Ludwig II (Bavaria)

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Ludwig II at the age of 20. Painting by Ferdinand von Piloty , 1865

Ludwig II. Otto Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach, King of Bavaria (born August 25, 1845 at Nymphenburg Palace , Nymphenburg , today Munich ; died June 13, 1886 in Würmsee, today Lake Starnberg , near Berg Castle ), from the House of Wittelsbach , was King of Bavaria from March 10, 1864 until his death . After he was incapacitated on June 9, 1886, his uncle Luitpold took over government affairs as Prince Regent in the Kingdom of Bavaria, since Ludwig's younger brother Otto was unable to rule due to a mental illness.

Large coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bavaria

Ludwig II has set himself a monument in Bavarian history as a passionate castle builder, especially the castles Neuschwanstein , Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof ; He is also known as fairy king called . Inextricably linked with his name is Richard Wagner's generous sponsorship . Under Ludwig's reign, the Kingdom of Bavaria entered the German Empire in 1870/71 .

Ludwig's birth room in Nymphenburg Palace

Origin and childhood

Ludwig II was born on August 25, 1845 at half past one in the Nymphenburg Palace near Munich as the eldest son of Crown Prince Maximilian and Crown Princess Marie . He was baptized in the name of Otto Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, but his nickname should be at the insistence of his grandfather Ludwig , who was also born on August 25th (1786). His name was not chosen by chance either, because August 25th is also the anniversary of the death of St. Louis of France . Godfather was the grandfather Ludwig I, whose godfather was Louis XVI. was from France, whereby a "godparent genealogy" was established for Ludwig II, which was to play a major role in Ludwig's Francophilia , especially in his Herrenchiemsee Palace. After the birth, the baby was given to a wet nurse, an unknown farmer from Miesbach. At first, Ludwig did well. In the spring of 1846, when Ludwig was about eight months old, the wet nurse died unexpectedly; the boy had to be weaned overnight. He fell into disrepair and developed a fever. At times it was feared that he would die soon; But Ludwig recovered again.

Gravestone of the educator Sybilla von Leonrod in the Catholic cemetery in Augsburg

In July 1846 Ludwig Sibylle Meilhaus was handed over, who remained his tutor until his 7th birthday. He developed an intimate relationship with her that lasted lifelong and was continued in correspondence after her marriage to Baron von Leonrod. Ludwig's brother Otto was born in 1848 . The brothers spent their childhood and youth mainly at Hohenschwangau Castle , in the vicinity of their tutors. In the castle, Ludwig came into contact with the legends of the Middle Ages at an early stage, which is represented there in numerous wall paintings and hangings.

After his grandfather, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, abdicated in 1848, his father Maximilian became King and Ludwig Crown Prince.

The relationship with the parents, at least on the paternal side, was determined by distance. His father Max envisaged a strict upbringing that also provided for punishment and chastisement, while Marie, on the other hand, looked after her son herself, as far as her various duties of representation allowed her. If the parents were absent, the mother would write letters to her child regularly and buy many toys for the little prince on her travels. Ludwig's love for literature and architecture was shown early on. He particularly liked to play with building blocks and use them to build churches, monasteries and the like. His grandfather Ludwig I encouraged him and in 1852 gave him a kit from the Munich Siegestor . From May 1854 Major General Count Theodor Basselet von La Rosée , Baron Emil von Wulffen and later Major Karl Maximilian von Orff were responsible as educators. The major general also encouraged Ludwig's penchant for self-glorification and pride. The princes received lessons from tutors . As can be seen from the memory of Franz von Pfistermeister, the long-time cabinet secretary, King Maximilian found it very difficult to take his older son with him on his morning walk. He only did it a few times because he didn't know "what to talk to him about". Ludwig underscored the overcooled father-son relationship when he was 30 years old with comments in a letter to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary : “My father always treated me de haut en bas [from above], at most en passant [im Passing] some gracious cold words appreciated ”.

The princes often spent their summer holidays between 1853 and 1863 in the royal villa in Berchtesgaden , which was built especially for their father , in September 1863 with the prince's son Paul von Thurn und Taxis , with whom Ludwig became a close friend. Since the end of the 19th century an incident in the park of the Royal Villa rumored , the Ludwig II. From 1857 had put a violent dislike of Berchtesgaden and kept him after the death of the Father (1864) for a long period of further visits to the villa.

In 1861 Ludwig experienced Richard Wagner's operas Tannhäuser and Lohengrin for the first time . At the age of twelve he was particularly fond of immersing himself in the prosaic writings of Richard Wagner. Ludwig also identified himself early on with works by Friedrich Schiller .

In 1863 the only meeting between Ludwig and Otto von Bismarck took place in Nymphenburg Palace , with whom he remained in a lifelong friendship.

King of Bavaria

Accession to the throne

The young king (1864)

Ludwig's father Maximilian (* 1811) died after a brief illness on March 10, 1864; On the same day, at the age of 18, Ludwig was proclaimed King of Bavaria as Ludwig II ("Ludwig, by God's grace King of Bavaria, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia"). On March 11th at 10 a.m. he took his oath on the Bavarian constitution in the meeting room of the State Council Chamber . At the funeral service for Maximilian on March 14th, the new king was seen in public for the first time. At 1.93 m, Ludwig was extraordinarily tall, especially for the time.

Due to the unexpected death of his father, Ludwig, who was just attending the first lectures at the university, came into his office very unprepared. At the end of 1864, Ludwig von der Pfordten was reappointed as chairman of the Council of Ministers , who had already occupied this position temporarily under Ludwig's father.

In the summer of 1864, the Tsarina Marija Alexandrovna went to Bad Kissingen , where the first personal encounter with Ludwig II took place. Ludwig visited again in Bad Schwalbach, where the tsarina stayed for a follow-up treatment. This resulted in an exchange of letters between the two monarchs that lasted for a year. Due to the worsening of her illness and perhaps also because of suspicions on the part of the imperial court, the contact broke off again.

Promotion of Richard Wagner

From the beginning he was committed to promoting culture; In particular, he supported the composer Richard Wagner, whom he met personally on May 4, 1864. Between 1864 and 1865 he gave 170,000 guilders to Wagner, who was in debt. He used it to finance his musical drama The Ring of the Nibelung . In December 1865, however, Ludwig II had to bow to the resistance of the state government, the citizens of Munich and his own family and call on the unpopular Wagner to leave Bavaria. The close friendship of the two remained at first, but Ludwig did not think much of Wagner's anti-Semitism and resisted his attempts to convince him. In 1882, for example, Ludwig made sure that a plot of land was made available for the construction of a new main synagogue in the center of the Maxburg in Munich .

The Wagner operas Tristan and Isolde (June 10, 1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (June 21, 1868), Das Rheingold (September 22, 1869) and Die Walküre (June 26, 1870) were premiered in the National Theater . From 1872 he had complete Wagner operas performed without an audience. He also financed the Bayreuth Festspielhaus and promoted by Marie von Schleinitz launched Bayreuth patronage club .

