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King Ludwig II of Bavaria


Ludwig II was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the »Bayreuther Festspielhaus« theatre was a donation from the King, for example. He also had a passion for buildings and castles, among others he created the Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee Castles.



August 25: Prince Ludwig is born as the first son of Crown Prince Maximilian and his consort Marie in "Nymphenburg Castle" on the birthday and name day of his grandfather King Ludwig the First.



March 20: Ludwig I abdicates in favour of his son Maximilian. By this Ludwig II becomes crown prince. April 27: Ludwig's brother Otto is born



February 2: For the first time crown prince Ludwig watches Wagner’s „Lohengrin&#8221 in the Royal National Theatre in Munich, and Wagner’s „Thannhäuser&#8221 on December 22.



March 10: Death of King Maximilian II. - Ludwig is proclaimed King and swears the oath on the constitution on March 11.

May 4: First meeting with Wagner in his Munich residence

October 18: Conclusion of a contract between the crown office and Wagner on the completion of the „Ring Of The Nibelung” within three years, and the king’s title to this work.

November 26: Ludwig decides the construction of a festival theatre in Munich for the performance of Wagner’s „Ring Of The Nibelung”

December 29: At an audience the architect Gottfried Semper explains his project of a festival theatre on the "Isar Heights" to the King.



November 11 -18: Wagner visits Ludwig II in Hohenschwangau Castle.

November 21: The arrival of the swan knight "Lohengrin" is represented on lake Alpsee.

December 10: Wagner has to leave Munich



February 28: Austria prepares mobilization

March 29: Prussia mobilizes partly

June 16: The German League is attacked and decides the war against Prussia

July 3: After the defeat of "Königgrätz" the German League dissolved

August 22: The representatives of Bavaria conclude the peace treaty with Prussia and a defence alliance saying that in the case of war the Bavarian army will be under the supreme command of Prussia, all this without the guarantees of sovereignty claimed by the king.



January 22: Ludwig’s engagement with Sophie, daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria

May 31 – June 3: Journey of the king to the "Wartburg" in Eisenach

June 20 – 29: Ludwig II travels to the world exhibition in Paris as "Count of Berg". Makes a trip to Compiègne and visits Pierrefonds Castle nearby (July 24).

October 10: The breaking up of Ludwig’s engagement with Sophie is publicly announced



April 18: The king’s first conception of a ‘reconstruction’ of the ruin called Vorderhohenschwangau

May 13: Letter of Ludwig to Wagner containing the draft of the "New Castle Hohenschwangau", that is "Neuschwanstein".

December 5: Idea of a new Versailles near Linderhof with the code name of »Meicost-Ettal«, a series of projects for this will be presented by Georg Dollmann up to 1873 ( year of the purchase of the "Herreninsel" in lake Chiemsee).



September 5: Laying of the foundation stone for the "New Castle of Hohenschwangau" - Neuschwanstein - , after the plans of Eduard Riedel.



July 15: The Council of Ministers requests the King to sign the mobilization order against France

July 16: Ludwig orders mobilization, simultaneously with a last attempt of peace negotiations of Bray-Steinburg

July 19: France declares war on Prussia

September 13: Ludwig informs Bismarck of his willingness to conclude a constitutional alliance



January 18: King William II of Prussia is proclaimed the first German emperor in Versailles



May 22: The foundation stone for the Bayreuth festival theatre is laid



September 25: Prussia’s first payments from the "Welf fund" go to the royal treasury

September 26: Purchase of the "Herreninsel" in lake Chiemsee, where the New Versailles (Herrenchiemsee Castle) planned by Dolman will be created



May 27: The mental disorder of Ludwig’s brother Otto becomes evident



July 13: The King gives orders for the plan of a throne room in Neuschwanstein



The ministry official Ludwig von Bürkel is installed in the function of royal secretary instead of councellor Lorenz von Düflipp, who already in 1876 pointed to a threatening insolvency of the treasury in face of the many construction programmes of the King.



December 12: First visit of Ludwig II in Neuschwanstein, the shell of the unfinished castle is being roofed in 1880



May 30 – June 6: The actor Josef Kainz visits Linderhof and makes outings together with Ludwig

June 27 – July 14: Ludwig and Josef Kainz travel to Switzerland to follow the footsteps of Wilhelm Tell



February 13: Wagner dies in Venice

February 18: Wagner‘s funeral in Bayreuth

March 26 – April 13: Performance of the complete works of Richard Wagner at the royal theatre in Munich in the chronological order of their creation



May 16: Purchase of the ruin of Falkenstein Castle

May 27 – June 8: Ludwig lives in his apartments now completely furnished in Neuschwanstein Castle

June 1: The serious state of the totally indebted treasury is relieved by a bank loan of 7 mio. Mark negotiated by the minister of finance Emil von Riedel. The king however uses it at once for new building projects (plans for Falkenstein Castle, the Hubertus Pavilion near Linderhof, a new bedroom in Linderhof, a Moorish room in Neuschwanstein and more). The successors of the resigned royal secretary Bürkel will be no longer able to rehabilitate the wrecked treasury.



August 29: Arguments about the treasury of the cabinet which is indebted with 14 mio. Mark. Ludwig who wants to continue his building projects asks the minister of finance, Emil von Riedel, for an appropriate settlement of his finances.

September 7 – 16: Ludwig II lives for the first and last time in Herrenchiemsee Castle

October 15: Queen Mother Marie asked to visit Neuschwanstein on the occasion of her 60th birthday



January 26: Ludwig II threatens the Minister of the Interior Baron Max von Feilitzsch, to commit suicide or to leave the country if the government „lay hands on royal property”. Supposedly there was the risk that the creditors of the cabinet treasury which was threatened by bankruptcy might satisfy their claims by taking hold of the Royal Castles.

June 8: The expert certification of professor Bernhard von Gudden and three more doctors declares Ludwig II „mentally disordered” and mad, „incurable &#8221, and unable to govern for life.

June 9: Legal incapacitation of the King Ludwig II due to the medical bulletin

June 10: The regency is taken over by Prince Luitpold, an uncle of the King. Ludwig II orders the state commission which wants to fetch him to be arrested.

June 11: Bismarck advises Ludwig to show himself to the people in Munich and to represent his interests himself at the Bavarian parliament

June 12: A second state commission brings the King from Neuschwanstein to Berg Castle where he is under the control of Gudden

June 13: Ludwig comes to death with Gudden in lake Starnberger See

June 19: Funeral procession through Munich and burial in the crypt of St Michael’s Church

August 1: The Castles Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee are opened to the public

August 16: The urn with Ludwig’s heart is taken to the chapel of Grace in Altötting


Biography according to Petzet  


Source: Official site of Bavarian Castles, Gardens and Lakes.