Covet Thy Neighbours' Swag

The First Power Station


If you’ve ever been to Germany, you probably visited one or more palaces. These incredible homes with gardens that seemingly stretch on forever show how rich of a history Germany has. One of these palaces made history in 1878 when it had the world’s first power station.

Located in Ettal, Bavaria, the Linderhof Palace is absolutely stunning. Built by King Ludwig II, the estate features the main house inspired by Versaille, and many outbuildings. One of those outbuildings is a man-made grotto. You see, Ludwig was a big fan of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” opera and wanted his own Grotto of Venus. After researching all the best grottos, he decided the Blue Grotto of Capri was his favorite. Thus, the engineers built him a grotto he could ride over in his golden swanboat. To mimic the changing light of the Blue Grotto, they installed 24 dynamos to generate electricity for the lights at the grotto. Thus making the Grotto of Venus at Linderhof Palace the world’s first power station.

Up to that time, all work on the light bulb had been done using batteries.

[Image Credit: Softeis]

  • Toxic Avenger

    Been to Germany , Back when 1 dollar was worth 4 duetche marks. Loved the country and the people.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    The last time I visited Germany was in 2001 and I actually did visit several places.

  • craigsu

    Ah yes, Mad King Ludwig. Although his insanity is contested, his eccentricity is not. He also commissioned the building of Neuschwanstein Castle, also in homage to Wagner. It's more commonly known as Sleeping Beauty Castle since it was the model for the castle at Disneyland.

  • Metric Wrench

    The wife and I were bumming around a small burg in father Deutschland in 2004, and found ourselves quickly surrounded by a mob of a thousand angry youngsters, upset about the European Union and throwing in the cliche down with 'murica for good measure. Me wife was quite frightened. Holding her hand tight, I pushed my way out of the mob, swearing loudly in Polski slang about the damn 'muricans too. Me mother would have been proud, she didn't think I was listening to her all those years.

  • Rod

    More info, please. What were these dynamos powered by? Steam, coal?