War against Prussia

Ludwig II wanted to remain neutral in the looming war between Prussia and Austria for leadership in Germany and to keep his country out of direct warfare. Austria insisted on compliance with the alliance obligations agreed in the German Confederation. Bavaria and its king initially maneuvered between the desire for neutrality and the obligation to form an alliance. On May 11, 1866, Ludwig signed the mobilization order , with which Bavaria entered the German War of 1866 between Austria and Prussia as a member of the German Confederation on the side of Austria . At the same time, however, Austria was refused to use the strategically important railway line Regensburg - Pilsen - Prague under Prussian pressure. Ludwig, who was not very militarily minded from childhood, left war policy to his ministers, and with his friend and wing adjutant Paul von Thurn und Taxis withdrew from the public to Berg Castle and to the Rose Island in Lake Starnberg. On May 22nd, he went incognito to Switzerland, to Tribschen on Lake Lucerne, to meet Richard Wagner, who had been banished from Munich. Wagner and Paul von Thurn und Taxis convinced the king to resign from his resignation. In the peace treaty after the defeat, Bavaria pledged to pay Prussia war compensation of 30 million guilders - a comparatively small amount if you take into account that the citizens of the Free City of Frankfurt am Main, for example, had to raise a similar amount as its kingdom. The loss of territory also remained low, the Gersfeld district office and the Orb district court and Kaulsdorf ceded . In Bavaria the ministers and the military leadership were primarily responsible for the defeat, but the Bavarian army was in a desolate state at the beginning of the war. Equipment and organization had been neglected for decades. That was also due to the political course of his monarch.

As part of the protection and defiance alliance , Bavaria, like the other southern German states, placed its army under the Prussian command in the event of an alliance. This severely restricted Bavaria's room for maneuver in foreign policy. From November 10th to December 10th, 1866, Ludwig undertook the only tour of his kingdom in Franconia . The Duchy of Franconia - which had only recently become part of Bavaria and was currently considering a split - was outraged that it had to bear the full burden of the fighting in Bavaria on its territory. The king's visit won the Franks back for Bavaria, even if Ludwig II had suffered a loss of prestige due to his undecided position in the German-German conflict. As a result he devoted himself mainly to his romantic ideas and withdrew to his castles; from there he had the affairs of government carried out by envoys.

Government policy

Contrary to popular belief, Ludwig carried out his official business conscientiously to the end, despite frequent absence from Munich. The cabinet secretary ensured smooth communication between the king and the ministers. The inquiries and documents were often signed by Ludwig (comments and recommendations). He also got involved in appointments or requests for clemency. Ludwig also supported the enforcement of trade regulations based on the Prussian model with free right of establishment for most professions.

In 1868, two years after Ludwig's visit to the Fürth synagogue at the beginning of December 1866, the Jews in Bavaria received their legal equality (see Bavarian Jewish Edict of 1813 ) after Ludwig's father Maximilian II had already granted them the right to vote and stand for election in 1848.

He had remarkable detailed knowledge of economic policy and state church law.

Ludwig II continued the personnel policy of his predecessors, whose room for maneuver was limited in the constitutional monarchy. It was always about neutralizing the political forces in the country and keeping the influence of the parliament as low as possible. The ministries were generally occupied by the Bavarian kings against the majority in the state parliament .

When, in the aftermath of the war of 1866, the Catholic-Conservative, anti-Prussian Patriot Party won an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies, King Ludwig II appointed national liberal and pro-Prussian ministers. With his ministerial policy, he even thwarted his own political stance, which was closer to that of the Bavarian patriots. Demonstrating his sovereignty was more important to the king than the parliamentary occupation of the government.

When visiting the Paris World Exhibition in spring 1867, Ludwig met with the French Emperor Napoleon III. and sought his support. In the run-up to the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, however, the French Emperor had assured the Prussian Prime Minister Bismarck of neutrality in the hope of preserving the Bavarian Palatinate , Rheinhessen, Saarbrücken and Saarlouis if Prussia won .

In an interview with ZDF in July 2010 , the historian Bernhard Löffler said of Ludwig's political work : “On the one hand, in the course of the 1870s there were already signs of a turning point that would lead to the king's withdrawal. In 1873 he himself spoke of a spiritual living out of the unbearable present. On the other hand, he did not show any particular political assertiveness from the start. The fact that he had to countersign every law is simply a result of the Bavarian constitution and the constitutional system and has nothing to do with his own commitment. But he did not have any tolerance for frustration ... because he lacked any sense of the functioning of the constitutional system. "

Engagement to Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria

Duchess Sophie in Bavaria
Gift ducats from 1864 with a portrait of the king

Ludwig was never married, but on January 22nd, 1867, of a spontaneous decision, he got engaged to the two years younger Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria from a branch of the Wittelsbach family. She was the youngest sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and a daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria . Sophie Charlotte's mother Ludovika was a half-sister of his grandfather Ludwig I. The two had known each other since their childhood and youth and had met again on January 21 at a court ball. Before his engagement, the king had made it known several times that he did not want to marry. His sudden change of heart in January 1867 and his quick engagement to Sophie Charlotte must be seen in connection with the falling out of the king with his wing adjutant Paul von Thurn und Taxis , whom Ludwig's biographer Oliver Hilmes describes as his “first lover”. The thesis that the engagement to Sophie Charlotte must be seen in this context was first expressed by Desmond Chapman-Huston in the middle of the 20th century. This thesis was recently confirmed by Sophie Charlotte's biographer.

Ludwig always addressed his fiancée as Elsa in his letters. Significantly, however, he did not feel like a loving Lohengrin, because Ludwig signed his letters to his bride Elsa with Heinrich. Proof that this was a love according to the king's style, "enthusiastic, remote from the world, without the sensuality that Ludwig hated ". Shortly after the engagement was announced, the king and Sophie Charlotte were upset. As soon as the king decided to marry, he grew tired of her. This became visible to the public for the first time at a court ball at the end of February 1867, which was held on the occasion of the engagement. Ludwig II left his own engagement ball after an hour to see the end of the play "Maria Stuart" and exposed his bride to the public. Numerous other injuries followed, which led to the couple becoming estranged.

Meanwhile, the wedding preparations at court were pushed ahead with great zeal. Pope Pius IX issued the marriage dispensations, which were necessary because of the close relatives of the marriage candidates. The wedding ceremony was presented to the king on March 14, 1867. However, Ludwig pushed back the wedding date further and further, from August 25th to October 12th, and finally to November 12th, 1867. The king kept his distance, although pictures were already circulating in which Sophie was dubbed Queen and the millions Gulden expensive wedding carriage was ready. Finally, on October 7, 1867, he broke the engagement. Not only Sophie's parents were upset by this decision, but also the relatives and the high nobility. Elisabeth of Austria wrote to her mother in Possenhofen:

“You can imagine how indignant I am about the king and the emperor too. There is no expression for such behavior. I just don't understand how he can be seen again in Munich after everything that has happened. I'm just glad that Sophie takes it that way, God knows she couldn't have been happy with a man like that. "

Engagement photo 1867

Nobody suspected that Sophie had fallen in love with the merchant Edgar Hanfstaengl three days after her engagement to the king and had secretly met him in Pähl Castle .

