Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Mad King Ludwig II

Munich Pop History Day 4: Or so they say. Apparently the story around Ludwig is a bit sketchy as he was deposed on grounds of mental illness, but then died a day later under mysterious circumstances. Whether he was mad or not, his presence is felt on a daily basis – mostly through his fairy tale castles that dot the Bavarian landscape. Known as an eccentric, he was heavily involved in art and architecture, and avoided government affairs, which caused endless frustration for his leaders. This lack of support for the incoming Emperor, Wilhelm I of Prussia, may have finally did Ludwig in, but he objected to Bavaria becoming a state within a broader Empire. So Ludwig retreated to the arts, and was a devoted patron of composer Richard Wagner, and some say saved his career as without him we would not have the famous Ring, and many of his other classics. Much of his life was based within fantasy, which led to his fascination of castles, such as Neuschwanstein, Herrenschiemsee, Linderhof, Hohenschwangau (pictured), and others. “The Darling King” as he was called is still thrilling the locals as well as nearly 20 million visitors per year.


Kelly said...

I think I remember this is the castle in close proximity to Neuschwanstein? I remember visiting the latter and taking photos from the bridge.

Louis la Vache said...

Isn't Neuschwanstein the ancestral home of the Hohenzollerns? In any case, it was the inspiration for the castle at the original Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.

del said...

It is indeed not, construction of Neuschwanstein began in 1869, and was never finished, since the king ran out of funds and then died (or was murdered, depending on which theory you subscribe to).

Burg Hohenzollern lies in Baden-Württemberg, to the west of Bavaria, picture here. They do bear some semblance, and are both situated on hilltops.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" thanks you for correcting his (obviously faulty) memory!

In the early 1970s when "Louis" was an English teacher in Amarillo, Texas, Kaiser Wilhelm's great-great granddaughter was one of "Louis's" students!