King Ludwig II gave Wagner the funds to build this comfortable little manor, where he lived from 1874 until his death in Venice of a heart attack in 1883. His wife, Cosima, 24 years his junior, remained in the house for 47 more years, becoming known as the “mistress of Bayreuth.” Although Cosima is credited with maintaining a firm grip on Wagnerian productions and preserving the composer’s artistic intentions, she also shared his anti-Semitism and belief in the superiority of Germanic peoples. She died in 1930, just before Hitler came to power, but it’s been suggested that her influence was a factor in the Nazis’ appropriation of Wagnerian music. Collections in the museum include furniture, manuscripts, pianos, and Wagner’s death mask, as well as the history of the Bayreuth Festival. Wagner and Cosima are buried in front of a small rotunda at the end of the garden.
- Frommer's Staff