Based on statements in letters - for example to his adjutant Paul von Thurn und Taxis - and the rest of his life, it can be assumed that Ludwig's interest in the opposite sex was low. Ludwig's secret diary, which was published in excerpts in 1925 by the stepson of the minister Johann von Lutz , offers clues to the king's homosexual tendencies . At the same time it represents a testimony to his torments of conscience and to the hopeless attempts to suppress his desire. The historical evidence of Ludwig II's homosexuality was summarized for the first time in a study by the Munich cultural and regional historian Klaus Reichold. The Heidelberg psychiatrist and neurologist Heinz Häfner , in his publication about the fairy tale king, takes the view that Ludwig was not only homosexual, but that he even sexually abused subordinate horsemen to act out his inclination. Ludwig is said to have regarded the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch as a soul mate.

The imperial letter

In 1870, because of political pressure, Bavaria and its army took part in the Franco-German War . However, just one day after the French declaration of war, Ludwig II ordered general mobilization in the Bavarian kingdom and, with a surprising advance by Bavarian troops from Landau in the Palatinate, enabled the decision to go to war at Sedan early on . Ludwig was clearly more determined than in 1866. The result was again a loss of prestige among the people, because the result of the war was the loss of Bavarian sovereignty.

Ludwig saw it as a personal imposition that, at Bismarck's instigation, as the highest-ranking German Prince Wilhelm I of Prussia, he should apply for the imperial crown. Bismarck rejected Ludwig's - unrealistic - proposal to let the crown wander between Berlin and Munich. Ludwig hesitantly accepted the Prussian king's elevation. On November 30, 1870, he signed the so-called Kaiserbrief drafted by Otto von Bismarck , in which he asked the Prussian King Wilhelm I to accept the title of German Emperor . In return, Bismarck promised him secret cash payments that were discretely channeled from the Welfenfonds through Swiss banks. From the national endowment of 4 million thalers decided by the Reichstag, 300,000 thalers were made available to him for distribution according to his own determination. The reason for Ludwig's relenting, however, were not these monetary payments, but his insight into the inevitability of forming an empire. The Bavarian chairman of the Council of Ministers Otto von Bray-Steinburg was meanwhile responsible for negotiations on Bavaria's entry into the German Reich , where he gave Bavaria important special rights (in particular the independent Bavarian army under the supreme command of the king in times of peace, its own diplomacy and exceptions to the powers of the Reich) could secure. In contrast to his uncle Luitpold and his brother Otto, Ludwig did not participate in the imperial proclamation in Versailles on January 18, 1871. Proud of his sovereignty to the highest degree, he avoided personal contact with the new imperial family and later expressed his displeasure in irritable language to recognize.

Withdrawal from the public

In October 1875, when the clerical chamber majority in a address that agreeable to him Ministry of the Royal Household and of Foreign under Adolph von Pfretzschner openly accused and wished their demands by the king to fulfill, Ludwig joined the rugged counter and assured in 1876 in the state parliament farewell to the Ministry be unerschüttertes Trust. He remained true to this firm stance against the ultramontane chamber majority over the next few years.

In the plans for a Chinese and a Byzantine palace, he showed a cosmopolitanism and a cultural cosmopolitanism that revealed a broad horizon, but also a further drift into the world of dreams. This was also indicated by his political plans to found a secret society to win supporters loyal to the king for an overthrow and plans for a kingdom of the Canary Islands. However, this thought was based on the correct assessment that his people had moved further and further away from their monarch - as not only in Bavaria.

Ludwig II of Bavaria after a painting by Gabriel Schachinger , completed posthumously in 1887. The portrait, made after French models, shows the king in the robe of the Grand Master of the Order of St. George and hangs in the museum of Herrenchiemsee Palace .

In 1874 he went for the last time in the Munich Corpus Christi procession . His trip to the dress rehearsal of the Bayreuth Festival in 1876 ​​was his last halfway public appearance.

In April 1881 his friendship began with the young actor Josef Kainz , with whom he went on a trip to Switzerland in the footsteps of Wilhelm Tell from June 27th to July 14th of the same year . But even this last friendship broke up on the trip.

In the last years of his life the king withdrew increasingly from the public. Mostly he lived at Berg Castle, during the summer in Hohenschwangau and at Linderhof. The ministers often found it difficult to visit him personally for signatures in the solitude of mountain huts. Increasingly he turned night into day, which earned him the title of King of the Moon . The excessive consumption of sweets also took its toll: he was increasingly suffering from severe toothache. His upper jaw was soon toothless and the lower jaw only had a small number of loose teeth. He also increased steadily in corpulence.

After the finance minister Freiherr von Riedel had covered the largest debts in 1884 with a loan of 7 million marks, the king's building addiction increased even more. His mountain of debt had now increased considerably, and in some cases the construction work on his castles had already been stopped. At the beginning of 1886 the cabinet of King Ludwig refused to guarantee a loan of six million marks, which some biographers see as the main reason for the incapacitation. There are said to have been private offers of financial help from bankers, which Ludwig did not reach. Ludwig then turned to Bismarck, who wrote to him on April 14, 1886, to order his ministry to apply to the state parliament for approval of the necessary sums. In fact, Ludwig then asked for the matter to be presented to the state parliament. Instead, the ministry initiated his incapacitation .


Ludwig in the year of his death in 1886

Ludwig II. Was on June 8, 1886 at the instigation of the government by the doctors Bernhard von Gudden , Friedrich Wilhelm Hagen , Hubert von Grashey and Max Hubrich in an expert opinion based on testimony and without a personal examination of the patient for "mentally disturbed" and "incurable" explained. Ludwig's long-time personal physician Max Joseph Schleiß von Löwenfeld , who had already known the king as a child, was not heard.

On the basis of the official acts carried out by Ludwig, such as the most recent establishment of a new district office in Ludwigshafen (document of June 3, 1886, signed by him in Hohenschwangau), however, no insanity can be recognized.

On June 9, 1886, Ludwig was incapacitated by the government under Johann von Lutz . On the night of June 10th, an eleven-member commission appeared in Neuschwanstein, where the monarch was staying. Among them were Foreign Minister Friedrich Krafft von Crailsheim and the former Oberststallmeister of King Maximilian Karl Theodor von Holnstein , who had fallen out of favor with Ludwig and who had played an important role in Ludwig's imperial letter, as well as Dr. by Gudden and Dr. Müller. However, Ludwig was warned by his coachman Fritz Osterholzer and alerted the Füssen Gendarmerie, which occupied the gate of Neuschwanstein and did not let the commission in. On top of that, Baroness Spera von Truchsess , loyal to the king, appeared , insulted the commission and threatened them with her umbrella. After half an hour in the rain, the commission had to turn back at 4:30 in the morning.

