Sexual Fables

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Alice's Mirrors


"Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour."
- T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922:

King Ludwig II of Bavaria was drowned in this lake, the Starnberger See (Lake Starnberg), SW of Munich in 1886, in suspicious circumstances. Whoever assassinated him (probably by shooting him) had no sense of irony, for it was here that his idol Wagner finished pre-production for Tristan and Isolde 20 years earlier -- the final climactic scenes of the opera could have taken place on the shores of the lake. At the time it was known as Lake Würm.


The painting of the lake seen above, by Wilhelm Trübner, is from 1908. Trübner was a German realist and a contemporary of the Impressionists, but his style of painting would be brushed aside by Expressionism.

Berg-Votive-Church Berg-Ludwig-Crucifix

Today the actual location of Ludwig's death, Schloss Berg, by the town of Berg, around the lake to the southeast from Starnberg, is marked by a votive chapel and a crucifix in the water to mark where the body was found.

Just across the lake, on the western side, is the only island in the lake, Roseninsel (Rose Island), where Ludwig had a villa. Nowadays it is a museum (official link here).


Also see: Neuschwanstein Castle

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