Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ludwig II and His Castles

I was 9 years old the first time I visited Germany; I was to return 3 more times. That first time I visited the three (major) castles built by Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee. This post commemorates the 125th anniversary of his death (assassination?), and includes 30 pictures, several of which bring back so many memories.

Was he crazy, detached, strong-headed, or some combination thereof? 125 years later it's hard to tell, and it doesn't really matter. I always enjoyed his story, though, as well as his castles. Not too long ago I (finally) won an eBay auction for a coin with his picture on it.

Update, 6/15/11: Here is the Wikipedia entry for Ludwig II, which contains several pictures of both him and his castles. And here's a scan of the coin I mentioned above:


pseudotsuga said...

The sheer spectacle of the castles as monumental works of art make them so memorable.
Ludwig's motivations are so enigmatic and romantic--we are likely to never know exactly who he was, or why he drowned.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Wow, do we have something in common. While stationed in Germany, I made it a point to tour all of Mad King Ludwig's castles. I was taken by his life and times. Read numerous books about him, have a shot glass, a wine glass, and a VERY expensive bier stein which commemorate the gentleman.

The Venus Grotto was one of my favorite parts of all the castles. That and his bed at Neuschwanstein. A bed that took fourteen master woodcarvers four years to create is something to behold.

pseudotsuga said...

@Steve: Yes, that bed was something to behold. It took so long to build, and yet was slept in only a few times, by one person! (Same thing with the Venus grottos.)
Ah, useless, wild romanticism of it all!