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Versailles on wheels

Versailles on wheels – Ludwig II and his royal train

The first volume in the series about the exhibits stored at the DB Museum delves into the history of the two luxury carriages used by Ludwig II, Bavaria's famous king. Both of these carriages are on display at our Nuremberg branch.

Written by Ursula Bartelsheim, Versailles auf Rädern. Ludwig II. und sein Hofzug tells the fascinating story of two train carriages used by Ludwig II, a monarch more interested to legends and art than in governing, and his court. In 1918, Bavaria's monarchy was abolished. The saloon and semi-open "veranda" coach were donated to the DB Museum's predecessor, the transport museum in Nuremberg, where they have been two of the biggest attractions ever since.


Just like Ludwig's famous castles, the carriages are impressively ornate, with their rich gilding and royal blue paintwork – they were obviously intended for the most distinguished passengers. The design of the saloon coach takes its cues from the style favoured by Louis XIV, the "sun king" of France. An absolute monarch with total control over his dominion, he built the palace of Versailles as a visible expression of his unconstrained power. Ludwig II followed the French king's example by constructing scores of royal residences and, unsurprisingly, his saloon coach was called "Versailles on wheels" by the people of Bavaria.

Using this humorous nickname as her book's title, the author explores the history of the two carriages' construction, positioning them within the context of Ludwig's other creations and providing a detailed portrait of the historical forces which shaped the king's reign. 

TitleVersailles auf Rädern. Ludwig II. und sein Hofzug
(Objektgeschichten aus dem DB Museum, Band 1)
("Versailles on wheels – Ludwig II and his royal train. The story of selected artefacts from the DB Museum, volume 1")
AuthorUrsula Bartelsheim
PriceEUR 9,80
Year of publication2009
Length48 pages, scores of illustrations
Size24 x 17 cm
Available from

Museum shop in Nuremberg

Online DB shop