Ludwig II (Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm), (25 August 1845 – 13 June 1886) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death. He is sometimes called the Swan King (English) and der Märchenkönig, the Fairy tale King (German). He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke in Swabia. Ludwig spent all the royal revenues on these projects (though not state funds), borrowed extensively, and defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him. This was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation which has been refuted in the meantime. His mysterious demise took place the very next day. Ludwig is generally well-regarded and even revered by many Bavarians today. His legacy of architecture and art includes many of Bavaria’s important tourist attractions.
Ludwig’s death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Ludwig was a very strong swimmer in his youth, the water was approximately waist-deep where his body was found, and he had not expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis. Gudden’s body showed blows to the head and neck and signs of strangulation, leading to the suspicion that he was strangled by Ludwig although there is no evidence to prove this. Many hold that Ludwig was murdered by his enemies while attempting to escape from Berg.
Ludwig’s remains were dressed in the regalia of the Order of Saint Hubert, and lay in state in the royal chapel at the Munich Residence Palace. In his right hand he held a posy of white jasmine picked for him by his cousin the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. After an elaborate funeral on 19 June 1886, Ludwig’s remains were interred in the crypt of the Michaelskirche in Munich. His heart, however, does not lie with the rest of his body. Bavarian tradition called for the heart of the king to be placed in a silver urn and sent to the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Mercy) in Altötting, where it was placed beside those of his father and grandfather.
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— Simon Van Booy
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated