Monday, September 10, 2012

-------------------From Timeline of Kings; Queens from Charlemagne to Elizabeth II by Gordon Kerr -----------------------

AD 928  Rome:  Pope John X is imprisoned and murdered by wealthy and powerful Roman matron Marozia and her husband Guy of Tuscany; Leo VI is elected pope, dies; Stephen becomes pope for seven months, dies.

Leon:  Ordoño the Wicked usurps Sancho the Fat's throne, supported by disaffected nobles.  Sancho the Fat regains his throne two years later. 



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   Received:  9/8/2012 7:09:50 AM
Your Email Address which was randomly picked through an electronic ballot system without the candidates applying has won 1,000,000.00 GBP in the 2012 Olympics Games Awards.

To claim your prize,send your:

Smith Fego
Telephone:  +447014246854
Opera addiction (Richard Wagner variety) gone wild: This is the Grotto of Venus in the
Linderhof Palace in southern Bavaria.  It was one of three grand residences built by King
Ludwig of Bavaria.  The grotto allowed Ludwig to fantasize that he was in the first
scene of Richard Wagner's Tannhauser; it takes place deep in the Venusberg mountain, 
where the goddess Venus took refuge when Christianity conquered Paganism in Europe.
Historians generally agree that Ludwig was a) mentally unbalanced and, b) desperately in 
love with the resolutely, almost manically heterosexual Wagner.  Ludwig was obsessed with
Germany's romantic past of knights and minnesanger (troubadours).  He saw in Wagner's operas the 
recreation of everything he held dear.

The second of Ludwig's fantasy residences was Neuschwannstein, the ultimate fairy tale castle and the inspiration for the castle in the original Disney Land.  Built atop an almost inaccessible crag in the Bavarian Alps and costing unprecedented amounts of money for a kingdom already chock-a-block with royal residences, Neuschwannstein allowed Ludwig to indulge his Wagner passion on 
several levels.  In a cave carved deep into the crag and flooded to become an underground lake, he could arrive in a swanboat on the shore like the knight in shining armor in Lohengrin. 

Up in his bedroom, he was surrounded by frescos illustrating Wagner's highly erotic take on the medieval story of Tristan and Isolde.
And lower in the multi-story castle, he could relive the world of medieval song contests in a replica of an early set for act 2 of Tannhauser whose hero, like Wagner and probably an avatar for Wagner, is torn apart by his internal struggle between the creation of pure art and obsession with sex.

Ludwig's obsession with Wagner (in which pure art and sex were inextricably entwined) eventually brought him down.  To the vast sums he spent on his fantasy castles were added the fortune he lavished on Wagner to support the composer's lavish life style and the construction of the Festival Theater Wagner designed for the little town of Bayreuth to be the perfect venue for his enormous Ring of the Niebelung.  Bavaria went broke from Ludwig's prodigal expenditures.

But there was another danger.  Otto von Bismark had his eye on Bavaria to finish his assembly of all the independent German states into a unified German Reich.  Ludwig opposed having Bavaria absorbed into von Bismark's dream of a German nation that would occupy the center of Europe geographically and domnate the continent politically.  In defying von Bismark he wrote his own death sentence.  A panel of physicians declared Ludwig mentally unfit to rule although none of them had ever examined him.  He was deposed, and succeeded by his brother Otto who was genuinely insane and never ruled. 

Ludwig and his personal physician were found floating in an artificial ornamental lake at Castle Berg where he was in house arrest in June of 1886.  The entire affair is a mystery.  Ludwig didn't drown because the autopsy found no water in his lungs.  His doctor showed marks of being beaten and strangled.  But by whom?  Others declared they had seen the King shot but no bullets were found in his body.  He was given an huge funeral.  Bavaria became part of the German Reich. 

I've said it before..being Pope is a tough gig!

The nobles should have known better than to follow any called "...The Wicked". What were they thinking?

Thanks for the wonderful Bavarian pictures. Not only another time but truly another world...though that bedroom looks the way I have heard Walnut Hill song and fable.
The Linderhof Venusberg looks a bit too pretty for raunchy goings on...I remember the orgy scene in the Visconti film (or was it the Syberberg?) as being rather amusing.
Been thinking of redecorating here, inspiration from this post could not have come at a better time! Much thanks! ;-)
David, I think it's overlit for the picture. Add some flickering candles and a lot of shadows and I think it would be ready for raunch.
I think I now want an underground lake beneath my house. Hmm....

Thanks for the history of Ludwig and Wagner; never knew all that. Neuschwannstein is one of those places that is on my secondary bucket list. Bayreuth would be on the primary list though I have *never* dressed up for the Opera.! :-)
Martin, formalwear is no longer mandatory except in the most expensive seats. Last time I went (18 years ago) you went looking neat, maybe a sport coat (EVERYBODY took off their jackets as the lights dimmed) or what I did was a nice shirt, an interesting tie and a vest. I wasn't kicked out or looked at strangely.
Wow. Talk about an opera queen... I mean king ... no, I mean queen!
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