The Starnbergersee, just outside Munich, is a lake of some notoriety. In 1886, Ludwig II, Bavaria's castle-building king, was placed under house arrest at Schloss Berg after being relieved of his royal duties by the states ministers - at least in part for spending too much money on his fantastic castles: Linderhof, Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee.

Late one afternoon he went for a walk with his personal psychiatrist. A few hours later, their bodies were pulled from the lake. Whether it was murder, suicide or an accident isn't known, but Ludwig was a good swimmer and, with no water in his lungs, it seems doubtful he drowned. The doctor's body showed signs of having been in a violent struggle.

The bodies were recovered about a half a mile from the hotel. A path leads through the woods to a chapel built in his honor. It overlooks a small memorial just offshore.

May 1997