Ludwig I of Bavaria

Infobox_Monarch | name =Ludwig I
title =King of Bavaria

caption =Portrait by Joseph Stieler, 1825
reign =October 13, 1825 - March 20, 1848
coronation =
predecessor =Maximilian I
successor =Maximilian II
consort =Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
issue =Maximilian II, Mathilde, Otto, Theodelinde, Luitpold, Adelgunde, Hildegard, Alexandra, Adalbert
royal house =Wittelsbach
royal anthem =
father =Maximilian I
mother =Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt
date of birth =birth date|1786|8|25|mf=y
place of birth =Strasbourg
date of death =death date and age|1868|2|29|1786|8|25|mf=y
place of death =Nice
buried =|

Ludwig I (also rendered in English as Louis I) (August 25 1786 in Strasbourg – February 29, 1868 in Nice) was king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.

Crown Prince

He was the son of Count Palatine Maximilian Joseph of Zweibrücken by his first wife Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. At the time of his birth, his father was an officer in the French army stationed at Strasbourg. He was the godson and namesake of Louis XVI of France. On April 1, 1795 his father succeeded Ludwig's uncle, Charles II, as duke of Zweibrücken, and on February 16, 1799 became Elector of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Arch-Steward of the Empire, and Duke of Berg on the extinction of the Sulzbach line with the death of the elector Charles Theodore. His father assumed the title of King of Bavaria on January 1, 1806.

In October 1810, he married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1792-1854), the daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The wedding was the occasion of the first ever Oktoberfest. Ludwig studied in Landshut where he was taught by Johann Michael Sailer and in Göttingen.

Ludwig strongly rejected the alliance of his father with Napoleon I of France but in spite of his anti-French politics the crown prince had to join the emperor's wars with allied Bavarian troops. In 1817 Ludwig was involved in the fall of Prime Minister Count Max Josef von Montgelas. He succeeded his father on the throne in 1825.


Ludwig's rule was strongly affected by his enthusiasm for the arts and women and by his overreaching royal assertiveness. An enthusiast also for the German Middle Ages, Ludwig ordered the re-erection of several monasteries in Bavaria which had been closed during the German Mediatisation. He reorganized the administrative regions of Bavaria in 1837 and re-introduced the old names "Upper Bavaria", "Lower Bavaria", "Franconia", "Swabia", "Upper Palatinate" and "Palatinate". He changed his royal titles to "Ludwig, King of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, Duke in Swabia and Count Palatinate of the Rhine". His successors kept these titles. Ludwig's plan to reunite also the eastern part of the Palatinate with Bavaria could not be realized. The Electoral Palatinate, a former dominion of the Wittelsbach, had been split up in 1815, the eastern bank of the Rhine with Mannheim and Heidelberg was given to Baden, only the western bank was granted to Bavaria. Here Ludwig founded the city of Ludwigshafen as a Bavarian rival to Mannheim.

Ludwig also encouraged Bavaria's industrialization. He initiated the Ludwig channel between the River Main and the Danube. In 1835 the first German railway was constructed in his domain, between the cities of Fürth and Nuremberg.

Ludwig supported the Greek fight of independence: His second son Otto was elected king of Greece in 1832.

After the July Revolution in France 1830, his previous liberal policy became more and more repressive. The Hambacher Fest in 1832 showed the discontent of the population suffered from high taxes and censorship. In 1837, the Roman Catholic supported clerical movement, the Ultramontanes, came to power in the Bavarian parliament and began a campaign of reform to the constitution, which removed civil rights that had earlier been granted to Protestants, as well as enforcing censorship and forbidding the free discussion of internal politics. This regime was short-lived due to the demand by the Ultramontanes of the naturalization of Ludwig I's Irish-born mistress Eliza Gilbert (better known by her stage name Lola Montez), which was resented by Ludwig and the Ultramontanes were pushed out.

Ludwig had several extramarital affairs and became one of the lovers of Lady Jane Digby, an aristocratic English adventuress. Ludwig became tainted with scandals associated with another of his mistresses, Lola Montez. It seems likely that his relationship with her contributed greatly to the fall from grace of the previously popular king.

During the revolutions of 1848 he abdicated on March 20, 1848 in favour of his eldest son, Maximilian. He was buried in St. Boniface's Abbey, Munich.

Cultural legacy

As admirer of ancient Greece and the Italian renaissance Ludwig patronised the arts as principal of many neoclassical buildings, especially in Munich, and as fanatic collector. Among others he ordered to erect were the Walhalla temple, the Ludwigstrasse, the Glyptothek, the Old and the New Pinakothek. One of his most famous conceptions was the celebrated "Schönheitengalerie" (Gallery of Beauties), in charge of the painter Joseph Stieler, which contained portraits of several beautiful women who principally came from the high middle class. Also after his abdication, Ludwig remained an important sponsor for the arts.

He moved the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität from Landshut to Munich in 1826.


By Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (8 July 1792 – 26 October 1854; married on 12 October 1810 in Theresienwiese, Munich)


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1= 1. Ludwig I of Bavaria
2= 2. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
3= 3. Landgravine Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt
4= 4. Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken
5= 5. Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach
6= 6. Landgrave George William of Hesse-Darmstadt
7= 7. Countess Marie Luise Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim
8= 8. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken
9= 9. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken
10= 10. Joseph Karl Emanuel August, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
11= 11. Countess Palatine Elizabeth Augusta Sophie of Neuburg
12= 12. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
13= 13. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg
14= 14. Christian Karl Reinhard, Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim
15= 15. Countess Katherine Polyxene of Solms-Rödelheim-Assenheim
16= 16. Christian II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
17= 17. Countess Katharina Agathe of Rappoltstein
18= 18. Ludwig Kraft, Count of Nassau-Saarbrücken
19= 19. Countess Philippine Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
20= 20. Theodore, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
21= 21. Marie Eleonore of Hessen-Rheinfels
22= 22. Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine
23= 23. Ludwika Karolina Radziwiłł
24= 24. Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
25= 25. Margravine Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach
26= 26. Johann Reinhard III, Prince of Hanau-Lichtenberg
27= 27. Margravine Dorothea Friederike of Brandenburg-Ansbach
28= 28. Johann Karl August, Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim
29= 29. Countess Johanna Magdalene of Hanau-Lichtenberg
30= 30. Ludwig, Count of Solms-Rödelheim
31= 31. Countess Charlotte Sibylla of Ahlefeld

ee also

* Revolutions of 1848 in the German states


* Heinz Gollwitzer, "Ludwig I. von Bayern. Königtum im Vormärz", Munich 1986 (²1997).

External links

* [ king's portrait]

* [ George Washington's German "Cousin"] {Baron Jakob von Washington-an advisor to King Ludwig I}

NAME= Ludwig I of Bavaria
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Ludwig I van Beieren; Ludwig di Baviera; Ludwig I di Wittelsbach re di Baviera; Ludovico I di Baviera
DATE OF BIRTH=August 25, 1786
DATE OF DEATH=February 29, 1868 (aged 81)

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