Ludwig II - the Fairy Tale King - was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his mysterious death. He succeeded to the throne aged 18. Two years later Bavaria was effectively absorbed into the German Empire. Ludwig remained King of Bavaria, but largely ignored such state affairs as remained to Bavaria in favor of extravagant artistic and architectural projects. He commissioned the construction of two lavish palaces and the Neuschwanstein Castle, and was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig spent the royal revenues (but not state funds) on these projects, borrowed extensively, and defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him. This was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation which has since been refuted, and this led to his mysterious death. Was it suicide, an accident or a murder? Ludwig is well-regarded and even revered by many Bavarians today. His legacy of architecture and art includes many of Bavaria's important tourist attractions. Illustrated.
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