King Ludwig II of Bavaria was born 175 years ago and AllCollect mark the date with a minigold look at his architectural legacy

Despite dying in 1886 at just 40 years of age, King Ludwig II of Bavaria left behind an incredible legacy of impressive castles and palaces, none more famous than the stunning Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for many a Fairy tale. Ludwig II oversaw the twilight years of Bavarian independence, as they became quietly subsumed by their larger Prussian neighbour in the new German Reich. He spent his time building three wonderful homes that remain massive attractions to this day.

AllCollect have chosen his three masterpieces, as well as his birthplace at Nymphenburg to adorn a set of four minigold (0.5 gram) proof coins. Each of the four is dedicated to one of the castles or palaces, offering an expansive view of the front facades – well, as expansive as you can get on an 11 mm diameter disc of metal… The set is issued to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Ludwig II’s birth and is a good look at his legacy considering the tiny canvas in use.

Issued for the Solomon Islands, and thus featuring the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, the coins are available only as a set and come presented in a neat box, with a very cool five-gram solid silver certificate of authenticity filled with details about the buildings. The mintage of the set is 2,020 and will be shipping in a month or two, obviously subject to change given the current state of the world.

Minigold coins remain popular, and while not great value on a per-ounce basis, they remain a relatively affordable way into gold coin collecting. AllCollect and CIT are probably the biggest users of the format, but even many of the big national mints regularly issue them now. We’ll look to increase our coverage moving forward.

LUDWIG S CASTLES

NYMPHENBURG is a Baroque style structure situated in Bavaria’s capital, Munich. A huge building – bigger than Versailles – with a front facade some 632 m in width, it was built as a summer residence for the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family. The palace was commissioned by Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy and it was designed by the Italian architect, Agostino Barelli.

King Ludwig II was actually born there in mid-1845, by which time the palace was rapidly closing in on its 200th birthday. Continually modified over the centuries, it’s set in 490 acres of Italian-style gardens. It remains a popular tourist destination, regularly receiving around 300,000 visitors annually.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN was the first and most impressive of Ludwigs’s castles and sits on a steep hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria. Intended to be a retreat for Ludwig II, he died shortly after being habitable, although still far from complete. Considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, its Romanesque Revival architectural style has inspired many a fairy tale castle, and it continues to pull in 1.3 million visitors every year.

HERRENCHIEMSEE sits on an island in Chiemsee Lake located around 60 km SE of Munich. The land was purchased in 1873, and starting in 1878, Ludwig had the New Herrenchiemsee Palace built, based on the design of a favourite building of his, the Palace of Versailles. Not completed before his death, it also has become a major tourist attraction in the region.

Th castle construction was hugely expensive, costing more than Linderhof and Nueschwanstein combined, at a phenomenal equivalent of 190,998 ounces of gold. It was opened to the public just a few weeks after Ludwig’s death.

LINDERHOF was another building inspired by French tastes, being designed in the neo-French Rococo style. It was completed in 1878, the only one of the three he built that he saw completed, and is a smaller and more personal site than the more extravagant other castles. A quite beautiful structure, set in 125 acre grounds, in which are located several exquisite structures. Most famous amongst them is the extraordinary Venus Grotto, built for the king as an illustration of the First Act of Wagner’s Tannhäuser.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $10 Solomon Islands (x4)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 0.5 grams (x4)
DIMENSIONS 11.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 2,020
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes (5g solid silver)
ALLCOLLECT