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Monday! A good day for possibly murdered-and-not mad kings, castles, and Wagner.

Itzl AlertingAs you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
We have split up the publishing duties, but we welcome everyone in IAN to do daily diaries for the group!  Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!

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Ludwig II
King Ludwig II, 1845-1886
Ludwig II, king of Bavaria, was primarily known for two things: His absolutely glorious castle at Neuschwanstein, and for being "mad." But he actually built FOUR castles, was possibly NOT insane, and may have been murdered. Also, he may have been gay, which I hadn't known prior to today. And he loved Wagner.
Schloss Neuschwanstein
Schloss Neuschwanstein

He became king at a very young age (19) upon the death of his father, Maximilian II. He was briefly engaged, but never married.

Sophie and Ludwig
Ludwig and his fiancee, Duchess Sophie, in 1867.
Bavaria’s “Mad King Ludwig”, famed for the construction of the fairy-tale castle at Neuschwanstein, may not have been insane after all, a review of his case has concluded.
Led by Doctor Heinz Hafner, a leading German psychiatrist, the team behind the review ploughed through the archive material on Ludwig’s alleged insanity and concluded “the psychiatric assessment was incorrect in form and substance.”

The study will add to the mystery surrounding the demise of King Ludwig as it puts its weight behind the conspiracy theory that the king was the victim of a carefully orchestrated coup, organised by family members hungry for power and embarrassed by Ludwig’s debts and rampant rumours of his alleged homosexuality.


Two very strange things about the death of King Ludwig: He died three days after he was deposed, allegedly by drowning. However, he was reputedly a very strong swimmer, and no water was found in his lungs. Also peculiar: the body of the psychiatrist who declared Ludwig unfit to rule was also found in the pond. He showed signs of being attacked.

A further strange twist:

Now, 111 years after the king's death, new evidence has surfaced which suggests that the builder of Neuschwanstein castle and many other bizarrely romantic architectural follies was murdered. The details are convincing enough to increase calls for the House of Wittelsbach, King Ludwig's family, to allow his body to be exhumed from its tomb in St Michael's Church in Munich to enable a new and conclusive post-mortem examination to be conducted.

The most intriguing new material to support the murder theory has come from a 60-year-old Munich banker called Detlev Utermöhle. In a sworn affidavit issued earlier this month, Mr Utermöhle recalled a scene from his childhood which he insists he remembers vividly.

As a 10-year-old, he and his mother were invited for afternoon coffee and cakes by a Countess Josephine von Wrba-Kaunitz, who looked after some of the Wittelsbach family's assets. Mr Utermöhle recalled how the countess gathered her guests, telling them in a hushed tone: "Now you will find out the truth about Ludwig's death without his family knowing. I will show you all the coat he wore on the day he died." The countess opened a chest and pulled out a grey Loden coat. Mr Utermöhle insists in his statement that he saw "two bullet holes in its back" and says his mother, who has since died, left him a written account of what they saw.

The family refuses to exhume his body.


Gugelmänner Secret society
On June 6, 2006, members of the secret society, in black robes, place a cross at the site of Ludwig's death
Even today, more than 125 years after his death, people insist that he was murdered.
The Guglmänner are a Bavarian secret society who identify themselves as guardians of the monarchy and who fervently believe that the eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria was assassinated. Ludwig who reigned from 10 March 1864 to 13 June 1886 was deposed from his throne on the official basis that he was mentally ill and so unable to rule. He was found dead by the shore of Lake Starnberg with the official ruling being suicide from drowning but this ruling has been brought into question by new information such as the accounts of Ludwig’s personal fisherman Jakob Lidl (1984-1933) who witnessed Ludwig being shot. Whatever the real cause of Ludwig’s death it is still shrouded in mystery and controversy in equal measures and the Guglmänner still champion what they believe to be the true account of Ludwig’s cause of death.

In public on the anniversary of the death of King Ludwig II, the Guglmänner follow a tradition inspired by the funeral rites of Bavarian kings and form processions reminiscent to that of the traditions of Spanish Easter processions. The Guglmänner wear distinctive black monk’s robes with a hood that obscures the face completely called the “Gugl” (pronounced with a long “U”) and chant “Media vita in morte sumus” which translates: “In the midst of life we are embraced by death.”

Linderhof Palace
Linderhof Palace
Ludwig liked solitude, and loved the music of Richard Wagner. Linderhof, the smallest castle, was the only one finished before his death, and the one where he spent the most time. It had only ten rooms, and four of those rooms were for servants. The dining room was designed to seat one person: the king. There was an absolutely fabulous grotto, that used electric colored lights (in the 19th century!)
Grotto at Linderhof
The grotto
A wonderful photo diary

Happy Monday!

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