King Ludwig II / Biographical data

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King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Biographical data


Picture: Photograph of Ludwig II

King Ludwig II, historical photograph
by Joseph Albert, 1865
Photo: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung

12 October: Crown Prince Maximilian, oldest son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, marries Princess Marie of Prussia.

25 August: Ludwig is born in Nymphenburg near Munich, the first son of the Crown Prince and Princess.
26 August: The child is baptised Ludwig at the wish of his grandfather King Ludwig I, whose godfather was Louis XVI of France.

20 March: King Ludwig I abdicates. The Crown Prince becomes Maximilian II, King of Bavaria.

1849 – 1863
The royal family spends the summers in Hohenschwangau Castle and the royal villa in Berchtesgaden.

2 February: Crown Prince Ludwig sees the opera "Lohengrin" by Richard Wagner in Munich.
22 December: Crown Prince Ludwig sees a performance of "Tannhäuser" for the first time.

10 March: King Maximilian II dies unexpectedly after a short illness. The Crown Prince becomes Ludwig II, King of Bavaria.
4 May: First meeting of Ludwig II with Richard Wagner in the Munich Residenz.

10 June: Premiere of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" in the Munich Hoftheater.
10 December: Richard Wagner is forced to leave Munich.

The conflict between Austria and Prussia leads to the "German War", as a result of which Bavaria is forced to form an alliance with Prussia.
22 - 24 May: King Ludwig II visits Richard Wagner at the Villa Tribschen near Lucerne.

22 January: King Ludwig II becomes engaged to Sophie, Duchess in Bavaria, a sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
1 - 3 June: Journey to the Wartburg.
20 - 29 July: Visit to the World Exhibition in Paris with a stay in Compiègne and Pierrefonds.
7 October: The engagement is broken off.

21 June: Premiere of Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" in the Munich Nationaltheater.
First plans for Neuschwanstein Castle and the first sketches for a palace modelled on Versailles and later built on the Herreninsel in the Chiemsee.


Picture: King Ludwig II, painting by Gabriel Schachinger, 1887

King Ludwig II, painting by Gabriel
Schachinger, 1887
Photo: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung/G. Schmidt

Completion of the royal apartment in the Munich Residenz.
5 September: The foundation stone of Neuschwanstein is laid.
22 September: "Das Rheingold" by Richard Wagner is first performed in the Munich Hoftheater.

Beginning of the war between Germany and France. The king supports the alliance with Prussia.
26 June: "Die Walküre" by Richard Wagner is performed for the first time in the Munich Hoftheater.
The first plans for Linderhof Palace are drawn up.

Founding of the Second German Empire.
King Ludwig II's conservatory is completed in the Munich Residenz.

6 May: First "private performance" in the Munich Hoftheater.
22 May: The foundation stone of Wagner's Festival Theatre in Bayreuth is laid.

Ludwig II acquires the Herreninsel in the Chiemsee.

21 - 28 August: Ludwig II makes a second journey to Paris, staying in Versailles and Fontainebleau.

24 - 27 August: Ludwig II makes a short trip to Reims, where the French kings were crowned.

In August, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Bayreuth Festival Theatre, Ludwig II sees Richard Wagner's music drama "Der Ring des Nibelungen", but avoids the main performances.


Picture: Photograph of Ludwig II lying in state in the Court Chapel

Photograph of King Ludwig II lying in
state in the Court Chapel, 1886.
Original photograph probably by Valentin
Beganowski or Franz Hanfstaengl
Photo: Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung

21 May: The foundation stone of the new Herrenchiemsee Palace, Ludwig II's long dreamed of "Versailles project", is laid.
Completion of Linderhof Palace; the bedroom is rebuilt from 1884.

13 February: Death of Richard Wagner in Venice.

May: Ludwig II stays for the first time in the completed rooms in Neuschwanstein.
First concrete plans for a new castle on the Falkenstein near Pfronten in the Allgäu.

Plans for a Byzantine palace in the Graswangtal and a Chinese summer palace in the Tyrol.

9 June: Ludwig II is certified insane and declared unfit to govern.
10 June: Prince Luitpold of Bavaria takes over the regency.
12 June: Ludwig II is arrested in Neuschwanstein Castle and interned in Berg Palace.
13 June: The king dies in Lake Starnberg, together with the psychiatrist Dr von Gudden. His body lies in state in Berg Palace and the Hofkapelle (Court Chapel) of the Munich Residenz.
19 June: King Ludwig II of Bavaria is laid to rest in the crypt of St Michael's Church in Munich.

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