KING LUDWIG II of BAVARIA
Ludwig II was born on 25th August 1845 and was heir of the Wittelsbach family from Munich in Bavaria. Ludwig's mother, Marie was niece of King Friedrich William III of Prussia. His father Maximillan II assumed the throne in 1847 following a scandal that led to the abdication of King Ludwig I after an affair with an Irish actress called "Lola Montez" was revealed. At the age of two, Ludwig was in line to inherit one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe.
At the age of eighteen Ludwig became King full of hope and optimism with an aim to preserve Bavarian independence and strengthen ties with Prussia and Austria. However, one of his first acts was to promote a cultural renaissance in Munich and with this aim he summoned Richard Wagner to act as his mentor. This was a turbulent and agonizing relationship that Ludwig cherished dearly but public opinion turned against him because of Wagner's lavish lifestyle and the perceived neglect of Ludwig's public responsibilities. It resulted in a six-month exile for Wagner but for the rest of the King's life this musician was to have a profound effect on this young man.
Ludwig's political life spiraled downhill with the consequence of the disastrous Seven Week War in 1866 with Prussia crushing the remainder of the German confederation. He was to remain a puppet King, although he became completely immersed in his personal and emotional life, which was to plague him forever.
His greatest legacy however, is the extraordinary castle at Neuschwanstein that is still one of the most romantic creations in all of Europe. Ludwig inspired it's creation, which commenced in 1868 and was only half completed before his death in 1886.
His life was a story of triumph and tragedy, a man full of aspirations through the arts and culture but not equipped to handle the enormous mantle placed on his shoulders. There is no question he will remain as one of the true colorful characters of the nineteenth century
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY