"Da Kini" in his youth.
Ludwig the Second, born Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach was king of Bavaria
from 1863 to 1885, and the last king to rule it as an independent state.
He was famously eccentric and built many of the most beautiful castles in Bavaria, the most famous of which is Neuschwanstein
. He enjoyed myths and legends and Wagnerian opera
, which earned him the nickname "Märchenkönig" ("fairy-tale king"). However, the king's well-known eccentricity also brought him the less flattering nicknames "the crazy king" or "Mad King Ludwig".
It was largely Ludwig's patronage that allowed Richard Wagner
to create his famous operas detached from financial concerns.
But he is also known for his very mysterious death - he and his personal physician were found dead, floating in a lake after failing to return from a walk by the banks. There is Wild Mass Guessing
and Conspiracy Theories
galore on how this supposedly happened.
Works that feature Ludwig II of Bavaria:
- Ludwig II (1922)
- Ludwig by Luschino Visconti (1972)
- Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King, another 1972 film
- Ludwig 1881 (1993)
- Ludwig der Zweite, König von Bayern (1993)
- Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs ("Splendor and End of a King") (1995)
- My Letters from Ludwig: A Novel about King Ludwig II of Bavaria
- Ludwig II
- Ludwig2: The New Musical