Ludwig I, König von Bayern

BORN 25 Aug 1786, Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin - DIED 29 Feb 1868, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
BIRTH NAME Ludwig Karl August
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
• supported Bandel, Ernst von
• 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
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28/8/1827Goethe receives the Großkreuz des Verdienstordens der Bayerischen Krone in Weimar. King Ludwig I of Bavaria travelled personally to Goethe in Weimar for the award ceremony. [Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von]
15/7/1846Opening 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. [Pechmann, Heinrich, Freiherr von]
10/10/1846First 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. [Montez, Lola]
12/10/1846Ludwig 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. [Montez, Lola]


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


Grosse Frauen der Weltgeschichte, Neuer Kaiser Verlag, Klagenfurt, 1987
Süddeutsche Zeitung
WDR Videotext, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Köln
Ludwig I. (Bayern) – Wikipedia
Ludwig I of Bavaria - Wikipedia
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Wikipedia

Ludwig Viktor, Erzherzog von Österreich

Published: 13 Dec 2009
Last update: 02 May 2022