King Ludwig II (1845-1886)
Ludwig II was born on August 25, 1845 in Nymphenburg Castle outside of Munich. The son of King Maximillian II and Queen Marie developed a love of theater and music early in his life. In 1864, he ascended the Bavarian throne following the death of King Max. During his reign, Bavaria fought the Seven Weeks War along side Austria against Prussia. Bavarian independence was lost with a victorious Prussia. During the Franco-Prussian War, Ludwig sent troops to aid Prussia in a war against France. During this war, Ludwig II withdrew from society and into a world of his own.
Ludwig II is known for the incredible castles he had built during his time on the throne. Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee are castles he had built. Linderhof, considered Ludwig's favorite, was the only castle completed. Ludwig's castles displayed beauty and technology. Castles with elevators, electricity, central heating, and hot and cold water were some of the technologies. Artificial grottos, halls of mirrors, and breathtaking gardens could be found in the different castles.
Along with the castles, Ludwig is famous for claims of insanity and a disputed death. Homosexuality and insanity made the Bavarian government distrust Ludwig II. In 1886, Bernhard von Grudden declared him legally insane. Ludwig II was sent to Castle Berg on Lake Starnberg. He was constantly spied on in his quarters, and there was no chance of escape. Three days after his arrival, Ludwig II and von Grudden were found drowned in Lake Starnberg. Today, it still isn't known whether this was suicide, murder, or an attempted escape.