Ludwig II then had them arrested, but after the declaration of reign had reached the telegraph operator in Hohenschwangau, the commission was released after a few hours of imprisonment without the knowledge of the king and then returned to Munich without having achieved anything. His personal physician Max Joseph Schleiß von Löwenfeld expressed himself in a telegram to the editors of the Allgemeine Zeitung on June 10th, “Regarding the correction: The existence of a serious ailment which prevents his Majesty Ludwig II from exercising government is absolutely unconvinced."

The last letter that Ludwig wrote three days before his death with a request for research was addressed to his cousin Prince Ludwig Ferdinand , to whom he was the only one from the royal line of the Wittelsbach family :

"[...] Forgive the bad writing, I am writing this in a hurry. Imagine what unheard of happened today !! - That night someone came up from the stable building in a hurry. reported that there were several people (including horribile dictu) a minister u. one of my court batches arrived quietly, ordered my car and To take horses here (from the upper castle) behind my back, u. wanted to force me to go to Linderhof, apparently u. to keep me trapped there God knows what to do to brave abdication, in short a shameful conspiracy! Who can be behind such a crime, Prz. Luitpold presumably. Through Gensdarme u. The fire brigade who bravely opposed this was thwarted for the time being. The disgraceful rebels were arrested. Please keep this all to yourself for the time being. But how can such an infamy be possible! Please do your own research and by others who trust it! If something like that was possible! held. I wrote to you earlier that I had heard rumors about myself (alleged illness) that were deliberately scattered with money, and that the syllable is not true p). It's too bad. Light must come into this abyss of malice! In firm trust i. intimate love ... "

After a long hesitation, Ludwig's uncle Luitpold took over government responsibility as Prince Regent on June 10 , later also for Ludwig's brother Otto .

On the same day, a counter-proclamation appeared in 30,000 copies: “Prince Luitpold intends to rise to regent of my country without my will, and my previous ministry has deceived my beloved people by untrue statements about my state of health and is preparing highly treasonable acts. […] I urge every loyal Bavarian to rally around my loyal followers and to help thwart the planned betrayal of the king and fatherland. ”(Bamberger Zeitung on June 11th) The leaflets and the newspaper's edition, however, were quickly released confiscated by pro-government police. Today the counter-proclamation is generally considered a forgery. On June 22nd, the Munich police department identified a Mr. Schellenberger as the originator, a Saxon with multiple previous convictions for attempted fraud.

Ludwig did not heed Bismarck's advice to show himself to the people in Munich immediately. Despite many offers of help, he was almost completely passive. In the meantime, Ludwig had consulted with his wing adjutant Alfred Graf Dürckheim-Montmartin, who suggested that he go to Munich as quickly as possible and address his subjects. Ludwig rejected this idea as well as the suggestion to flee to Tyrol.

According to new findings, the psychiatric report was untenable: Heinz Häfner from the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences , founder and long-time director of the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim, was allowed to view the " Secret House Archive " of the royal family of Bavaria and also material from previously unpublished sources, State parliament stenograms and archives compiled and thus the "Ludwig case" rolled out again. Gudden's diagnosis was paranoia and mental weakness. “'This conclusion can no longer be held today,' said Häfner. After studying the sources, it can be proven beyond doubt that Ludwig II showed no signs of mental weakness or paranoid psychosis, ”wrote the Ärzte Zeitung . In his study of Ludwig, Häfner also came to the conclusion that Ludwig's inner conflicts, such as a social phobia that was observed early on in connection with feelings of shame and guilt because of his homosexual tendencies, led to the development of a "non-substance-related addiction ", such as her in the case of gamblers. The means of Ludwig's addiction were his building projects. The constantly growing mountain of debt brought him into additional external difficulties. According to Häfner, this impaired his ability to act and govern to a considerable extent. As also z. B. in gambling addicts an increasing loss of reality can be observed in Ludwig. In contrast, the king was never insane, paranoid or schizophrenic according to modern criteria.

The Munich psychiatrist Hans Förstl , after evaluating documents, including previously unreleased documents from the secret Wittelsbach house archive, came to the conclusion that the diagnosis of schizophrenia cannot be sustained, but that of a schizotypic personality disorder can . He expressed the suspicion that Ludwig had also suffered from Pick's disease in the last few years of his life ; he derived this from the autopsy findings of 1886, which had found a significant shrinkage of the frontal lobe in Ludwig.

Death in the Würmsee

Place of death and memorial cross in Lake Starnberg near Berg ( )

On June 11, 1886 around midnight, a new commission came to Neuschwanstein. Bernhard von Gudden informed the king about the report of the four doctors and about the assumption of regency by Luitpold. In contrast to what the commission feared, King Ludwig behaved calmly and calmly this time and replied with reproaches that he had never been examined by doctors. Nevertheless, he was now taken into custody in Neuschwanstein and taken to Berg Castle on June 12th at 4 a.m. on the shores of Lake Starnberg, which was then still known as Würmsee .

On June 13th, Whitsunday of the year, the king was not allowed to go to mass, but von Gudden took him for a walk in the castle park on the lake, accompanied by two attendants. Shortly after 6 p.m. the King of Gudden reminded them of a planned second walk, for which both of them set off with the message from Guddens that they wanted to be back for supper at 8 p.m. At the instruction of Guddens, in contrast to the morning, the carers had to stay behind. When both were not back at 8 p.m., it was initially suspected that they had sought shelter somewhere from the rain, which had meanwhile set in. First individual gendarmes were sent out, and finally all available men with lamps and torches. Around 10 p.m., a court officer found the king's overcoat and tunic in the water, half an hour later the king and von Gudden were found in the shallow water a maximum of 25 paces from the bank. The king's pocket watch, which was found later, had stopped at 6:54 p.m. because water had penetrated it, while Guddens' pocket watch, for the same reason, only stopped at 8:10 p.m. The two had found the skipper Jakob Lidl, the assistant doctor Dr. Müller and the castle manager Huber, who searched from a rowboat. According to the official account, von Gudden wanted to prevent the regent from committing suicide and was killed himself in the process. However, this version was soon questioned. From the beginning and until today there have been numerous rumors about the death of Ludwig II. a. consider a possible escape attempt (with the aim of visiting his cousin Elisabeth ) or the shooting of the king.

Wolfgang Gudden, a descendant of Bernhard von Gudden, wrote (also in agreement with statements by Oskar Panizza , for example in The King and His Fool Master ) in his doctoral thesis: “King Ludwig, who had very probably already left the castle with suicidal intent, surprised Gudden completely as he rushes to the lake shore 15m away. It comes to the decisive physical argument with Gudden, in the course of which the king Gudden seriously injured in the forehead and in the face, hit him hard on the head and on the top hat in order to stop Gudden's attempts to prevent him from suicide. Gudden was presumably strangled and submerged, where he passed out and drowned. Dragging the dead a little further along, the king strove towards the open water and "committed suicide by drowning."

Autopsy and funeral

On Whit Monday, June 14, 1886, the body was blessed at 8 p.m. in Berg Castle . The car with the coffin arrived at the Munich Residenz at 2 a.m. on June 15 . At the pathological examination of the dead king carried out there on the same day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. by 13 doctors, the king's personal physician, Max Joseph Schleiß von Löwenfeld, was also present, who was not convinced of the king's illness. According to the official announcement, however, the diagnosis of the psychiatrists was fully confirmed. The result of the autopsy was only partially released to the public.

