2] Ludwig was extremely indulged and yet 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 to at times 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."[3] Ludwig referred to his mother as "my predecessor's consort".[3] 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 on the walls depicting heroic German sagas. He also visited Lake Starnberg with his family. As an adolescent, Ludwig became best friends with his aide de camp, the Prince Paul Maximilian Lamoral of Thurn and Taxis of Bavaria's wealthy Thurn and Taxis family. The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. The friendship ended 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."

Early reign and wars

Ludwig II just after his accession to the throne of Bavaria

Ludwig had just turned 18 when Maximilian II died after a three-day illness, and the Crown Prince ascended the Bavarian throne.[3] Although he was still not fully prepared for high office, his youth and brooding good looks made him popular in Bavaria and elsewhere. One of the first acts of his reign was to summon composer Richard Wagner to his court in Munich.[4] Wagner had a notorious reputation as a revolutionary and was constantly on the run from creditors. But Ludwig had admired Wagner since first seeing his opera, Lohengrin. Wagner's operas appealed to the king's fantasy-filled imagination. On 5 May 1864, the 51-year-old Wagner met Ludwig in the Royal Palace in Munich; later the composer wrote of his first meeting with Ludwig, "Alas, he is so handsome and wise, soulful and lovely, that I fear that his life must melt away in this vulgar world like a fleeting dream of the gods."[4] The king was likely the saviour of Wagner's career. Without Ludwig, it is doubted that Wagner's subsequent operas would have been composed, much less prestigiously premiered.

A year after meeting the king, Wagner presented his latest work, Tristan und Isolde, in Munich, to great acclaim. But the composer’s extravagant and notorious behavior in the capital was unsettling for the conservative people of Bavaria, and the king asked Wagner to leave the city six months later.

The greatest stresses of Ludwig's early reign were pressure to produce an heir, and relations with militant Prussia. Both issues came to the forefront in 1867.

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."[5] 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)[5] Ludwig never married, but Sophie later married Ferdinand d'Orléans, duc d'Alençon (1844–1910).

Relations with Prussia took center stage starting in 1866. During the Seven Weeks' War, which began in July, Ludwig agreed (as did several other German principalities) to take the side of Austria against Prussia. When the two sides negotiated the war’s settlement, the terms required that Ludwig accept a mutual defense treaty with Prussia.

This treaty placed Bavaria back on the firing line three years later, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out. Prussia and her allies prevailed in this conflict, and an emboldened Prussia now finished her campaign to unify all of the minor German kingdoms into one German Empire under the rule of King Wilhelm I of Prussia, who would now be declared Emperor, or Kaiser.

At the request of Prussian Minister President Bismarck (and in exchange for certain financial concessions), Ludwig wrote a letter (the so-called Kaiserbrief) in December 1870 endorsing the creation of the German Empire. With the creation of the Empire , Bavaria lost its status as an independent kingdom and became another state in the empire. Ludwig attempted to protest these alterations by refusing to attend the ceremony where Wilhelm I was proclaimed the first Kaiser.[6]

After the creation of the greater Germany, Ludwig increasingly withdrew from politics, and devoted himself to his personal creative projects, most famously his castles.

Ludwig’s castles

The coat of arms of King Ludwig over the entrance to Schloss Neuschwanstein.

Ludwig was notably eccentric in ways that made serving as Bavaria’s head of state problematic. He disliked large public functions and avoided formal social events whenever possible, and preferred a life of fantasy that he pursued with various creative projects. These idiosyncrasies caused tension with the king's government ministers, but did not cost him popularity among common Bavarians. The king enjoyed traveling in the Bavarian countryside and chatting with farmers and laborers he met along the way. He also delighted in rewarding those who were hospitable to him during his travels with lavish gifts. He is still remembered in Bavaria as Unser Kini, which means "our darling king" in the Bavarian dialect.

Ludwig also used his personal fortune to fund the construction of a series of elaborate castles. In 1861 he visited Viollet-le-Duc's work at Pierrefonds, in France, which largely influenced the style of their construction. These projects provided many laborers employment and brought a considerable flow of money to the regions where his castles were built.

In 1868, Ludwig commissioned the first drawings for two of his buildings. The first was Schloss Neuschwanstein, or "New Swanstone Castle", a dramatic Romanesque fortress with soaring fairy-tale towers. The second was Herrenchiemsee, a replica of the central section of the palace at Versailles, France, Herrenchiemsee which was to be sited on the Herren Island in the middle of the Chiemsee Lake, was meant to outdo its predecessor in scale and opulence.

