Thursday, July 01, 2004

Mad Ludwig

Ludwig II, the king of Bavaria, (German website by the Bavarian state) was just one in a line of crazy Wittelsbach monarchs who went off on strange tangents, leaving the kingdom to be run by surrogates. Whereas his father was forced to abdicate because of his affair with American-born actress Lola Montez, "mad Ludwig" built extravagant castles and palaces. The most elaborate was the mountain-top castle Neuschwanstein.

A German professor, examining records of Ludwig, has diagnosed him with "compulsive castle-building syndrome".
[Ludwig] squandered a royal fortune due to a particular form of megalomania, according to Professor Heinz Häfner, founder of the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim, a compulsion to build castle after castle after castle. He came to this conclusion upon studying the secret archives of Prince Franz of Bavaria, a descendant of King Ludwig ... The king would get a craving to build, turn all restless and excited, and could only be calmed by drawing up plans and visiting the construction site. After a period of satisfaction, the cycle would start all over again.


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