Immediately after the dissection, the embalming was done, which ended at 8 p.m. Then the body was laid out in the court chapel for three days. Ludwig was buried on June 19, 1886 after a funeral procession through Munich in the crypt of Michaelskirche in Neuhauser Strasse. His heart was buried separately and transferred to the Gnadenkapelle in Altötting on August 16, 1886 .


Pedigree of King Ludwig II.

Friedrich Michael von Pfalz-Birkenfeld
⚭ 1746
Maria Franziska Dorothea von Pfalz-Sulzbach

Georg Wilhelm von Hessen-Darmstadt
⚭ 1748
Maria Luise Albertine von Leiningen-Dagsburg-Falkenburg

Ernst Friedrich III. Carl von Sachsen-Hildburghausen
⚭ 1758
Ernestine von Sachsen-Weimar Eisenach

Grand Duke
Karl of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
⚭ 1768
Friederike Caroline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt

August Wilhelm von Prussia , Prince of Prussia
⚭ 1742
Luise Amalie von Braunschweig- Wolfenbüttel

Ludwig IX. von Hessen-Darmstadt
⚭ 1741
Henriette Karoline von Pfalz-Zweibrücken

Landgrave Friedrich IV of Hessen-Homburg
⚭ 1746
Ulrike Luise zu Solms-Braunfels

Ludwig IX. von Hessen-Darmstadt
⚭ 1741
Henriette Karoline von Pfalz-Zweibrücken

Great grandparents

Bavarian royal crown
Maximilian I Joseph (1756–1825)
⚭ 1785
Auguste Wilhelmine of Hessen-Darmstadt (1765–1796)

Friedrich von Sachsen-Altenburg
⚭ 1785
Charlotte von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1769–1818)

Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia (1744–1797)
⚭ 1769
Friederike von Hessen-Darmstadt (1751–1805)

Landgrave Friedrich V of Hesse-Homburg
⚭ 1768
Karoline of Hesse-Darmstadt (1746–1821)


Bavarian royal crown
King Ludwig I (1786–1868)
⚭ 1810
Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen (1792–1854)

Wilhelm of Prussia (1783–1851)
⚭ 1804
Marianne von Hessen-Homburg (1785–1846)


Bavarian royal crown
King Maximilian II. Joseph (1811–1864)
⚭ 1842
Marie of Prussia (1825–1889)

Bavarian royal crown
King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845–1886)



Ludwig found inspiration for the architecture of his castles on his trip to Paris and Pierrefonds Palace in July 1867 and on his trip to Versailles Palace and Fontainebleau Palace in August 1874 . He also visited the Wartburg in Eisenach in 1867, which later served as a model for Neuschwanstein.

Due to the death of his grandfather Ludwig I, who abdicated in 1848, the young king was able to withhold his allowance from March 1868 , which gave him more financial means.

Neuschwanstein Castle

In 1868 King Ludwig drafted his ideas for a new Hohenschwangau Castle , today's Neuschwanstein, in a letter to Richard Wagner . His royal building director Eduard Riedel had made the first floor plans and sectional drawings in the winter of 1867/68. The foundation stone was laid on September 5, 1869. In 1884 the palace in Neuschwanstein Castle, which Ludwig wanted to choose as his preferred residence, was completed. However, he only spent 172 nights at Neuschwanstein Castle.

Royal House on Schachen

On the Schachen in the Wetterstein Mountains , Ludwig had an alpine wooden house built from 1869 to 1872, the Königshaus am Schachen . From the mid-1870s, Ludwig spent his birthdays there in the seclusion of the mountains. The simple building houses the oriental style Turkish hall on the first floor. Eyüp Castle near Istanbul, a residence of Sultan Selim III, served as a model .

Linderhof Palace

From 1874 to 1878, Linderhof Palace was built in place of the so-called royal house belonging to the father Max II. Linderhof Palace is the smallest of the three castles built by Ludwig II, but it is also the only one that was fully developed and also inhabited by him for a longer period of time.

Herrenchiemsee Castle

On September 26, 1873, Ludwig bought the Herreninsel in the Chiemsee , where from May 21, 1878 the Herrenchiemsee Palace was to be built as the new Palace of Versailles according to Ludwig's ideas . However, it was never completed.

More plans

In 1883, Ludwig acquired the ruins of Falkenstein Castle, at an altitude of 1277 m, near the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles . The theater painter Christian Jank had drawn him a romanticizing draft of a Gothic castle with numerous battlements and towers. In 1884, Max Schultze worked as an architect on a design that was revised by Julius Hofmann six months before Ludwig's death . Apart from a road and a water pipe to the ruin, nothing of the plans was realized.

In the last year before his death, Ludwig awarded his architect Julius Hofmann another contract for a Chinese summer palace. It was supposed to be built at Plansee in Tyrol and was modeled on the Beijing Winter Palace. The project did not go beyond the first floor plans, which were presented to the king in January 1886, and more detailed planning in April 1886. Ludwig also planned to build a large Byzantine palace near Linderhof.

Apartments in Landshut and Munich

From 1869 to 1873, Ludwig II had magnificent rooms set up in the neo-renaissance style on the second floor of the prince's building at Trausnitz Castle in Landshut , which were destroyed in a fire in 1961.

Ludwig also had many changes made to the Munich Residence , but these have not been preserved since the Second World War. First he redesigned his princely apartment in the attic of the northwest pavilion of the ballroom building in the style of Louis XIV . In addition, premises in the court garden rooms were prepared for his fiancée Princess Sophie in Bavaria, which she was never supposed to live in, as the engagement had previously been dissolved. He also continued the tradition of his grandfather Ludwig I by having his own cycle of paintings of Wagner's Ring Tetralogy created above the Theatinergang. Around 1870 the king had a large winter garden built over the north-west wing of the ballroom building by the court garden director Carl Effner and the theater painter Christian Jank .

Ludwig, on the other hand, was not very interested in his birthplace, Nymphenburg Palace, but the second large baroque residence, the monumental New Schleissheim Palace , benefited from the king's passion for building: after numerous parapet figures had been cast for Herrenchiemsee, for example, the plaster models for these castings came to the Schleissheim-based company Arcades. Carl Effner built the fountain house for the trick fountains in the park, which Ludwig had restored from 1865–68 based on historical models.


Ludwig's construction projects were financed from the royal private fortune and caused considerable deficits there in the so-called cabinet treasury. The civil list available to him was fixed at 4.2 million guilders a year. In 1884 he owed 7.5 million guilders, which had to be covered by loans . The king was finally behind with an “annual salary”, and in 1887 about three “annual salaries” (15 million) would have been missing to continue building his castles. After his death, the House of Wittelsbach paid back to the creditor banks in full all debts incurred by King Ludwig's construction work by 1902.

