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Friday, September 28, 2012

Ludwig and the King of kings

Quite a few years ago, we took a trip through Germany with our children. A good friend gave us a holey tent (another story!) and some money and told us about several places that would be interesting for children. We had a great time! We didn’t get much sleep, but the day trips were tremendous.

Two of our stops were at “Crazy” Ludwig II’s castles. One was patterned after Versailles, complete with a hall of mirrors—and, I remember, huge mosquitoes which visitors had smashed on the marble palace walls. The other was the storybook castle, Neuschwanstein. We hiked up to it one evening. It was gorgeous in the afternoon sun! And, the next day, we hiked up again, this time to see inside.

Now, there are many stories about Ludwig. Some people actually called him crazy. After seeing the palaces he built, I have my doubts about his being all that wacko. He was an artist. (Some would say that alone would make him crazy. Artists always have a unique way of seeing and feeling things. By the way, I really understand; I majored in art! None of us is truly “normal.”) Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein castle reflects his almost obsessive love of Wagner’s operas. There’s even a part of his castle that’s like walking through a cave. Too cool! His bedroom alone was worth the entrance fee for me: intricate dark wood carvings, bright blue, silver . . . . The paintings all through the castle are bright, almost better than life, and bigger than life. All represent scenes from Wagnerian operas except those in the throne room. Now, I have to admit that I use the word “awesome” sparingly, because everything from bubble gum to car racing is described as “awesome.” But, Ludwig's throne room is truly awesome! It is very colorful, almost gaudy, with blue lapis lazuli columns and bright, multicolored marble floors. The throne platform is higher than in many castles, up above the huge room. And, above the platform, painted on the gold wall, are six kings. Above them, extending into the dome, is a larger painting of Jesus. Surrounding the picture of Jesus is a ribbon banner which proclaims, “King of kings.”

I love that perspective!

Ludwig never sat on a throne there, because he tragically drowned before the room was finished. But, imagine this scene with me: King Ludwig is sitting on his throne. Six of Jesus’ disciples are to his left, six to his right. Just above his head, six kings of Bavaria. Above them, directly above King Ludwig, larger than anyone else, is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty . . . (Deuteronomy 10:17a).

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalm 136:3).

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords (1Timothy 6:15).

And the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful (from Revelation 17:14).

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).

Now unto the King eternal,
the only wise God,
be honour and glory for ever and ever.
Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)


  1. That sounds like a great castle to visit. Love the perspective of the King of kings above all.

  2. I love it! You described the castle and your visit so wonderfully. Neuschwanstein is so on my bucket list of places I want to visit. I've been trying to come up with a way to get there for years and now -- after reading your description -- it makes me want to go even more. But, it was not only the castle that I like about what you wrote, even more so, it's the wonder of our great King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a joy to serve this loving, powerful and awesome King. Thanks for all of it!


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