King Ludwig II

It is only 68 kilometres from Munich to Murnau am Staffelsee, but the route drags on with a horse-drawn carriage. When King Ludwig II was on the way to his favourite castle at Linderhof, he often took a break in the idyllic lakeside town.

The town in the middle of the Blue Land with its clear lakes and free view of the mountain backdrop on the horizon appealed to the king, long before famous painters such as Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter and Alexej Jawlensky sought inspiration here and found the way to Expressionism.

Ludwig II usually stopped off for refreshments at the present-day Hotel Post, which was lovingly restored a few years ago and still reminds guests of its famous regular guest to this day.

The monarch spent many hours here, not least also with important projects: in the guest parlour he conducted negotiations about the planned construction of a palace similar to the Palace of Versailles on the island of Wörth in the Staffelsee, where his parents had celebrated their wedding anniversary in the shade of a 1,000-year-old lime tree in many years. But the owner of the island did not want to sell and the ministers did not want to fork out any money. So this dream from the fairy tale king remained unfulfilled.

The disappointment about that was surely just as great with Postmaster Augustin Bayerlacher as with the king himself, because Bayerlacher was among the monarch’s most ardent admirers. Bayerlacher immortalised his loyalty in a monument – the first Ludwig monument in Germany, which he had built after the death of the tragic regent. The nearly two-metre-high bust made of Carrara marble, which is flanked against the background of a towering rock formation by two bronze lions, found its place on Bayerlacher’s private property on Kohlgruber Straße. About 18,000 thousand visitors arrived for the inauguration in 1894 – more than on a day of the Passion Play in Oberammergau at that time.

The local club for the preservation of traditional alpine costumes honouring King Ludwig II, known as “Gebirgstrachten-Erhaltungsverein König Ludwig II.”, celebrates a festival every year on the weekend of his birth (his birthday is on 25 August). After an open-air concert in front of the town hall, the festive procession meanders through Murnau’s streets towards the monument, where a prologue is held in honour of the king and a serenade is played before everyone meets for a folkloric evening.