Historical meaning

Flower decorations on the sarcophagus

Ludwig II was a monarch who strived for a mystically shaped ideal of a Christian kingdom. He withdrew into dream worlds and, at considerable financial expense, managed to get parts of it to take on architectural form. His commitment to theater and opera was similarly motivated. This was expressed above all in his support for Richard Wagner and in the establishment of the Richard Wagner Festival in the Bayreuth Festival Hall . He thus had a significant influence on the cultural development of Germany in the late 19th century. The artists thanked him for this while he was still alive; Anton Bruckner, for example, dedicated his 7th symphony to him in 1883 . The royal castles that he had built were of no use to the Bavarian state at the time and a great financial burden, but now Herrenchiemsee , Neuschwanstein and Linderhof are the most important tourist attractions in Bavaria. They were opened for public viewing soon after his death.

In addition, Ludwig II promoted arts and crafts with his palace buildings. The gardens of the Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof palaces were designed by the court garden director Carl von Effner .

The horse gallery, which was commissioned by Ludwig II by Friedrich Wilhelm Pfeiffer , is a special feature . 26 portraits of the royal “personal riding horses” document the enthusiasm for equestrian sport and the king's special relationship with these animals.

Despite all the romanticism, Ludwig II also excelled in the field of promoting new technologies. In 1867 he and his grandfather King Ludwig I visited the Paris World Exhibition . In 1868 he founded the "Polytechnische Schule München" with university status, today's Technical University of Munich and numerous scientific institutes.

His interest in photo technology was evident in the fact that he had a photo laboratory set up in Hohenschwangau Castle. In addition, he promoted printing technology by financing the invention of collotype by Joseph Albert . The world's first power station with a dynamo machine was located in Linderhof Palace. His so-called nymph sledge is considered to be the world's first electrically illuminated vehicle. In the field of chemistry, the dye indigo was artificially developed for the first time on his orders .

Steel construction and electricity were already used in Ludwig's castles . There was central heating , a telephone, heated pools, electrical call systems for the servants, water closets and elevators , and a wave machine was available in the Venus Grotto at Linderhof Palace . Funding was made available for the development and testing of the flight technology.

His technical playfulness was also expressed in the design of a peacock-shaped aircraft. He wanted to float with him over the Alpsee in front of his castle. The flying car with a balloon over it was supposed to be pulled by a rope that would have been pulled by a steam engine.

The Ludwig II expert, Jean Louis Schlim, attests to the king's enthusiasm for technology, not for the sake of technology, but to make his dreams come true.


Popular Ludwig portrayal by Piloty

At the end of the 19th century, Ludwig II was considered by an author like the Italian Gabriele D'Annunzio in the novel Le vergini delle rocce as a personification of the fin de siècle in view of the sadness and presumed arrogance of the king. He is a true king, but only the king of his dreams: "[...] Luigi di Baviera è veramente un Re, ma Re di sé medesimo e del suo sogno."

Ten years after Ludwig's death, at the instigation of Prince Regent Luitpold, the construction of a votive chapel in the early Romanesque style began above the place of death , which was consecrated in 1900.

King Ludwig II is considered by many Bavarians as the “Kini” ( Bavarian for “king”) and as the epitome of the “good old days”. Numerous songs revolve around his life and death. To this day there are active Ludwig II clubs all over Bavaria (including Franconia and Swabia) that are united in the Association of King Loyalists in Bavaria, including the secret society of the so-called Guglmanns .

The almost limitless admiration that the king enjoyed not only among the “common people”, but also among cultural representatives, is expressed in the preamble to Michael Georg Conrad's novel biography Majesty from 1902. It says here:

“A king's majesty in deep solitude, a virginal artist soul in purple, a German prince radiant ascent and an abrupt end in bitterness and misery!
Who would have remembered it? Who did she ever disappear from? Who does not know of this painful fate in the old and the new world? Who would not have relived it, each in his own way, from the freest person to the most committed day laborer? Who does not feel his need and his greatness? He is one of those eternally glorious doomed to sorrow and death, who dreams through the dream of beauty for a puzzling life and pays for the bittersweet happiness of the dream with life itself.
His name is marked in the passion story of the kings and in the golden chronicle of the artists. A martyr of majesty in the heights of the sun, a tormented soul in the intoxication of the ideal, a star swallowed up by the restlessness of the times and the commonplace.
This gives the problem of his fleeting life that sacredness and meaning that are indestructible in the critical change of times, of the sexes.
Immortal fame flourishes around his name.
Because it's the name of a winner. With his bodily death he entered the dance of rays of the world conquerors. His spirit will always return, promise and seal of triumphant beauty. All higher men who suffer on earth are ennobled and beatified through him. He consecrated everyone who dared to try something unusual.
Look, the wreath of thorns around its crown is already beginning to adorn itself with roses! "

König-Ludwig-Weg near Dießen
State exhibition 2011, Herrenchiemsee Palace

In 2000 a new theater building and a musical was dedicated to Ludwig II : Ludwig II. - Longing for Paradise by Franz Hummel was up to December 31, 2003 in around 1,500 performances in the Füssen Musical Theater Neuschwanstein before a total of 1.5 million People listed. March 11, 2005 in the Festspielhaus Neuschwanstein celebrated a new musical Ludwig² an international team its about King Ludwig II of Bavaria. In staging world premiere , which, however, was soon insolvent.

In the southern Bavarian region of Pfaffenwinkel , the König-Ludwig-Fernwanderweg leads from Berg am Starnberger See , starting at the memorial cross, via Herrsching am Ammersee , Andechs, Dießen, Wessobrunn, Hohenschwangau to Füssen.

The Bavarian State Exhibition 2011 was dedicated to the Bavarian king from May 13th to October 16th under the motto Götterdämmerung: King Ludwig II and his time in Herrenchiemsee Palace and attracted an unusually high level of public interest with around 570,000 visitors.

Artistic processing

Diary records

Postcard, 1896
  • Edir Grein (Hrsg.): Diary entries of Ludwig II. King of Bavaria. Schaan / Liechtenstein: Verlag Rupert Quaderer, 1925 (Edir Grein is a pseudonym for Erwin Riedinger , the stepson of the Bavarian Prime Minister Johann von Lutz.) The work contains the following documents:
    • I. Excerpts from the diary (Dec. 1869 – Dec. 1885);
    • II. Excerpts from the diary (1886);
    • Correspondence about the financial situation of the king;
    • Medical report on the state of mind of His Majesty the King Ludwig II of Bavaria (Munich, June 8, 1886, signed by the following four persons: von Gudden , k. Obermedizinalrath; Dr. Hagen , k. Hofrath; Dr. Grashey , k . University professor; Dr. Hubrich , k. Director);
    • Section finding of the corpse of the King by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerschensteiner (Munich, June 20, 1886).


