Saturday, 21 October 2017

Other Buildings of King Ludwig II

            In 1872, began construction for a special festival theatre dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, in the town of Bayreuth. A few years later, he watched (alone, with no other public performance) early versions of Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas there.

            Ludwig also outfitted Schachen king's house with an overwhelmingly decorative Arabian style interior, including a replica of the famous Peacock Throne. There are stories, a possibility of truth or not, of luxurious parties with the king sometimes reclining in the role of Turkish sultan while handsome soldiers and stable boys served him as barely clothed dancers. Ludwig selected a unique setting with a view of the Zugspitzmassif for a mountain lodge. The wooden building with its modest exterior hides a hall on the upper floor fitted with oriental splendour. He sought the seclusion of the mountains to celebrate his birthday and his name day in the lavishly. The King's House can only be reached on foot, either from Elmau or Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
            Another planned castle – on the Falkenstein, "robber baron's castle" – was never executed. A painting by Christian Jank shows the building as an even more fairytale version of Neuschwanstein, perched on a rocky cliff. He planned for it to be on the Falkenstein near Pfronten in the Allgäu, a Byzantine palace in the Graswangtal and a Chinese summer palace in the Tyrol. By 1885, demolition for the beginning of the project was underway, and the road to the site had been graded.

            After his his death the Winter Garden, Residenz Palace, Munich was demolished in 1897 because water leaking from the ornamental lake went through the ceiling to the rooms below. Photographs and sketches still record this marvellous creation which included a grotto, a Moorish kiosk, an Indian royal tent, an artificially illuminated rainbow and intermittent moonlight.

            Lack of money prevented Ludwig from continuing to build ongoing or new buildings, and somewhere he had to find money. Everything was sacrificed to his fixation for his buildings. He made an entry that “I must build or die.”[i] All funds for the buildings had come from Ludwig’s private income was ignored. The money he gave to Wagner came from Ludwig’s Privy Purse, as there was no grant from the government. With the combination of spending money on both, his officials turned against him. They accused him of being incapable to carry out his duties as King, and soon the Bavarian government was discussing abdication and Regency.

[i]               “The king of hearts ludwig II of bavaria,” This story published 04/19/99, Written by Ursula Grosser Dixon,