King Ludwig II. of Bavaria
"I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others"...
... the young King Ludwig II once wrote in a letter to his former teacher, Ms. Sybille Meilhaus. Indeed, he has succeeded in remaining a mystery to this day.
Excerpt of the Chronicle of Schwangau:
On 12th June, the arrest of King Ludwig II was made at Neuschwanstein Castle. Schwangauer citizens and Schwangauer firefighers wanted to defend their king, but he called for calm and restraint. They brought the incapacitated King secretely to the Castle of Berg. Guards watched the king constantly as he protested violently against his extradiction to the Castle of Berg.
However, for inexplicable reasons, the early evening observation was cancelled. At 6.45 p.m. the king and Dr. von Gudden left the castle for a stroll. As both had still not returned by late 8 p.m. everybody went out to search for them and their two bodies were found around 11 p.m. in Lake Starnberg close to the Castle Berg.
Even today, in particular the residents of Schwangau but also many admirers and fans, feel most deeply connected with "their" king.
His castles are living stone testimonies of a misanthropic dreamer and idealism. Today they are magical attractions for visitors from all over the world.
Hohenschwangau Castle - the childhood of the Crown Prince Ludwig
King Ludwig II did not build Hohenschwangau Castle but he spent many happy days of his childhood in this special place.
During his walks and explorations he discovered the nearby place for his first big development: the world famous, Neuschwanstein Castle.
Neuschwanstein Castle - world famous fairytale castle
There are voices who consider the Neuschwanstein Castle as "a landmark of Germany" or "the eighth wonder of the world" with all respect.
However, King Ludwig II inspired people around the world with the construction of Neuschwanstein Castle of high value and creativity within a fascinating nature.
Linderhof Castle (40 km)
The Royal Villa has its origins as the hunting house of the father, Maximilian II, and has been the only palace which was completed during the lifetime of King Ludwig II.
Herrenchiemsee Castle (155 km)
The most expensive and the last construction project of King Ludwig II has been the Herrenchiemsee Castle - the Bavarian Versailles. In 1873 the King acquired the Herreninsel for another Castle. Modelled on Versailles, this palace was to be a "Temple of Fame" for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired.
The realisation was preceeded by a total of 13 planning stages. In 1878 the construction started with the plans of Georg Dollman. When the king died in 1886 the castle was not yet completed and some parts of it were later demolished. From 1881-1885 the King spent some days there in autumn.
Ca. 20 km entfernt wollte König Ludwig II. ein weiteres Schloss erbauen, allerdings wurden dort nur einige Wasserleitungen gelegt. Kurz darauf, im Jahre 1886, starb der König - und so wird Falkenstein wohl für immer ein Traum bleiben...
Noch heute steht die Burgruine Falkenstein an der Stelle, wo König Ludwig II. ein weiteres Schloss erbauen wollte. Die Burgruine kann besichtigt werden.
Kings's House in Schachen (73 km)
King Ludwig II built the House from 1869 till 1872 on the Schachen Alp - near Garmisch Partenkirchen - which provided him with the divine silence he loved so much during his stays in the mountains. The solitude and seclusion on the Schachen was treasured by the King especially on his birthday. The wooden chalet in the style of a "Swiss House" has on the ground floor five livingrooms with a rustic wood paneling and stylistic elements. The particularity of the building opens up to visitors upstairs. A Turkish room lit with its beautiful coulors also shows the loft conversion. This highly idiosyncratic combination of rustic wood accents in the basement and oriental architecture upstairs, is certainly one of the most unconventional building projects of King Ludwig II.