  • Gottfried von Böhm : Ludwig II. King of Bavaria, his life and his time . 2nd Edition. Berlin 1924 (Reprint 2014).
  • Dieter AlbrechtLudwig II. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 15, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-428-00196-6 , pp. 374-379 ( digitized version ).
  • Dieter Albrecht: King Ludwig II of Bavaria. In: Journal for Bavarian State History . 50 (1987), pp. 153-167 ( digitized version ).
  • Theodor BitteraufLudwig II. In: General German Biography (ADB). Volume 55, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1910, pp. 540-555.
  • Christof Botzenhart: The government activity of King Ludwig II of Bavaria - “I don't want to be a shadow king without power” . CH Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-10737-0 .
  • Julius Desing: Madness or treason - was King Ludwig II of Bavaria insane? Publishing house Kienberger, Lechbruck 1996.
  • Michael Georg Conrad : Your Majesty. A royal novel . Novel biography. Otto Janke Verlag, Berlin undated (1902)
  • Herbert Eulenberg : The last Wittelsbacher . Phaidon, Vienna 1929, pp. 154-238.
  • Hans Gerhard Evers : Ludwig II of Bavaria, theater prince - king - builder, thoughts on self-image. Hirmer Verlag, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-7774-4150-3 .
  • Hubert Glaser : Ludwig II. And Ludwig III. - contrasts and continuities. In: Journal for Bavarian State History. 59 (1996), pp. 1-14.
  • Heinz Häfner : A king is eliminated, Ludwig II of Bavaria. CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-56888-6 .
  • Theodor Hierneis : King Ludwig II. Feeds: memories of his court cook Theodor Hierneis . Stiebner, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8307-1051-6 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  • Dirk Heißerer : Ludwig II. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek 2003, ISBN 3-499-50647-5 .
  • Oliver Hilmes : Ludwig II. The untimely king. Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-88680-898-4 .
  • Ludwig Hüttl : Ludwig II., King of Bavaria. A biography. Bertelsmann, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-570-05871-9 .
  • Annette Kolb : King Ludwig II of Bavaria and Richard Wagner. Querido, Amsterdam 1947.
  • Commission for Bavarian State History (Ed.): King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Illness, crisis and disempowerment. Verlag CH Beck 2011. [= Journal for Bavarian State History , Volume 74, Issue 2.] ( full text in the Google book search, digitized version ) Contains various articles and source editions on the last phase of Ludwig II's life.
  • Andreas Kraus: Bavaria under King Ludwig II. In: Geschichte Bayerns, Beck Verlag, Munich, 1983, pp. 552-584 (Brief overview of his role in Bavarian politics and the circumstances of his death), ISBN 3-406-09398- 1 .
  • Franz Merta: King Ludwig II in the mirror of the new publications on the 100th anniversary of his death In: Journal for Bavarian State History. 49: 719-744 (1986).
  • Hans F. Nöhbauer : In the footsteps of Ludwig II. Prestel Verlag, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-7913-1470-X .
  • Hans Philippi : King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the Welfenfonds In: Journal for Bavarian State History. 1960, 23, pp. 66-111.
  • Hans Rall: Outlook on world development and religion in the Max´II circle. and Ludwigs II. In: Journal for Bavarian State History. 27: 488-522 (1964).
  • Alexander Rauch : Neuschwanstein Castle. Atlantis Verlag, Herrsching 1991.
  • Alexander Rauch: Herrenchiemsee Palace. Köhler & Amelang, Munich / Berlin 1995.
  • Alexander Rauch: Herrenchiemsee Castle. Symbolism and decadence with King Ludwig II. In: Bruckmanns Pantheon. International journal for art, volume LIII, Bruckmann Verlag, Munich 1995.
  • Alexander Rauch: King Ludwig II - "I want to remain an eternal riddle ...". (Built History, Volume IV). Munich 1997.
  • Alexander Rauch: Linderhof. King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his castles. (Built History, Volume III). Edition Charivari, Munich 1997.
  • Klaus Reichold: King Ludwig II of Bavaria - between myth and reality, fairy tale and nightmare. Stations of a sleepless life. Süddeutscher Verlag, Munich 1996.
  • Klaus Reichold: No more kiss! Purity! Royalty! Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845 - 1886) and homosexuality . Forum Homosexuality and History, Munich 2003. [= Splitter 9. Materials on the history of homosexuals in Munich and Bavaria]. ISBN 978-3-935227-15-5 .
  • Klaus Reichold / Thomas Endl: The fantastic world of the fairy tale king: Ludwig II. Biography . Edition Luftschiffer, Munich 2017. ISBN 978-3-944936-25-3 .
  • Rudolf Reiser : King Ludwig II. - Man and Myth between Genius and Twilight of the Gods. MZ Buchverlag, Regensburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-934863-80-4 .
  • Arndt Richter: The mental illness of the Bavarian kings Ludwig II and Otto. An interdisciplinary study using genealogy, genetics and statistics. Degener & Co., Neustadt an der Aisch 1997, ISBN 3-7686-5111-8 .
  • Werner Richter: Ludwig II, King of Bavaria. 14th edition. Stiebner Verlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8307-1021-6 .
  • Hermann Rumschöttel: Ludwig II of Bavaria. (= CH Beck Knowledge; 2719). CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61216-9 . (Review)
  • Anita Schäffler, Sandra Borkowsky, Erich Adami: King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his travels to Switzerland - October 20–2. November 1865, May 22–24. May 1866, June 27th – 14th July 1881. Documentation. Fuessen 2005.
  • Jean Louis Schlim: Ludwig II. - Dream and Technology . MünchenVerlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-937090-43-6 .
  • Susanne Schurr:  Ludwig II. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 5, Bautz, Herzberg 1993, ISBN 3-88309-043-3 , Sp. 329-332.
  • Alfons Schweiggert, Erich Adami: Little ABC of the royal castles of Ludwig II. Husum Verlag, Husum 2012, ISBN 978-3-89876-599-2 .
  • Marcus Spangenberg: The throne room of Neuschwanstein Castle. Ludwig II and his understanding of divine right. Schnell and Steiner Verlag, Regensburg 1999, ISBN 3-7954-1225-0 . (English edition Ludwig II of Bavaria and his vision of Divine Right ISBN 3-7954-1233-1 )
  • Marcus Spangenberg: Ludwig II. - The other king. Pustet, Regensburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-7917-2308-2 . (English edition Ludwig II - A Different Kind of King ISBN 978-3-7917-2744-8 )
  • Marcus Spangenberg / Bernhard Lübbers (eds.): Dream castles? The buildings of Ludwig II as tourism and advertising objects. Dr. Peter Morsbach, Regensburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-937527-83-3 .
  • Christine Tauber: Ludwig II. The fantastic life of the King of Bavaria . Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-65197-7 .
  • Paul Wietzorek: King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his castles. Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-86568-683-1 .
  • Wilhelm Wöbking: The death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. A documentation Rosenheimer Verlagshaus GmbH & Co KG, Rosenheim 1986, ISBN 978-3-475-52500-1

Web links

Commons : Ludwig II. (Bavaria)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Ludwig II of Bavaria  - sources and full texts


