Ludwig I, König von Bayern

BORN 25 Aug 1786, Strasbourg - DIED 29 Feb 1868, Nice
REAL NAME Karel Lodewijk Augustus
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Bonifazbasilika

Son of Maximilian Joseph of Zweibrücken and Auguste wilhelmine von Hessen-Darmstadt. His father was an officer in the French army and he was named after king Louis XVI. In 1806 his father became king Maximilian I of Bavaria.

Ludwig studied in Landshut and Göttingen. He married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810 and their wedding was the first Octoberfest in Munich. He was no friend of Napoleon, but he had to join the Bavarian army that supported Napoleon during his wars.

In 1825 his father died and he became king. He was enthousiastic about the arts and the middle ages, reinstated some of the convents and gave the regions of Bavaria classical names.

Apart from rebuilding the city center of Munich he supported Bavarian industralization. He also supported the Greek War of Independence and in 1832 his son Otto became king of Greece. After the 1830 revolution in France his rule became more autocratic. Censorship increased and the Protestants lost their civil rights.

Apart from the arts he also liked women and had many mistresses. He ordered the painter Stieler to paint the most beautiful women of his time and their portraits can still be seen at the Nymphemburg Castle in Munich. His affair with the dancer Lola Montez caused a public scandal and during the revolution of 1848 part of the population as well as the Cabinet turned against him. He refused to become a constitutional monarch and on 20 Mar 1848 he abdicated. His son Maximilian II succeeded him as king of Bavaria.

He lived for another 20 years and continued to support the arts from his private means. He died in Nice in 1868 where he had rented a villa for the winter.

• Son: Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria

Related persons
• was written about by Corti, Egon Caesar, Conte
• has a connection with Dahn, Constanze
• employed Gärtner, Friedrich von
• was the lover of Hagn, Charlotte von
• was sculpted by Halbig, Johann von
• supported Hess, Heinrich Maria von
• was the lover of Montez, Lola
• employed Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Julius, Ritter
• admired Schröder-Bürger, Sophie
• employed Stieler, Joseph
• employed Weber, Carl Maria von

1846/7/15: Opening of the Ludwigskanal between the Donau and the Main
Construction had taken place between 1836 and 1845 under the reign of Ludwig I. The channel connected Bamberg and Kelheim.
1846/10/10: First performance of Lola Montez in Munich is a huge success
She was allowed to perform in the theatre of King Ludwig I and would soon become his lover.
1846/10/12: Ludwig I lays the first stone for the Neue Pinakothek in Munich
This museum was exclusively meant for art of the nineteenth century. It was rumoured at the time that Ludwig was thinking more of Lola Montez (who had performed in his theatre two days before) than of the Pinakothek.

Ludwig I of Bavaria - Wikipedia
Ludwig I. (Bayern) – Wikipedia


Ludwig I's tomb at the Bonifazbasilika in Munich.
Picture by Androom (23 Mar 2002)


Lugné-Poe, Aurélien-François-Marie

Published: 13 Dec 2009
Last update: 17 Jan 2016