The following year, he finished the construction of the royal apartment in the Residenz Palace in Munich, which was followed three years later by the addition of an opulent conservatory or Winter Garden on the palace roof. It featured an ornamental lake with gardens and painted frescoes, and was roofed over using a technically advanced metal and glass construction.[7]

In 1869, Ludwig oversaw the laying of the cornerstone for Schloss Neuschwanstein on a breathtaking mountaintop site overlooking his childhood home, the castle his father had built at Hohenschwangau. The walls of Neuschwanstein are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from many of Wagner's operas, including the somewhat less than mystic Meistersinger.

In 1872, he began construction for a special festival theater dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, in the town of Bayreuth. A few years later, he watched early versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas there, though he avoided the public performances. In 1878, construction was completed on Ludwig’s Schloss Linderhof, an ornate palace in neo-French Rococo style, with handsome formal gardens. The grounds contained a Venus grotto lit by electricity, where opera singers performed while Ludwig was rowed in a boat shaped like a shell. In the grounds a romantic woodsman's hut was also built around an artificial tree. The hut, referred to as Hundings Hut, is a reference to a similar structure in der Ring des Niebelungen. There is a sword embedded in the tree. In Walküre, Siegfried's father Siegmund, pulls the sword from the tree. Inside the palace, iconography reflected 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. Also in 1878, construction began on his Versailles-derived Herrenchiemsee.

In 1879 he travelled to England and visited Sir Richard Wallace, to whom he had written for advice on England's medieval architecture[8]. Wallace advised Ludwig to take a tour of the English countryside in order to survey a variety of ecclesiastical buildings, that he might draw inspiration from them for future building projects. In a letter to Wallace, Ludwig expressed particular admiration for the buildings of Hertfordshire, which he toured extensively.

In the 1880s, Ludwig’s plans proceeded undimmed. He planned construction of a new castle on the Falkenstein near Pfronten in the Allgäu (based on the the tower of St Mary's Church, Baldock)[9], a Byzantine palace in the Graswangtal and a Chinese summer palace in Tyrol. By 1885, demolition for the beginning of the Falkenstein project was underway, and the road to the site had been graded.

Controversy and struggle for power

Although the king had paid for his pet projects out of his own funds and not the state coffers,[10] that did not necessarily spare Bavaria from financial fallout. By 1885, the king was 14 million marks in debt, had borrowed heavily from his family, and rather than economizing, as his financial ministers advised him, he undertook new opulence and new designs without pause. He demanded that loans be sought from all of Europe’s royalty, and remained aloof from matters of state. Feeling harassed and irritated by his ministers, he considered dismissing the entire cabinet and replacing them with fresh faces. The cabinet decided to act first.

Seeking a cause to depose Ludwig by constitutional means, the rebelling ministers decided on the rationale that he was mentally ill, and unable to rule. They asked Ludwig's uncle, Prince Luitpold, to step into the royal vacancy once Ludwig was deposed. Luitpold agreed, so long as the conspirators produced reliable proof that the king was in fact helplessly insane.

Between January and March 1886, the conspirators assembled the Arztliches Gutachten or Medical Report, on Ludwig’s fitness to rule. Most of the details in the report were compiled by Count von Holnstein, who was disillusioned with Ludwig and actively sought his downfall. Holnstein used his high rank to extract a long list of complaints, accounts, and gossip about Ludwig from among the king’s servants. The litany of bizarre behavior included his pathological shyness; his avoidance of state business; his complex and expensive flights of fancy, including moonlit picnics at which his young groomsmen were said to strip naked and dance; conversations with imaginary persons; sloppy and childish table manners; dispatching servants on lengthy and expensive voyages to research architectural details in foreign lands; and abusive, sometimes violent treatment of his servants.

While some of these accusations were doubtless accurate[citation needed], exactly which, and to what degree, may never be known. They were, however, sufficient to convince Prince Luitpold to cooperate. Next the conspirators approached the Prussian Minister-President, Otto von Bismarck, who doubted the report’s veracity, but did not stop the ministers from carrying out their plan.

In early June, the report was finalized and signed by a panel of four psychiatrists: Dr. Bernhard von Gudden, chief of the Munich Asylum; Dr Hubert von Grashey (who was Gudden's son-in-law); and their colleagues, a Dr. Hagen and a Dr. Hubrich. The report declared in its final sentences that the king suffered from paranoia, and concluded, “Suffering from such a disorder, freedom of action can no longer be allowed and Your Majesty is declared incapable of ruling, which incapacity will be not only for a year's duration, but for the length of Your Majesty's life." The men had never met the king, nor examined him.

