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A true Bavarian Beauty!

September 22nd, 2010

We received numerous amazing entries in to our Creative Competition this year, so now we have revealed the winners we thought we would share a few more of them with you – we know you all love seeing them!

We are starting with Felicity Hey, from Lancaster, and her opulent, elegant building inspired by Ludwig II of Bavaria – we’ll let Felicity take over from here!

“My entry was inspired by Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) – a country retreat based on the palaces and castles he had built in Bavaria.  My fascination with the “Swan King”, as he is known, started over thirty years ago and has been followed by numerous visits to the castles and museums, and by reading some of his many biographies.

Seeing the Village Hall whilst reading the latest book, I felt it would be ideal to reproduce the Peacock Throne he had created at Linderhof Castle, with his study at Neuschwanstein Castle depicting the legends of Lohengrin and Tannhauser.  The entrance porch became an adaptation of the Hall of Mirrors at Herrenchiemsee Castle, which itself was based on Versailles.

I started building the swan pond intending it to link the inside with the exterior through a cut-down window, when I reached the part in the biography where it described the magnificent (and highly impractical) Winter Garden that Ludwig had built on the roof of the Residenz, his palace in Munich.  Of course! Removal of the wall between the window and doorway and a simple extension gave home to the exotic plants and I modelled a shell-boat for Ludwig to sit in, based on the one in his underground grotto at Linderhof.  The sand was made from a packet of embroidery beads and crushed gravel and the backdrop of an Alpine lake and the Scenic Water made it look like a lake.  The ferns are cake decorating palm trees.

The pillars and decoration dividing the Throne Room and the study are copied from the Minstrels’ Hall in Neuschwanstein, and are made from cake decorating pillars and cardboard covered with gift wrap.  The curtains and seat covers were easy to reproduce with paper napkins bought at the Residenz Museum.

The stained glass windows were created with sheet metal grilles over painted Perspex and a greeting card from a cathedral.

Ludwig was a lonely monarch, often referred to as “mad”, but probably just misunderstood.  He did not welcome company in his magnificent palaces, but enjoyed eating cakes and drinking champagne.  His greatest love was listening to Wagner’s operas and walking in the Bavarian Alps.

The Winter Garden is enclosed with Perspex but this has been left off to facilitate the photography.  The roof has been cut horizontally and hinged to allow access to the interior, as removing any of the side panels would have spoiled the effect.  Writing this and looking at the photographs I realise that this is still “a work in progress” as I imagine more and more interpretations of Ludwig’s fantastic castles – it seems a shame to stop here!”

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