King Ludwig and Halblech
The total Royal family was in love with the mountains and the Allgäu. Queen Mary was one of the first female alpinists and climbed with her husband Maximilian and their two sons into the mountains. It has been reported, that on August 27th 1863, the Queen climbed up with her son Ludwig II to the Krähe (the Crow) and the Hochplatte in our community. Without any steel ropes and poles, that was not an easy task and was indeed a great achievement in history. In addition to the Castles, the Royal Family also owned several huts.
Mountain huts for the Royal Family in Halblech
In our community, the Kenzenhütte was built in 1850 for King Maximilian.
His son Ludwig II rebuilt the hut 1880. The book by Mario Praxmarer and Peter Adam, "King Ludwig II, in the solitude of mountains of Bavaria and Tirol", it is written: At this place Max built his hunting lodge. Ludwig reconstructed it with some additional buildings for servants. The new royal household received a fountain. The former hut where the Ettaler Monks brew spirits (Brandweinhütte), was used as a hunting lodge and later in1930 as an economic enterprise attachment. The dam up by the idyllic waterfall had been illuminated by experts of the Munich court theatre. King Ludwig II commissioned a pavillon where he spent several inspiring nights.
The Brandweinhütte – mentioned in the book – is the Kenzenhütte of today. Sadly, the original Kenzenhütte of the Royal Kings doesn't exist anymore, it has been located 300 meters below the current Kenzenhütte.
Another book: "The Dining of King Ludwig II – Memories of Theodor Hierneis, personal cook" one can read: "All the beautiful colours were falling down within foaming water, bengal magical fire reflecting in a deep violet luminous basin". Ludwig II often had dinner in front of the waterfall and could not leave the view and atmosphere before early morning.
King Ludwig had a Pavillon close to the waterfall. The archive of the forest corporation Buching-Trauchgau are recording:
"Salettchen at the waterfall in the Kenzen"
The Salettchen is located close to the waterfall, only 5 minutes away from the hunting lodge. It has 6 cm strong shutters and bars furnished with tin roofs, hexagonal and 3.5 m diameter with two windows. The front door had a lock and the pavillon had a lightning conductor 5 m high.
Ingo Buchelt described in his article in Allgäu Journal on 9th November 2013 the intensive close connection of the Royal Family to Halblech and the environment.
Also in this edition, the author mentions a letter (written 10th Feb 1869) from Ludwig II to Richard Wagner (based on a quotation of Friedrich Schiller): "O how I'm longing myself away from the awful hustle and bustle of the city to my beloved mountains, because on the top of the mountains is freedom and overall, where the human being cannot be found with his agony". In another part it is said: "On mountain peaks (....) in God's free and great nature, where I feel at home". The letter speaks for itself.
Follow the footsteps of King Ludwig II
Two of his favourite spots were definately the Kenzen waterfall and the Wankerfleck.
The Wankerfleck is an idyllic high mountain valley (1148 m) with ancient maple trees, cattle which graze on the pastures and a huge broad panorama view towards the Geiselstein.
- Just travel with the Kenzenbus up to the Wankerfleck and Kenzen hut.
- Walk to the waterfall (only 10 minutes).
- Enjoy a typical Bavarian-Swabian snack in the Kenzen hut.
- Relax whilst hiking through the beautiful Kenzen area.
Govern in Halblech
King Ludwig II also fulfilled his royal responsibility in the Kenzen hut which is recorded in the Bavarian State Library – for instance:
- The "Highest Royal Decree" on 16th September 1865 for the responsibility of determining chimney-sweepers' timetables and salaries. (Reg = Bl 1865. p. 1033).
- Ludwig II, by the grace of God, King of Bavaria, Count Palatine by Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Frankonia and Swabia: We have found ourselves persuaded in view of Article 172 ... to decree as follows: ...
- The following regulation is ending with place and date of the issue:
- Kenzenhütte, 16th September 1865 – Ludwig