Deposition

Ludwig II of Bavaria towards the end of his life

On 9 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 by a faithful servant, Ludwig ordered the local police to protect him, and the commissioners were held back from the castle gate at bayonet-point. In an especially famous sideshow, the commissioners were attacked by an elderly local baroness loyal to the king, who flailed at the men with her umbrella and then rushed to the king’s apartments to identify the conspirators. After holding the commissioners captive for the night, Ludwig released them on 10 June.

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 declined, instead issuing a statement, 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. 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 troops of Luitpold’s own guard.

Evidently 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 arrested at 4:00 am and taken to a waiting carriage. He asked Dr. Gudden, "How can you declare me insane? After all, you have never seen or examined me before."[11] Ludwig was transported to Castle Berg on the shores of Lake Starnberg, south of Munich.

Mysterious death

On 13 June around 6:00 pm, Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a walk along the shore of Lake Starnberg. Gudden agreed, and told the guards not to follow them. The two men never returned. At 11:30 that night, searchers found both the king and Gudden dead, floating in the shallow water near the shore.

Ludwig's death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but this has been questioned.[12][13] Ludwig was known to be a strong swimmer, 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.[12][14] Ludwig had expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis, but the suicide theory does not fully explain Gudden's death.

Memorial Cross at the site where the body of Ludwig II was found in the Starnberger Lake

Many hold that Ludwig was murdered by his enemies while attempting to escape from Bergter. One account suggests that the king was shot.[12] The King's personal fisherman, Jakob Lidl, stated, "Three years after the king's death I was made to swear an oath that I would never say certain things — not to my wife, not on my deathbed, and not to any priest ... The state has undertaken to look after my family if anything should happen to me in either peace time or war." Lidl kept his oath, at least orally, but left behind notes which were found after his death. According to Lidl, he had hidden behind bushes with his boat, waiting to meet the king, in order to row him out into the lake, where loyalists were waiting to help him escape. "As the king stepped up to his boat and put one foot in it, a shot rang out from the bank, apparently killing him on the spot, for the king fell across the bow of the boat."[12][15] However, there was no evidence of scars or wounds found on the body of the dead king. Another theory suggests that Ludwig died of natural causes (such as a heart attack or stroke) brought on by the extreme cold of the lake during an escape attempt.[12]

Ludwig’s remains were dressed in the regalia of the Order of the Knights of St. 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.[16] 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 they were placed beside those of his father and grandfather.

After his death, a small memorial chapel was built overlooking the site. A remembrance ceremony is held there each year on 13 June.

The King was succeeded by his brother Otto, but since Otto was genuinely incapacitated by mental illness, the king’s uncle Luitpold remained regent.

Legacy

Iconic Portrait of Ludwig II by Gabriel Schachinger

Most historians believe that Ludwig was deeply peculiar and irresponsible, but the question of clinical insanity remains unresolved.[1] Others believe he may have suffered from the effects of chloroform used in an effort to control chronic toothache rather than any psychological disorder. His cousin Empress Elisabeth held that "The King was not mad; he was just an eccentric living in a world of dreams. They might have treated him more gently, and thus perhaps spared him so terrible an end."

King Ludwig’s uncle Luitpold maintained the regency until his own death in 1912 at the age of 91. He was succeeded as regent by his eldest son, also named Ludwig. The regency lasted for 13 months until November 1913, when the new regent declared the regency at an end, deposed the still-living but still-institutionalized King Otto, and declared himself King Ludwig III of Bavaria. His reign lasted until the end of the First World War, when monarchy in all of Germany came to an end.

Today visitors pay tribute to King Ludwig by visiting his grave as well as his castles. Ironically, the very castles which were said to be causing the king’s financial ruin have today become extremely profitable tourist attractions for the Bavarian state. The palaces have paid for themselves many times over and attract millions of tourists from all over the world to Germany each year.

