may I take you on a little excursion?
Wagner was financially supported by King Ludwig II. of Bavaria, the famous "fairytale king". Without the king, Wagner would never have been able to write all his music.
King Ludwig II. was a very idealistic man, deeply involved in the arts and an admirer of everything beautiful, especially the beauty of nature. He used to speak to trees (a Druid?) and especially loved the Alpine wilderness. He erected three castles in some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Bavarian Alps, all of which are magnets for tourists from the world over up to the present day. Neuschwanstein castle has lots of stunning murals inside depicting incidents from the Nibelung Saga.
Unfortunately, Ludwig became more and more eccentric later on and the government found it difficult to deal with him, so they dethroned and arrested him on the pretext of a mental illness. Just one day later, the king found his death in lake Starnberger See in 1886 at the age of 40.
The circumstances of his death remain unknown to the present day and life and death of king Ludwig II. form one of the most fascinating and mysterious facets of Bavarian history. He remains the most famous of all the kings of Bavaria and he is still held in high regard by the people of the Alpine area.
On the evening of his birthday, August 25, the people of the mountain village of Oberammergau still light fires on several surrounding mountain summits in his memory.
Auf den Bergen wohnt die Freiheit
auf den Bergen ist es schön
wo des König Ludwigs Zweiten
alle seine Schlösser steh'n.
On the mountains there is freedom
on the mountains there is beauty
where King Ludwig the Second's
all his castles stand.
(The King Ludwig Song - Bavarian traditional)