Good evening to you. I finished a drawing I wanted to share with you and in the course of trying to find music to accompany it, I was lead to new and old music by one of my favorite artists, Enya!
One of my all-time favorites is this one!
Every time I hear this I remember my trip to one of King Ludwig II’s finest castles, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. I am riding on a bus with my ex-husband and his family and I was listening to this song. There was a lot of snow and it was very cold the day we went there but I didn’t care! It was a winter wonderland and just magical! I will always remember being haunted when I looked at the empty ballroom, the Hall of Singers, thinking he was there yet, waiting for a dance partner…watching me. Yes, I have always had quite the imagination! He was quite handsome this Swan King and supposedly quite charming in his day. I think I was taken with him back then because well he was considered eccentric (declared insane) and he died tragically (suicide or was it murder?!). Hello cold case files!!!
The largest room of the palace by area is the Hall of the Singers, followed by the Throne Hall. The 27-by-10-metre (89 by 33 ft) Hall of the Singers is located in the eastern, court-side wing of the Palas, in the fourth floor above the king’s lodgings. It is designed as an amalgamation of two rooms of the Wartburg: The Hall of the Singers and the Ballroom. It was one of the king’s favorite projects for his palace. The rectangular room was decorated with themes from Lohengrin and Parzival. Its longer side is terminated by a gallery that is crowned by a tribune, modelled after the Wartburg. The eastern narrow side is terminated by a stage that is structured by arcades and known as the Sängerlaube. The Hall of the Singers was never designed for court festivities of the reclusive king. Rather, like the Throne Hall it served as a walkable monument in which the culture of knights and courtly love of the Middle Ages was represented. The first performance in this hall took place in 1933: A concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s death.
On the afternoon of the next day, 13 June 1886, Dr. Gudden accompanied Ludwig on a stroll in the grounds of the castle. They were accompanied by two attendants. On their return Gudden expressed optimism to other doctors concerning the treatment of his royal patient. Following dinner, at around 6 PM, Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a further walk, this time through the Schloß Berg parkland along the shore of Lake Starnberg. Gudden agreed; the walk may even have been his suggestion, and he told the aides not to accompany them. His words were ambiguous (Es darf kein Pfleger mitgehen, “No attendant may come along”) and whether they were meant to follow at a discreet distance is not clear. The two men were last seen at about 6:30 PM; they were due back at 8 PM but never returned. After searches were made for more than two hours by the entire castle staff in a gale with heavy rain, at 10:30 PM that night, the bodies of both the King and von Gudden were found, head and shoulders above the shallow water near the shore. The King’s watch had stopped at 6:54. Gendarmes patrolling the park had heard and seen nothing.
Ludwig’s death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Ludwig was a very strong swimmer in his youth, the water was approximately waist-deep where his body was found, and he had not expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis. Gudden’s body showed blows to the head and neck and signs of strangulation, leading to the suspicion that he was strangled although there is no more evidence to prove this.
Many hold that Ludwig was murdered by his enemies while attempting to escape from Berg. One account suggests that the king was shot. The King’s personal fisherman, Jakob Lidl (1864–1933), stated, “Three years after the king’s death I was made to swear an oath that I would never say certain things — not to my wife, not on my deathbed, and not to any priest … The state has undertaken to look after my family if anything should happen to me in either peacetime or war.” Lidl kept his oath, at least orally, but left behind notes which were found after his death. According to Lidl, he had hidden behind bushes with his boat, waiting to meet the king, in order to row him out into the lake, where loyalists were waiting to help him escape. “As the king stepped up to his boat and put one foot in it, a shot rang out from the bank, apparently killing him on the spot, for the king fell across the bow of the boat.” However, the autopsy report indicates no scars or wounds found on the body of the dead king; on the other hand, many years later Countess Josephine von Wrba-Kaunitz would show her afternoon tea guests a grey Loden coat with two bullet holes in the back, asserting it was the one Ludwig was wearing. Another theory suggests that Ludwig died of natural causes (such as a heart attack or stroke) brought on by the cool water (12 °C) of the lake during an escape attempt.
Ludwig’s remains were dressed in the regalia of the Order of Saint Hubert, and lay in state in the royal chapel at the Munich Residence Palace. In his right hand he held a posy of white jasmine picked for him by his cousin the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. After an elaborate funeral on 19 June 1886, Ludwig’s remains were interred in the crypt of the Michaelskirche in Munich. His heart, however, does not lie with the rest of his body. Bavarian tradition called for the heart of the king to be placed in a silver urn and sent to the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Mercy) in Altötting, where it was placed beside those of his father and grandfather.
Three years after his death, a small memorial chapel was built overlooking the site and a cross was erected in the lake. A remembrance ceremony is held there each year on 13 June.
The King was succeeded by his brother Otto, but since Otto was considered incapacitated by mental illness due to a “diagnosis” by Dr. Gudden, the king’s uncle Luitpold remained regent. Luitpold maintained the regency until his own death in 1912 at the age of 91. He was succeeded as regent by his eldest son, also named Ludwig. The regency lasted for 13 more months until November 1913, when Regent Ludwig deposed the still-living but still-institutionalized King Otto, and declared himself King Ludwig III of Bavaria. His reign lasted until the end of the World War I, when monarchy in all of Germany came to an end.
The King’s favorite composer Richard Wagner:
I wish you all a good day (Thursday) as most of you will be living in the 8th of September when you get to this lol. The beauty of this medium is dimensional travel is always possible!
When I started to look for music to go with my drawing, this was the first video I found. You will see an image that looks like the circles in my drawing. This is video is sad and I wasn’t going to include it but sometimes we have to face what we have in front of us…what we have done in order to move forward.