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Architect Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm II - Germany Castles
Architect Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm II of Bavaria
Ludwig is the son of Maria of Prussia and King Maximillian of Bavaria. He was born in the summer Palace of Nymphenburg in Munich, Germany on August 25th, 1845. In the architectural field he could be called "The King of Baroque."
The Swan King
He is sometimes called the Swan King. Many of his carriages are designed with swans. He spent much of his time as a youth in a castle called Hohenschwantau on Swan Lake. He named one of his creations Neushwanstein which means “new swan on the rock.” It is apparent that he liked swans so the name is appropriate.
Nymphenburg summer palace
The awe inspiring Nymphenburg summer palace, where Ludwig II was born, was constructed from the years 1664 to 1826. The central pavilion took eleven years from 1664 to 1675 to complete. Six architects helped in the building of the of this massive complex that is called Nymphenburg Castle today.
Nymphenberg Castle Architects:
- Agustino Barelli 1664 - 1975
- Enrico Zucalli and Giovanni Antonio 1701 - ?
- Joseph Effner 1716 - ?
- Charles Theodore 1795 - ?
- Leon Von Klenze 1826 - ?
Baroque Architectural design
This palace includes; an inner southern pavilion which holds the dining room and queen’s bedroom, the queen’s bedroom is where Ludwig II was born, a south wing which is the stables, an inner north pavilion which is the chapel, and a north wing which is the concert hall, gardens and more. It is the designed the Baroque architectural style, later had Rococo and Neo-classical designs added. It is decorated with fresco ceilings by famous painters and intricate tapestries from Belgium and other places. This is where Ludwig would visit his grandparents and possibly spend summers.
A young Ludwig
Can you imagine him as a two year old running, his small shoes crinkling the rushes, as he followed his father or grandfather from room to room. Can’t you just hear him asking his mother, grandmother or nurse to tell him again the story of the frescos. This castle-palace is a beautiful place to fall in love with architecture and design.
There is much to be done in keeping this beautiful palace in repair. It is possible that, a small child, called Ludwig followed crafters from place to place watching and learning as they kept this awesome building in repair. Eventually all those experiences allowing him to realize that he loved building.
It could have been there in the concert hall, in the north wing, of Nymphenburg where he fell in love with theater and operas which would play such a big part in his architecture.
In 1863 Ludwig II began building Linderhof Castle as his private retreat. This castle was completed just prior to his death in 1886 making it twenty-three years in the making. It is constructed in the second Rococo period architectural style. It has ten room and is the smallest of the castles build by Ludwig. It had four waiting rooms for servants, a kitchen, a dining room, with a table for one, mounted on a platform that was lowered into the kitchen like a dumbwaiter, a hall of mirrors, a tapestry chamber, an audience chamber and a bed chamber for his personal use. Linderhof was decorated in the royal French design.
King of Bavaria
March 10, 1864 Ludwig at the age of eighteen became the King of Bavaria. He also inherited his Father’s money. He did not like politics or the responsibilities that came with begin King. He hid from his duties by redesigning Linderhof Castle and began the process of building two more of the three castles if which he was the architect.
After a visit to Wartburg and Chateau de Pierrefonds in 1867 Ludwig was inspired to build another private refuge for himself in homage to Richard Wagner. This castle-palace was in the Rococo and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. Neuschwanstein castle has fifteen rooms, although more were planned. The rooms are the hall of singers, throne room, drawing room, study room, dining room, bedchambers and more. To get this magical castle to its current conditions it took eighteen years and 14 million marks which is equivalent to $24,760,540.00 in US dollar. This castle has become the most popular of Ludwig’s castles since Walt Disney used its design to create castles for the fairy tale castles for “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella” in his parks. Ludwig only spent 172 days in this theatrical setting and never had the opportunity to have his own personal performance of one of his favorite operas which was his plan.
In 1873 King Ludwig II purchased the island, Herreninsel, and began building the largest of his castle-palaces Herrenchiemsee Castle, which was called the “Old Palace.” The island originally held the Benedictine Abbey Monastery. Ludwig took his inspiration from the French Versailles and built this complex in the Baroque and Neo-Baroque architectural styles. This palace was designed with seventy rooms and in the shape of a “W.” Only fifty of the rooms have been completed and the building is currently used as the royal buildings. Thirteen years from 1873 to 1886 and 16,579,674 marks or $29,322,977.00 US dollars were used in the building of this palace.
Architecture influenced by Operas
Inside each of these castle-palaces built by Ludwig is the influence of his beloved operas; “Tannhauser and Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner. Ludwig was twenty year old when he met the older German composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig read Romantic literature, loved the theater and operas. My belief is that this love was nurtured in the concert hall of Nymphenburg.
Who he was vs. What he did
On June 13th 1886 this young Architect King died a mysterious death. The King and Dr. von Gudden were found dead in shallow water in Lake Starnberg in Bavaria after the King was declared paranoid and unfit to rule. The neglect to his kingdom was his downfall, but his architecture brings great revenue to what was his kingdom to this day.