King Ludwig’s fairy tale castle

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Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

Commentary by Don Knebel

If the castle in the picture looks familiar, but you have never been to Germany, the explanation is not a prior life as a Bavarian prince. The castle, built by an eccentric king deposed for claimed insanity, is the model for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castles.

Ludwig II became king of Bavaria in 1864 at age 18. Shy and aloof, Ludwig loved theatre and the operas of Richard Wagner, whose career he rescued. Ludwig particularly admired tales of medieval kings in fairy tale castles. So in 1869, relying on his personal fortune, he began building a refuge in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to match his fantasies. Conceived by a set designer, the plans envisioned a 65,000-square-foot castle with Romanesque towers and 200 lavishly appointed rooms.

By 1885, only about 15 rooms had been completed, including a throneless throne room inspired by Turkey’s Hagia Sophia. Because of Ludwig’s ever more grandiose ideas, construction costs were already double the original budget and Ludwig was deeply in debt. Some of the extra costs were incurred installing the latest technology, including electric bells to summon the staff.

After Ludwig had stayed in his unfinished castle about six months, his ministers had him declared insane. The evidence included little more than his obvious obsession with the castle. On June 12, 1886, Ludwig was deposed and the next day he was found dead in waist-deep water in Lake Starnberg. The death was labeled a suicide by drowning, but many suspect he was murdered. Ludwig’s body was interred in Munich’s St. Michael’s Church and his heart placed in an urn in a chapel in the Bavarian town of Altötting.

After Ludwig’s death, his castle was named “Neuschwanstein” (New Swan Stone) and its few completed rooms, some decorated with frescoes representing Wagner’s operas, were opened to a paying public. Today, the king once derided as “Mad Ludwig” is beloved by Bavarians, in part because of the enormous popularity of his castle. Every day in the summer, about 6,000 visitors to Neuschwanstein pour money into Bavaria’s economy, helping make it the richest state in Germany. King Ludwig, take a bow.


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King Ludwig’s fairy tale castle

0
Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

If the castle in the picture looks familiar, but you have never been to Germany, the explanation is not a prior life as a Bavarian prince. The castle, built by an eccentric king deposed for claimed insanity, is the model for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castles.

Ludwig II became king of Bavaria in 1864 at age 18. Shy and aloof, Ludwig loved theatre and the operas of Richard Wagner, whose career he rescued. Ludwig particularly admired tales of medieval kings in fairy tale castles. So in 1869, relying on his personal fortune, he began building a refuge in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to match his fantasies. Conceived by a set designer, the plans envisioned a 65,000-square-foot castle with Romanesque towers and 200 lavishly appointed rooms.

By 1885, only about 15 rooms had been completed, including a throneless throne room inspired by Turkey’s Hagia Sophia. Because of Ludwig’s ever more grandiose ideas, construction costs were already double the original budget and Ludwig was deeply in debt. Some of the extra costs were incurred installing the latest technology, including electric bells to summon the staff.

After Ludwig had stayed in his unfinished castle about six months, his ministers had him declared insane. The evidence included little more than his obvious obsession with the castle. On June 12, 1886, Ludwig was deposed and the next day he was found dead in waist-deep water in Lake Starnberg. The death was labeled a suicide by drowning, but many suspect he was murdered. Ludwig’s body was interred in Munich’s St. Michael’s Church and his heart placed in an urn in a chapel in the Bavarian town of Altötting.

After Ludwig’s death, his castle was named “Neuschwanstein” (New Swan Stone) and its few completed rooms, some decorated with frescoes representing Wagner’s operas, were opened to a paying public. Today, the king once derided as “Mad Ludwig” is beloved by Bavarians, in part because of the enormous popularity of his castle. Every day in the summer, about 6,0


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By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, https://www.youarecurrent.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Share.

King Ludwig’s fairy tale castle

0
Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

If the castle in the picture looks familiar, but you have never been to Germany, the explanation is not a prior life as a Bavarian prince. The castle, built by an eccentric king deposed for claimed insanity, is the model for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castles.

Ludwig II became king of Bavaria in 1864 at age 18. Shy and aloof, Ludwig loved theatre and the operas of Richard Wagner, whose career he rescued. Ludwig particularly admired tales of medieval kings in fairy tale castles. So in 1869, relying on his personal fortune, he began building a refuge in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to match his fantasies. Conceived by a set designer, the plans envisioned a 65,000-square-foot castle with Romanesque towers and 200 lavishly appointed rooms.

By 1885, only about 15 rooms had been completed, including a throneless throne room inspired by Turkey’s Hagia Sophia. Because of Ludwig’s ever more grandiose ideas, construction costs were already double the original budget and Ludwig was deeply in debt. Some of the extra costs were incurred installing the latest technology, including electric bells to summon the staff.

After Ludwig had stayed in his unfinished castle about six months, his ministers had him declared insane. The evidence included little more than his obvious obsession with the castle. On June 12, 1886, Ludwig was deposed and the next day he was found dead in waist-deep water in Lake Starnberg. The death was labeled a suicide by drowning, but many suspect he was murdered. Ludwig’s body was interred in Munich’s St. Michael’s Church and his heart placed in an urn in a chapel in the Bavarian town of Altötting.

After Ludwig’s death, his castle was named “Neuschwanstein” (New Swan Stone) and its few completed rooms, some decorated with frescoes representing Wagner’s operas, were opened to a paying public. Today, the king once derided as “Mad Ludwig” is beloved by Bavarians, in part because of the enormous popularity of his castle. Every day in the summer, about 6,0


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Stay CURRENT with our daily newsletter (M-F) and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox for free!

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By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, https://www.youarecurrent.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Share.

King Ludwig’s fairy tale castle

0
Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

Southwestern view of Neuschwanstein (Photo by Don Knebel.)

If the castle in the picture looks familiar, but you have never been to Germany, the explanation is not a prior life as a Bavarian prince. The castle, built by an eccentric king deposed for claimed insanity, is the model for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castles.

Ludwig II became king of Bavaria in 1864 at age 18. Shy and aloof, Ludwig loved theatre and the operas of Richard Wagner, whose career he rescued. Ludwig particularly admired tales of medieval kings in fairy tale castles. So in 1869, relying on his personal fortune, he began building a refuge in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to match his fantasies. Conceived by a set designer, the plans envisioned a 65,000-square-foot castle with Romanesque towers and 200 lavishly appointed rooms.

By 1885, only about 15 rooms had been completed, including a throneless throne room inspired by Turkey’s Hagia Sophia. Because of Ludwig’s ever more grandiose ideas, construction costs were already double the original budget and Ludwig was deeply in debt. Some of the extra costs were incurred installing the latest technology, including electric bells to summon the staff.

After Ludwig had stayed in his unfinished castle about six months, his ministers had him declared insane. The evidence included little more than his obvious obsession with the castle. On June 12, 1886, Ludwig was deposed and the next day he was found dead in waist-deep water in Lake Starnberg. The death was labeled a suicide by drowning, but many suspect he was murdered. Ludwig’s body was interred in Munich’s St. Michael’s Church and his heart placed in an urn in a chapel in the Bavarian town of Altötting.

After Ludwig’s death, his castle was named “Neuschwanstein” (New Swan Stone) and its few completed rooms, some decorated with frescoes representing Wagner’s operas, were opened to a paying public. Today, the king once derided as “Mad Ludwig” is beloved by Bavarians, in part because of the enormous popularity of his castle. Every day in the summer, about 6,0


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Stay CURRENT with our daily newsletter (M-F) and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox for free!

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By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, https://www.youarecurrent.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Share.