What happened on June 13, 1886 to Ludwig of Bavaria,(King Ludwig II of Bavaria) is still a mystery to this day. We know that the king drown in Lake Starnberg. His companion that evening, his psychiatrist Gudden, also drowns in the lake. According to official records, both of the men drown in less than waist deep water that night. How odd! With no water found in his lungs, and another person with him to rescue him, King Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned!
Officially ruled a suicide, there are many people who believe that the king actually was murdered by his adversaries. Some held the belief that it was not in the country’s best interest to keep the king alive. With his eccentrics, growing departure from the public eye, and out of control spending, there was definitely cause for concern over the kings actions.
Suicide is definitely one of the scenarios that could be correct in explaining the late Ludwig of Bavaria’s death. Toward the end of his rule, the king was of course at his most eccentric as of yet state. He continued to furnish and decorate his elaborate castles Linderhof Palace,Neuschwantstein Castle , and Herrenchiemsee , and his spending was out of control. Even though his advisors continued to tell him that he was out of money, the king paid no mind and continued to spend. He spent all of his inherited money and then turned to friends and relatives for more. It has been estimated that he was more than 14 million dollars in debt at the time he died.
It is highly improbable, however that the Ludwig of Bavaria died by suicide in the water. The king was known to be an excellent swimmer. He even had a bathtub the size of a whole room insideHerrenchiemsee, how could he drown in knee deep water.
Was it Colonel Mustard – or King Luitpold perhaps?
Ludwig of Bavaria’s advisors were scared of losing their jobs. The reason for this is because he had spent all of the money and they were trying to tell him that he shouldn’t be making more castles. For years they had been trying to tell him to converse with his people more, stop over spending, etc. Unfortunately this was advice that the king wouldn’t here and the staff was growing nervous. There was eventually talk that the king was going get rid of all of his advisors and start with new ones – most likely ones that would tell him he was doing everything right.
Of course this did not set well with the staff, and a plan was derived. Count von Holnstein, Dr. Bernhard von Gudden from the Munich Asylum, and Prince Luitpold, the king’s uncle were only a few of the men who conspired to declare the king incompetent to rule. With the king’s bizarre and reclusive behavior, as well as the fact that his brother was already insane it was an easy task to plot out the king’s decree of insanity. Could these men also have plotted his death?
There are a couple of accounts that say that perhaps the king wasn’t just out taking a walk with his doctor the night of his death. Some say that he was shot and that the Doctor Gudden was also shot, in order to cover up the fact that the king was murdered. Others say that he was poisoned and then drown. In my opinion I think that it is really odd that a person who was going to commit suicide would drown himself when they were an excellent swimmer. Also, if the king drowned because of suicide, how did the doctor drown, trying to save him? That seems a bit unrealistic.
It has also been said that the king died of natural causes like a heart attack or stroke, either while he was trying to escape his imprisonment in Castle Berg or just along his walk. Again, it is definitely possible that this happened, but what about the good doctor, he died trying to save the king? I think unlikely, but possible.
No one will ever know what happened to Ludwig of Bavaria, the secret as they say has gone to the grave. Consider a very strange man, lots of money and power at stake, and an angry government. Even though until the day he died, the king had many supporters and loyal subjects; there were plenty of people who were ready to take the power away from the king, including his uncle Luitpold. It is very possible that the king finally took his bizarre antics too far and inspired his uncle or other close advisor to in the end, murder.