Schloss Neuschwanstein : A King’s Legacy to the Culturally Unique People of Bavaria

Literatures written about Schloss Neuschwanstein describe it as the legacy of a king who kept the people of Bavaria proud of their unique cultural heritage. While millions of tourists flock to Germany every year, they are mostly headed to Bavaria, where the country’s other facet as a traditionally idyllic country has not been forgotten. Yet was King Ludwig II the second truly insane?

Why was King Ludwig II Came to be Known as the “Mad King”

King Ludwig II, the 18th century Bavarian monarch under whose rule Bavaria was relegated as an autonomous state of the German Empire, died under mysterious circumstances, and at the same time disgraced as a Mad King. Yet had this Bavarian monarch lived in the 21st century, his psychiatrist would have helped him navigate his way out of his depression and his reclusive nature.

Unfortunately, this was not the case as Prince Luitpold, who later became Ludwig II’s successor as King of Bavaria, had commissioned a famous German psychiatrist named Bernhard von Gudden, not to help Ludwig II but to provide a psychiatric assessment of the monarch’s progressive mental health issues. It came to a point when King Ludwig II began to build a dream world in the still unfinished Schloss Neuschwanstein.

Frustrated by the lack of funding to complete his fairy tale castle, Ludwig II demonstrated behavior of escaping reality by being asleep during the day and then staying awake all night. That way, no one would bother him when he retreated to his fantasy world in which he is a real king and sometimes one of the heroes of famous Wagnerian arias. Thereafter, based on von Gudden’s analysis of eyewitness reports about King Ludwig II’s behaviors, he declared the monarch as mentally incapable of ruling the kingdom.

Although the psychiatrist’s assessment was instrumental in getting the king imprisoned, he and the King Ludwig II met their untimely demise not long after the arrest was made. Their lifeless bodies were later found floating in the lake, of which the actual cause of how and why they drowned remains a mystery up to now.

What Makes Bavaria Attractive to Tourists?

König Ludwig II. Schloss Neuschwanstein, the Bavarian Alps, the centuries old towns, colorful storybook-like villages, the well-preserved medieval castles and Gothic churches, the annual Oktoberfest in Munich-Bayern, authentic Munich beer, and people wearing traditional costumes like dirndl for women and lederhosen (leather breeches) for men are among the up main attractions of Bavaria.

Not to forget that the Bavarian Alps is home to many the winter sports resorts, where hiking and biking trails are also accessible While all these images as are deemed as characteristically German, they are actually part of Bavaria’s identity, heritage and cultural traditions.

The richness and authenticity of Bavaria’s centuries old traditions, its commitment to preserve its medieval castles, churches and cobbled streets and the continuing assertion of its identity as a culturally different region, has actually enabled Bavaria to achieve a complete turnabout from being a poor state into becoming the second richest in Germany.

Traditional but Not Outdated

In keeping with King Ludwig II’s legacy, Bavaria has kept up with technological advancements to make visitors fully enjoy their stay.
Mentally ill or not, Bavarians still recognize King Ludwig II as their hero king, as he provided them with the means of living out a dream world. Just like King Ludwig Ii’s vision of Schloss Neuschwanstein, medieval elements and traditions, combine with emerging technologies that enhance Bavaria’s traditional image amidst a modern world.