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Ettal, Germany

Linderhof Palace

A small but immensely extravagant palace built by the "Night King" 

Of the three palaces “Mad” King Ludwig II had built, the Linderhof Palace was the only one he saw completed. Unfortunately for him, it was also the smallest. Prior to the Linderhof Palace, the grounds had been home to the Konigshauschen, Ludwig’s fathers’ old hunting cottage. The cottage was torn down in 1869 in order to build Ludwig’s Linderhof.

Though much smaller, the architecture of the magnificent palace is extravagant with ivory candelabras and carpets made of ostrich feathers. Inspired by Versailles, Ludwig created a mirror image of “Sun King” Louis XVII’s bedchamber and styled himself the “Night-King.” Like his Neuschwanstein Castle, the Linderhof was also deeply inspired by composer Richard Wagner. Many rooms sport the themes of some of Wagner’s greatest works.

Amidst the forested mountainous terrain, Ludwig built huge ornamental gardens that borrowed styles from a number of other countries and eras. Perhaps the most extravagant is the “Venus Grotto” a man-made cave lake. Ludwig enjoyed rowing across it in a golden swan boat. Finished in 1886 Ludwig had 24 early electrical dynamos installed at great expense so he could change the color of the grotto at will.

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