Ludwig II. Otto Friedrich Wilhelm König von Bayern
(25.08.1845 - 13.06.1886)
place of birth:  München, Schloss Nymphenburg, Bayern  (Bavaria)
Königreich Bayern:  Seine Majestät der König


Ludwig II. followed his father Maximilian II. as King of Bavaria, his controversial reign lasting from 1864 until his suspicious suicide in 1886. Ludwig spent a great deal of his childhood at the family castle near Füssen, Hohenschwangau, but he was never close to his parents. During his reign, the Kingdom of Bavaria sided with Vienna as Austria went to war with Prussian in 1866. Austria's defeat resulted in Ludwig having to accept a mutual defense treaty with Prussia, a pact which culminated in Bavarian troops being called upon to fight again three years later, only this time as Prussia's ally in battle versus the French. Prussia's victory in 1871 emboldened them to conclude efforts to unify the minor German kingdoms and principalities under one flag and one ruler, Ludwig's uncle Kaiser Wilhelm I. Although Ludwig officially endorsed the new Empire, he privately was very unhappy and indeed sent his uncle Luitpold to attend the crowning ceremony in Versailles. The Bavarian delegates were nonetheless able to win significant concessions, allowing them to retain control of their own Army, the diplomatic corps, post office, and railways. 

King Ludwig II. thereafter withdrew from the political scene and devoted himself to what became perhaps his greatest legacy: the extravagant pet project castles, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Herrenchiemsee. He was intimately involved in all phases of the planning and construction of hese monuments, which earned him the nickname "The Fairy Tale King." His obsession also stood as evidence to some that he had severe mental problems, and they preferred the moniker of "Mad King Ludwig." After he was deposed due to unproven mental issues, Luitpold took over as Prinzregent and Ludwig soon thereafter committed suicide. He had been held captive under the watchful eye of his personal physician at Schloss Berg, along the banks of Lake Starnberg. Both he and his doctor were found dead in the shallow waters near the lake's shore the day after Ludwig II. had been officially deposed.


König von Bayern  10.03.1864  -  13.06.1886