The village of Leutstetten is located about twenty kilometres south-west of Munich and four kilometres north of Starnberg.
In 1875 Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (husband of Queen Mary IV and III) purchased Schloss Leutstetten from Freiherr von Welden. 1 Over the years Prince Ludwig acquired much of the surrounding countryside, more than doubling the size of the estate and making it one of the largest and most profitable in Bavaria. In 1890 he purchased the village of Mühlthal, in 1904 the village of Rieden, and in 1909 the village of Petersbrunn. The estate consisted of some 957 hectares (half of this was woods and a third was under cultivation, while the rest was marshes). 2
Leutstetten was (with Villa Amsee) one of the two main country homes of Queen Mary IV; it was here that she had her famous rose gardens. The castle was too small for her large family; consequently Ludwig acquired two neighbouring houses: Princess Gundelinde lived in the "Neubau", while Princesses Adelgunde, Mathilde, and Hildegard lived in the "Hildenhaus". 3
Schloss Leutstetten was the main country residence of King Rupert from 1934 to 1939 and again from 1945 until his death here in 1955. In 1945 the royal herd of horses was brought here from Sarvar. 4 The castle is now the home of Prince Ludwig and Princess Irmingard.
Just to the left of the main driveway is a stone fountain commemorating the golden wedding anniversary of Queen Mary IV and III and King Ludwig III of Bavaria. It consists of a single stone slab with a carved portrait of Mary and Ludwig. Above the portrait there is inscribed "1868-1918". Below the portrait is a German inscription:
The fountain was designed by Adolf von Hildebrand, while the portrait of Mary and Ludwig was sculpted by his son-in-law Theodor Georgii. 5
To the east of Schloss Leutstetten runs Wangener Strasse. At Wangener Strasse 48 is a house purchased by Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (husband of Queen Mary IV and III). The house is called "Samerhof" or "Hofgut Leutstetten". 6 In 1908 the house was enlarged for Prince Ludwig by Emanuel Seidl.
Princess Adelgunde, Baroness Zdenko von Hoenning-O'Carroll (daughter of Prince Franz) lived here until her death in 2004.
1 Martha Schad, Bayerns Königinnen (Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 1992), 278.
2 Alfons Beckenbauer, Ludwig III von Bayern, 1845-1921: Ein König auf der Suche nach seinem Volk (Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 1987), 80.
3 Schad, 278. I have not been able to identify the exact locations of these two houses.
4 Cf. Hans-Joachim Irmler, Königliche Pferde (München: F. Bruckmann, 1966).
5 Adolf von Hildebrand was born at Marburg in 1847, and died at Munich in 1921. He was the leading German sculptor of his time, and is particularly well-known for the fountains he designed. Theodor Georgii (1882-1963) was a Swabian-born sculptor who was married to Hildebrand's daughter, Irène Georgii-Hildebrand (born 1880). Georgii's portrait of Mary and Ludwig is very similar to the portrait on the commemorative medal which was issued in celebration of their golden wedding anniversary. Both Georgii and his father-in-law von Hildebrand were associated with the Wittelsbach court for many years. Georgii also sculpted the funerary tablet of Queen Antonia in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Domnica in Rome.
6 Gerhard Schober, Landkreis Starnberg, Denkmäler in Bayern I, 21 (München: Schnell & Steiner, 1989), 336.
7 Irmingard Prinzessin von Bayern, Jugend-Erinnerungen, 1923-1950 (St. Ottilien: EOS, 2000), 331.
Image 1 (South facade): Gerhard Schober, Landkreis Starnberg, Denkmäler in Bayern I, 21 (Munich: Schnell & Steiner, 1989), 335.
Image 2 (Wedding anniversary fountain): Schober, 337.
Image 3 (Samerhof): Schober, 337.