Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13, the death by drowning of King Ludwig II

Ludwig II of Bavaria and Neuschwanstein Castle1886 The death by drowning of King Ludwig II, King of Bavaria ('the Swan King'; 'the Mad King'; b. 1845). Ludwig, who had a history of mental disorders, and a long struggle with his homosexuality – and was a good swimmer – drowned in waist-deep water with his physician in Lake Starnberg, near Munich, Austria.
Ludwig was both friend and enemy of the composer Richard Wagner, whom he banished from Bavaria.
Shown is Ludwig's fantastic Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, a dramatic Romanesque fortress with Byzantine and Gothic interiors. Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland was largely modelled on this magical edifice. He actually built three castles, Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee, all at stupendous expense.

Falkenstein was a planned, but never executed "robber baron's castle". A painting by Christian Jank shows the proposed building as an even more fairytale version of Neuschwanstein, perched on a rocky cliff. It seems that as Ludwig was increasingly cut off from reality, and as his family fortune ran dry, he conceived a plan to rob banks to fund his absolutist dream. The 1972 movie Ludwig, directed by Luchino Visconti was based on his life.
"As their copious correspondence shows, Ludwig and Wagner became very close, if stormy, friends until the famous composer's death. On several occasions Wagner was the beneficiary of Ludwig's patronage and support, but the relationship had its highs and lows. Ludwig was attracted to Wagner's music and talents, but the composer's libertine, independent ways put strains on the friendship between the two. Though the naive Ludwig long refused to believe the rumors of Wagner's daliances [sic] with Cosima von Bülow (the wife of Wagner's concertmaster, and the illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt), in December 1865 Ludwig was compelled to banish Wagner from Bavaria."   Source  
Neuschwanstein Castle webcam    More on the castle    More   More


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