Between Reality and Fantasy: The Architecture of Ludwig II
Ludwig II is most commonly associated with the magnificent castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. Lesser known are his many other building projects. The wide variety of building activities that took place under Ludwig II is presented in the exhibition “Palaces and Factories – The Architecture Under King Ludwig II”.
Visitors are greeted at the museum entrance with an enlarged photograph of the interior of the King’s House on Schachen. Exhibition chambers present one topic at a time, in an arrangement reminiscent of Ludwig II’s palace interiors. The different room shapes and coloured borders help to distinguish between the individual topics. The sequential arrangement of the chambers gives the impression of walking through an enfilade of rooms in a palace. Diorama-like windows in each room compare present-day, backlit photographs by Ulrike Myrzik with the historical building plans.
With their densification of the exhibition spaces, the exhibition architects aimed to establish a parallel with the densification of cities at the time of Ludwig II. Visitors can exit the chambers through small “back doors” to enter smaller, well-lit spaces where works by students of the TU Munich are on display.
King Ludwig II built his castles not as a show of power and wealth, but as a realm of fantasy into which he could escape. The diversity of these fairy-tale worlds can be experienced in the exhibition’s final room, which is large and bright. Here are the king’s castles and their thematic influences, such as medieval legends, the Ancien Régime of France and Oriental architecture. The spatial mood transforms dramatically as visitors move from the small, dark chambers into the large, bright space. They, too, can flee into the King’s fantasy world – and understand what made it so fascinating.
With its compelling spatial design, this exhibition succeeds in showing visitors many new and realistic sides of the “fairy-tale king”.