Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Builder of Castles

That would be King Ludwig II of Bavaria. 
He had a vision and a large personal bank account to go with it. 

The most famous of Ludwig's Castles: Neuschwanstein

Ludwig was king of Bavaria during the waining days of monarchy in Europe, 1864-1886. 
His vision was to elevate the arts in Bavaria to be on par with the arts in France. 
Castle building was one of his avenues toward this goal. 

Neuschwanstein Courtyard
Eventually Ludwig ran out of his own funds 
and started borrowing money to finance his building projects. 

Hohenshwangau: King Ludwig's childhood 'home'
In 1885 Ludwig was 14 million marks in debt. 
I don't know what that values in today's terms, 
suffice it to say it was a lot. 

Linderhof: The smallest of Ludwig's 3 castles,
but is surrounded by beautiful gardens. 
Ludwig nearly completed 3 castles in his lifetime. 
The third, Herrenchiemsee, I didn't get to visit (yet.) 
Though Ludwig left behind plans for many more.

Fountains at Linderhof

His uncontrollable spending left him at odds with his financial ministers,  
who sought to have him disposed by having him declared mentally ill. 

The conclusion of this power struggle 
was the mysterious deaths of both Ludwig 
and the psychologist who declared him unfit to rule due to paranoia 
(though he never examined Ludwig personally.)  
Both deaths remain a mystery.

 Ludwig was succeeded by his brother Otto 
but Bavaria was ruled by the regent Luitpold. 
Otto was succeeded by Ludwig III who had Otto deposed. 
Ludwig III ruled until the end of WWI when the monarchy throughout Germany ended. 

Approaching the Neuschwanstein in a fog

Thanks to Ludwig III's son Ruprecht's donation of the castles to Bavaria 
we can visit these amazing structures,  
which coincidentally have paid for themselves many times over with tourist funds. 

I think the saga of Ludwig II's life would make a great movie. 
Who should play Ludwig? 


Tamar SB said...

Oh mymy! That is just amazing. Nestled in the mountains! It amazes me how they built these back then!

MadSnapper said...

I love the fog photo at he end, magical and mystical... the setting for his castles are just amazing as is the fact they were built so long ago

Sarah Huizenga said...

Oh my gosh how amazing is that. I would be there a week just to photography it all.

Carola Bartz said...

Linderhof has always been my favorite of Ludwig's castles.
I think Ludwig II is one of the most misunderstood figures in German history. The controversy about his life and death is still going on - and that makes him so interesting as well of course.