|Linderhof Castle, Bavaria, Germany|
The last of the sight-seeing trips we made in Germany was to a castle. Bavaria has some beautiful castles and palaces, and Linderhof has to be one of the prettiest. Ludwig II built it to be his “hunting lodge.” Built in a secluded area, it was the only castle that Ludwig actually finished. He completed it in 1878, eight years before he died. It is small, but lavishly appointed.
I loved walking through part of Bavaria’s history. School history textbooks can be so dry and boring. If one picture is worth a thousand words, being there is worth an entire volume of words.
Ludwig II acceded to the throne at 18 years of age. He knew next to nothing about politics or even about life, though he was popular with the ladies. Ludwig was a a shy man who valued his privacy, and his solitude. While he was alive, no strangers were permitted in his castles. He even had a kind of dumb waiter made so that he did not have to see his servants; the entire table went down into the kitchen where it was filled with food and sent back up to the dining room.
Ludwig reigned during the “German War,” during which his uncle, King of Prussia, conquered Austria and Bavaria and they became his vassals. This triggered his need to have a “fairy tale” life where he was ruler over all he surveyed. In fact, he overspent on his various dwellings, and was being dunned by foreign banks for their money before his death.
One of Ludwig’s fantasy projects was his grotto. He built a lake inside of it, and had a boat shaped like a shell from which he, an audience of one, enjoyed performances of Wagner’s works. Ludwig had brought Wagner to Munich in 1864 when he became king. By 1865, Wagner had gotten into trouble with the government with his anti-semitic remarks, and had to leave.
One of my favorite rooms in the castle is the famous Hall of Mirrors. When you stand there, it seems as if that room goes on into infinity.
The Peacock Room, and the king’s bedroom are two other places that tourists find interesting. You can take a virtual tour of these two rooms without having to fly to Germany.
Our week in Bavaria was going by quickly. We kept busy, but I did wonder from time to time if . . . .