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Hermann Josef Lorch

Models of Ludwig’s Palaces

Hermann Josef Lorch (1860-1946) must have been a great admirer of builder King Ludwig II because he built a model of every royal palace, bequeathing one of these models to each of his sons.

The model on display here is presumably of never-realized Falkenstein Castle, which was intended to be built near Pfronten in the Allgäu. Ludwig had acquired the castle ruins (incognito) in 1884, which were supposed to be turned into a second Neuschwanstein or even a robber knight’s castle. Things had not yet progressed further than the planning stage when the monarch died in 1886.

Hermann Josef Lorch was born in Melchingen in the Swabian Jura in 1860. He was trained as a (decorative) painter. He attended a school of art and design while working for a fine art painter in Munich. He subsequently spent several years decorating the interior of Herrenchiemsee Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle. He presumably met his future wife there too. The married couple later lived in Sigmaringen. Lorch decorated the interior his home in the style of Neuschwanstein – another indication of his admiration for Ludwig II and probably out of his enthusiasm for the Romantic in art, music and literature. Lorch worked on Hohenzollern Castle near Hechingen around the turn of the century. Some of his children also displayed a talent for decorative arts: His seven offspring included restorers, church painters and sculptors. His sons Ernst and Josef carried on parts of their father’s work. His son Friedrich recounted that Hermann Josef Lorch had decorated the interiors of fifty-two churches and chapels from 1885 to 1913, including the municipal parish church, the castle chapel and the Protestant church in Sigmaringen. Hermann Josef Lorch died in his adopted home in 1946.

Sources/Literature: Staatsarchiv Sigmaringen Dep. 1 T 6-7 No. 80

Information kindly contributed by Peter Lorch, Baden-Baden