Buildings

  • Winter Garden, Residenz Palace, Munich - After the king’s death, the Winter Garden on the roof of the Festsaalbau of the Residenz Palace (ca. 1870) was dismantled in 1897 because of water leaking from the ornamental lake through the ceiling of the rooms below. Photographs and sketches still record this incredible creation which included a grotto, a Moorish kiosk, an Indian royal tent, an artificially illuminated rainbow and intermittent moonlight.[7][17]
  • Neuschwanstein Castle - At the time of the king's death, the castle was not finished. But the delicate spires of Neuschwanstein rising above the Bavarian gorges have come to make up one of Europe's iconic buildings. The castle is a landmark well-known by many non-Germans, and was used by Walt Disney in the twentieth century as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castles at Disneylands around the world. The grounds are open to tourists, and the king's residential quarters can be visited, as can the servant's rooms, the kitchens and the monumental throne room. The throne itself was never completed, although sketches show how it might have looked on completion.[18]
  • Linderhof Castle - The sleigh in which the king took his moonlit rides can today be viewed with other royal carriages at the Carriage Museum at Castle Nymphenburg in Munich. There is also a Moorish Pavilion in the ground of Linderhof Castle.
  • Herrenchiemsee - Most of the palace remained incomplete after the king ran out of money, and Ludwig spent only 10 days there before his death. It is interesting to note that tourists come from France to view the recreation of the famous Ambassador's staircase. The original Ambassador's staircase in Versailles, France was demolished in 1752.[19]
  • Ludwig also outfitted Schachen king's house with an overwhelmingly decorative Arabian style interior, including a replica of the famous Peacock Throne. There are rumors of luxurious parties with the king sometimes reclining in the role of Turkish sultan while the most handsome soldiers and stable boys served him as scantily clad dancers.
  • Ludwig ordered to decorate a new splendid private apartment in the second floor of the prince's wing of Trausnitz Castle (1869-1873). In 1961, a fire destroyed much of the interior decoration, including the king's rooms.

Ludwig left behind a large collection of plans and designs for other castles that were never built, as well as plans for further rooms in his completed buildings. Many of these designs are housed today in the King Ludwig II Museum at Herrenchiemsee Castle.

Ludwig and the arts

Ludwig II with Richard Wagner, the composer of Lohengrin and many other romantic operas, at the piano

It has been said that Richard Wagner’s late career is part of Ludwig’s legacy, since he almost certainly would have been unable to complete his opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen or to write his final opera, Parsifal, without the king’s support.

Ludwig also sponsored the premieres of Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and, through his financial support of the Bayreuth Festival, those of Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.

Ludwig in popular culture

Literature, stage and film

  • The 1972 German film Ludwig - Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König (Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King), written and directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg provides a more personal, sympathetic and idiosyncratic account of the King's life from his boyhood to his death. It stars Harry Baer and Balthasar Thomass as Ludwig II, and Gerhard Maerz and Anette Tirier as Richard Wagner.
  • The early 21st century play Valhalla by playwright Paul Rudnick prominently features Ludwig as the play unfolds in 19th century Bavaria and 1940s Texas.
  • A play by Jordan Harrison, "Doris to Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine," features Ludwig II and his relationship with Wagner as two central characters. It premiered at Playwrights Horizons in New York in December 2007.
  • The Busch Gardens Europe ride The Curse of DarKastle features Ludwig as a king whose parents, and later, party guests "mysteriously disappeared", and who now haunts his old castle terrorizing guests riding golden sleighs. As with Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, werewolves figure in the ride.
  • Takarazuka Revue has adopted the life of the emperor for a musical production.
  • Sharyn McCrumb's 1984 mystery novel Sick of Shadows features a character who identifies with Ludwig II and builds a replica of Neuschwanstein castle in Virginia. The also acts out a few more disturbing incidents from Ludwig's life.
  • The 1993 novel Sherlock in Love by Sena Jeter Naslund features an appearance by the Mad King Ludwig.

Music

A number of musicals based on the life of Ludwig II have been staged. One was called, Ludwig: The Musical by Rolf Rettburg and another, Ludwig II: Longing For Paradise with music by Franz Hummel and lyrics by Stephen Barbarino. A special theatre was constructed on the shores of the lake at Fussen, not far from Castles Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, specifically for the musical performances.

The Clean's spoken-word song Ludwig, and Amon Duul II's 1975 song of the same name are about him.

The electronic duo Matmos recorded a song entitled "Banquet for King Ludwig II of Bavaria" on their 2006 album The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast.

Electronic music composer Klaus Schulze wrote the song "Ludwig II von Bayern" on his album X.

The German power metal group, Freedom Call, released their latest album which is a concept album about the life of King Ludwig II.