  1. This Francophilia was incomprehensible to many people at the time .

Individual evidence

  1. Alexander Rauch: King Ludwig II. - "I want to remain an eternal riddle ...". (Built History, Volume IV). Munich 1997.
  2. Martha Schad: Ludwig II. Dt. Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3423310332
  3. - The disintegrated father
  4. ^ Walter Flemmer: Stations of a fairy tale king. Places and landscapes of King Ludwig II. In: Georg Jenal, Stephanie Haarländer (ed.): The present in the past. Contributions to the culture and history of the modern and modern times. Festival ceremony for Friedrich Prinz on his 65th birthday. Munich 1993, p. 419.
  5. See also Sylvia Alphéus, Lothar Jegensdorf: Prince Paul von Thurn und Taxis. A stubborn life. Munich 2017, pp. 27ff, 83ff, 109ff.
  6. ^ At Heinz Häfner - A king is eliminated . Munich 2008 - it says from p. 38 f .: In the park of the royal villa a court official discovered “that Ludwig tied his brother ( Otto ) hands and feet, with a gag in his mouth and a sackcloth around his neck on the floor and tugged violently at the cloth. (..) The officer had to use force to free Otto. Father Max II was shocked and angry about Ludwig's behavior. He dictated a severe punishment. For his part, Ludwig was so bitter about it that he took a violent dislike for Berchtesgaden and did not return there for a long time. "
  7. The Proclamation - Entry into government of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, oath and proclamation text
  8. a b c ZDF: The German War. (No longer available online.) December 7, 2010, archived from the original on December 3, 2016 ; accessed on August 16, 2014 .
  9. a b c d e f g h ZDF / Verband der Geschichtslehrer Deutschlands eV: The Germans II. Materials for teaching - Part 8: Ludwig II. And the Bavarians. (PDF) November 15, 2010, archived from the original on August 10, 2014 ; accessed on August 16, 2014 .
  10. Cf. on Ludwig's behavior during the German-German war, the source-based presentation by Sylvia Alphéus / Lothar Jegensdorf: Chapter 6 "In the shadow of the war", pp. 127-145.
  11. Napoleon III. in Augsburg Wiki
  12. Hilmes, Oliver: Ludwig II. The untimely king. Munich 2013, p. 142.
  13. Desmond Chapman-Huston: Bavarian Fantasy. The story of Ludwig II. London 1955.
  14. ^ Sepp, Christian: Sophie Charlotte. Sisi's passionate sister. Munich 2014.
  15. Hamann 1982, p. 416.
  16. Sepp, Sophie Charlotte, 2014, pp. 67–78.
  17. Hamann 1982, p. 517.
  18. Bernd-Ulrich Hergemöller: Man for man. P. 478.
  19. Klaus Reichold: No more kiss! Purity! Royalty! Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845–1886) and homosexuality. Munich 2003.
  20. Heinz Häfner , A king is eliminated: Ludwig II of Bavaria .
  21. ^ Edir Grein: Diary entries of Ludwig II. Schaan (Liechtenstein): Quaderer-Verlag, 1925.
  22. Jochim Käppner: Ludwig II. - So cold, so proud. In: April 2, 2011, accessed November 28, 2016 .
  23. a b c Ludwig II. In: . Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  24. Peter Geiger: oral cavity and fairy tale castles . In: Mittelbayerische Zeitung , June 25, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  25. Report from June 8, 1886 . Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  26. ^ Chronicle of the last days of Ludwig II's life . In: . Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  27. The last letter from Ludwig II appeared . In: , August 25, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  28. Hans-Peter Baum : Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria (1821-1912) and the city of Würzburg. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes; Volume III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , pp. 173-176, here: p. 173.
  29. A. Schweiggert, E. Adami: Ludwig II. The last days of the King of Bavaria. MünchenVerlag, 2014. W. Wöbking: The death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Rosenheim 1986.
  30. Doctors newspaper: Bavaria's King Ludwig II was not mentally ill. In: June 28, 2004, accessed December 26, 2015 .
  31. According to Häfner in 2004 in his lecture at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences ( Memento of November 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), which he published as a monograph in 2008 (see Lit.)
  32. Tanja Schmidhofe: Ludwig II of Bavaria - not schizophrenic, but ... Press Office Klinikum rechts der Isar, October 11, 2007, accessed on January 27, 2014 .
  33. ^ Anton Sailer: Bavaria's fairy tale king. Bruckmann, Munich 1977, p. 147; Wilfried Blunt: Ludwig II. Heyne, Munich 1970, p. 192; Georg Lohmeier: The ancestors of the House of Bavaria. Munich 1980, p. 260: Quotation Huber: “His handkerchief, which he had in his pocket, to my unforgettable King Ludwig II, when I saw him at 11 1/2 o'clock (= today 10.30 p.m. CET) on June 13, 1886 in Starnberg Found the lake and brought it ashore. Likewise the corpse of Gudden. Berg in the month of the big event in 1886, Bernhard Huber, royal castle administrator. "
  34. New theory in the case of Ludwig II: King of Bavaria is said to have been shot. In: , January 31, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  35. ^ Wolfgang Gudden: Bernhard von Gudden. Life and work. Medical dissertation Munich 1987, p. 207 f.
  36. Jürgen Müller: Oskar Panizza - attempt at an immanent interpretation. Medical dissertation Würzburg (1990) 1991, 82 f. (quoted).
  37. ^ Protocol on the dissection of the corpse of King Ludwig II from June 15, 1886 . Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  38. King Ludwig II of Bavaria - life data. on the website of the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces, Gardens and Lakes.
  39. Ludwig Merkle: Ludwig II. And his castles . Stiebner, 2001, ISBN 978-3-8307-1024-0 , p. 68.
  40. ↑ The royal house on Schachen with a Turkish hall.
  41. Klaus Gast: Royal Alpine Dreams. 150 years of Soiernhaus. In: Heimatverband Lech-Isar-Land eV (Hrsg.): Lech-Isar-Land 2017. Heimatkundliches Jahrbuch. Weilheim 2016, pp. 129-142, here p. 135, ZDB -ID 560519-2 .
  42. Kristina Deutsch: A king as the savior of the castle: The "Absteigequartier" Ludwig II. On the Trausnitz in Landshut, in: Negotiations of the Historical Association for Lower Bavaria, 137 (2011).
  43. A brief historical overview - ( Memento from March 6, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  44. ↑ Series of pictures: Ludwig II .: Technology for visions . In: . March 17, 2010, accessed November 28, 2016.
  45. ^ ZDF: The Germans: Ludwig II and the Bavarians .
  46. Gabriele D'Annunzio: Le vergini delle rocce. Edited by Niva Lorenzini, Milan 1995, p. 152.
  47. Description at, accessed on May 8, 2017
  48. Michael Georg Conrad: Majesty. A royal novel Berlin 1902, pp. 1–2
  49. ↑ Record attendance: The fairy tale king is selling. In: Augsburger Allgemeine . October 14, 2011.
  50. ^ Gerhard Lamprecht: German Silent Films 1913-1914 . Deutsche Kinemathek eV, Berlin 1969, p. 261 .
predecessor Office successor
Maximilian II Kingdom of BavariaKingdom of Bavaria King of Bavaria