The Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Learn about King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his fantastic castles, which inspired Walt Disney and countless others.
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109 students enrolled
Instructed by Susan Braun Academics / Humanities
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  • Lectures 12
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 1/2015 English

Course Description

Are you planning a trip to Germany? If so, a visit to at least one of "Mad" King Ludwig's castles is most likely on your itinerary: they're some of Germany's top tourist attractions. This course teaches you background information about each of the castles where the king grew up and later designed.

Perhaps you've already taken a European trip and seen the castles, and your interest was piqued. This is the course to take to learn more about the man behind these fantastic buildings.

Or, suppose a trip to Europe is the farthest thing from your mind, due to budget or other constraints. This course serves as a wonderful armchair vacation as we explore a fascinating historical figure, and some of the world's most iconic buildings.

  • With 12 lectures, each complete with a transcript, and many photos, you'll find yourself looking forward to spending time each day in the "Land of Ludwig."
  • Once you're a student of the class, you'll have lifetime access to all lectures and materials. You can "visit" Germany as often as you like, and you can test your comprehension with two included quizzes.

This course is perfect for all ages, from children to seniors. Let's get started today on a wunderbar trip to Germany. All aboard!

What are the requirements?

  • No prerequisites -- if you're curious and ready to learn, you're the perfect student!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the background of "Mad" King Ludwig
  • Gain information and history of the castles Ludwig builg

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is the perfect preparation for someone planning to travel to Germany to visit these castles. It's also for the learner who is curious about some of the world's most fascinating spaces. Interesting for all ages, children to adults.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

King Ludwig II, also known as "Mad King Ludwig," was an eccentric who built some of the world's most iconic castles. Learn some basic facts about the king and his castles, which we'll explore in this course.


I've been studying King Ludwig and his castles for years. I'll explain my qualifications, including a description of the book I've written about Ludwig: "Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II."


King Ludwig and his castles are seen and mentioned often in popular culture. Let's look at a few examples.

Section 2: The Life of Ludwig II

Ludwig was born in 1845. His upbringing was far from normal; he was privileged and kept separate from other children, but was deprived of affection from his parents and was disciplined and educated harshly. Learn about his childhood. Did it influence his later behavior?


Ludwig became king in 1865, when his father died prematurely. Unready to rule, Ludwig never adjusted to the role of kingship. He tried leading Bavaria's troops, but disliked this. He was engaged, but didn't find satisfaction there either. Learn more about his ruling years.


Ludwig found true satisfaction only in building. But eventually, money ran out -- even for a king. Construction of his castles stopped, and Ludwig died mysteriously, under circumstances that are still unclear, even today. Learn more about Ludwig's strange end.

Quiz over Ludwig's life
5 questions
Section 3: The Castles of King Ludwig II

Hohenschwangau is the castle where Ludwig grew up. Learn about this castle, built by his father, and see how its decor influenced Ludwig's later actions and helped him choose the location of his most famous castle, Neuschwanstein.


Neuschwanstein, by most accounts, is the world's most famous castle. It looks medieval, but is not. Learn who Ludwig dedicated this castle to, and learn various unusual things you'll find inside.


For his next castle, Linderhof, Ludwig chose to create a "jewel" in a lush Bavarian valley. Learn the inspiration behind this castle, and see why it is the place where the king spent most of his time.


As Ludwig got older, he grew more and more isolated. His final castle, Herrenchiemsee, was built on an island! Learn the inspiration behind its design, and discover what lies behind a majority of its walls today.


At the time of his death, Ludwig was planning a fourth castle, to be named Falkenstein. Learn about the treats this castle would have offered, and see how much of it was actually completed.

Quiz over Ludwig's castles
5 questions
Section 4: Epilogue

What happened to Ludwig's castles after his death? Which one played a major role in WWII?

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Instructor Biography

Susan Braun, author and educator

Susan Braun holds a bachelor's degree in Retail Management from Indiana University, and a master's degree in Education from the University of Alabama. She taught school for 8 years and has been awarded a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for Independent Study.

Susan has traveled to Europe several times and has read extensively on the topic of King Ludwig II. She is the author of the biography of King Ludwig titled "Not So Happily Ever After: The Tale of King Ludwig II."

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