Ancestry

Ludwig's ancestors to the third generation
Ludwig II, King of Bavaria Father:
Maximilian II of Bavaria
Paternal Grandfather:
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt
Paternal Grandmother:
Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Mother:
Marie of Prussia
Maternal Grandfather:
Prince Wilhelm of Prussia
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Frederick William II of Prussia
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
Maternal Grandmother:
Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b Desing, 1996.
  2. ^ Nohbauer, 1998, p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c Nohbauer, 1998, p. 12.
  4. ^ a b Nohbauer, 1998, p. 25.
  5. ^ a b Nohbauer, 1998, p. 40.
  6. ^ Nohbauer, 1998, p. 37.
  7. ^ a b Nohbauer, 1998, p. 18.
  8. ^ Mallett, Donald (1979). The greatest collector: Lord Hertford and the founding of the Wallace Collection. London [Eng.]: Macmillan. pp. 154. ISBN 0-33-324467-2. 
  9. ^ Blunt, Wilfrid (1970). The dream-king, Ludwig II of Bavaria. New York [Eng.]: Viking. pp. 121. 
  10. ^ Nohbauer, 1998, p. 73.
  11. ^ name=nohbauer82
  12. ^ a b c d e Nohbauer, 1998, p. 88.
  13. ^ von Burg, 1989, p. 315.
  14. ^ von Burg, 1989, p. 308.
  15. ^ von Burg, 1989, p. 311.
  16. ^ Nohbauer, 1998, p. 86.
  17. ^ Calore, 1998, pp. 164-165.
  18. ^ Calore, 1998, p. 89.
  19. ^ Calore, 1998, p. 60.

Bibliography

English-language biographies and related information on Ludwig II
  • Blunt, Wilfred; Petzet, Michael. The Dream King: Ludwig II of Bavaria. 1970. ISBN 0-241-11293-1, ISBN 0-14-003606-7.
  • von Burg, Katerina. Ludwig II of Bavaria. 1989. ISBN 1-870417-02-X.
  • Calore, Paola. Past and Present Castles of Bavaria. 1998. ISBN 1-84056-019-3.
  • Chapman-Huston, Desmond. Bavarian Fantasy: The Story of Ludwig II. 1955.
  • King, Greg. The Mad King: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria. 1996. ISBN 1-55972-362-9.
  • McIntosh, Christopher. The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria. 1982. ISBN 1-86064-892-4.
  • Nohbauer, Hans. Ludwig II. 1998. ISBN 3-8228-7430-2.
  • Richter, Werner. The Mad Monarch: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria. 1954.
German-language biographies and related information on Ludwig II
  • Botzenhart, Christof: Die Regierungstätigkeit König Ludwig II. von Bayern - "ein Schattenkönig ohne Macht will ich nicht sein", München, Verlag Beck, 2004, 234 S., ISBN 3-406-10737-0.
  • Desing, Julius: Wahnsinn oder Verrat - war König Ludwig II. von Bayern geisteskrank?, Lechbruck, Verlag Kienberger, 1996.
  • Hojer, Gerhard: König Ludwig II. - Museum Herrenchiemsee, München, Hirmer Verlag, 1986. ISBN 3-7774-4160-0.
  • Petzet, Michael: König Ludwig und die Kunst, Prestel Verlag, München, 1968.
  • Petzet, Michael; Neumeister, Werner: Ludwig II. und seine Schlösser: Die Welt des Bayerischen Märchenkönigs, Prestel Verlag, München, 1995. ISBN 3-7913-1471-8.
  • Reichold, Klaus: König Ludwig II. von Bayern - zwischen Mythos und Wirklichkeit, Märchen und Alptraum; Stationen eines schlaflosen Lebens; München, Süddt. Verl., 1996.
  • Richter, Werner: Ludwig II., König von Bayern, 14. Aufl.; München, Stiebner, 2001, 335 S., ISBN 3-8307-1021-6.
  • Schäffler, Anita; Borkowsky, Sandra; Adami, Erich: König Ludwig II. von Bayern und seine Reisen in die Schweiz - 20. Oktober - 2. November 1865, 22. Mai - 24. Mai 1866, 27. Juni - 14. Juli 1881; eine Dokumentation, Füssen, 2005.
  • Wolf, Georg Jacob: König Ludwig II. und seine Welt, München, Franz Hanfstaengl, 1922.

External links

Ludwig II of Bavaria
Born: 25 August 1845 Died: 13 June 1886
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maximilian II
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Königreich Bayern (Grosses).jpg
King of Bavaria

1864-1886
Succeeded by
Otto

Simple English

File:Ludwig II portrait by Gabriel
King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Ludwig II (25 August 1845 in Nymphenburg Palace – 13 June 1886 in Lake Starnberg) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death (Bavaria is now part of Germany, but at that time it was a separate country). He is well known for his support for the composer Richard Wagner.

He is often referred to as the Mad King Ludwig because his behaviour was very odd. For example, he would leave his castle by climbing out of the window instead of walking out of the door. He is sometimes referred to as the Swan King in English and der Märchenkönig (the Fairy tale King) in German. This is because he built several very expensive and fancy castles, the most famous one being Neuschwanstein.

It is not clear whether his death by drowning was suicide or whether he was murdered.

Today tourists from all over the world visit the castles that he built. They also visit the Bayreuth Festspielhaus for which he gave a lot of money towards the building.








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