January 16, 2007

All Bets Are Off

Have you ever heard of King Ludwig of Bavaria? He was this totally wacko king who bankrupted his country in the 19th century building extraordinary castles in the mountains - castles which were built in styles that hearkened back several centuries. It's as if you suddenly started building yourself a Baroque manse to go into your acre lot. When we visited my mom in Germany, we went to see the most famous of these castles, Neuschwanstein, a gorgeous almost toy-like structure that looks like a young girl's princess dreamscape. It's breathtakingly set amidst dramatic viewing points in mountain ridges (this bridge is one of them - it's where the first photo was shot from), but you are never quite free of the haunting thought of the wastefulness of building it while the country was dissolving.

In any case, several years later, when we moved to Philadelphia, Misha came home one day to announce that among the many, many murals that decorate the walls of this city, he had found one dedicated to King Ludwig. Really? King Ludwig? Here? But why? I didn't particularly believe him, and decided that he must have dreamt it, or mistaken something for the castle - especially since all Google searches proved useless. We had a semi-real bet going about it until yesterday. Randomly walking through a small back street on our way home, guess what we found on the corner of Juniper and Spruce?

So the bet is off, and I'll try to doubt Misha less again. It seems that this is a pub called Ludwig's Garten, with its own mural, not one produced by the city, which is probably why it doesn't show up on Google.


Liesl said...

Neuschawnstein is a sight to behold. It's a truly beautiful castle, though yes, very lavish. It's no wonder it never got finished.

I don't think I would have believe him either, about the mural.

Anna said...

Haha! I told Misha that the web doesn't believe his tales either without proof :)

We were stunned by both the castle and the grounds - and also by all the other castles Ludwig built. They really were gorgeous! I can't imagine what they would have looked like totally finished.