Alpine foothills near Füssen

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An aerial view of Neuschwanstein Castle, near F?ssen, Bavaria, seen on July 1, 2007. The castle was completed in 1886, and was opened to the public only seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II. Ludwig himself was only able to live in the castle for a total of 172 days. Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images

?Mad? King Ludwig II

He was gay, wildly eccentric and built fairytale castles that today rate as Germany’s leading tourist attractions ? but more than a century ago “Mad King” Ludwig II of Bavaria was declared insane, deposed and three days later his corpse was found floating in a lake south of Munich.

Even before he died, the king had already become something of a legend.?“I want?to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others,? Ludwig once told his governess, and it is this mysterious element that still fascinates people today.

People have long believed that Bavarian King Ludwig II, the man responsible for building the famous castle of Neuschwanstein, was mentally ill. Indeed, he was dethroned for that very reason. But a recent study casts doubt on that diagnosis.

?Mad? King Ludwig II of Bavaria is an alluring and enigmatic figure. This crazed king was responsible for building some of the most impressive castles in Europe.

The reason that the ?Fairytale King? is so interesting is as he?s surrounded in real mystery. There are so many unanswered questions about the life of King Ludwig.

  • Was he murdered, or did he commit suicide?
  • Why was he obsessed with Medieval fantasy and fairytales?
  • What was his relationship with Wagner?
  • What inspired his phenomenal array of fairytale castles (including Neuschwanstein)?
  • Finally (and perhaps most importantly!) was ?Mad? King Ludwig actually insane ? or was he merely eccentric, and branded ?mad? by those who wished to bring him down?

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