The Ludlamshöhle was a literary society founded by the Austrian playwright Ignaz Franz Castelli together with August von Gymnich in Vienna, Austria, in 1819, which existed until 18 April 1826.[citation needed]

The society was named after the theatre play Ludlam's Höhle by Adam Oehlenschläger. After the first performance on December 15th 1817, a group of "literati" (already existing since 1816) met in the "Haidvogels Gasthaus" (Schlossergäßchen, Vienna) to discuss the performance. As this play had failed with the audience that evening, Castelli suggested giving the group the name "Ludlamshöhle" as a consolation for the Danish writer. The adjoining room in "Haidvogel's Gasthaus", where the daily meeting at the regulars' table took place, was declared a clubhouse.[1]

The Ludlamshöhle did not pursue any political or artistic goals; the regulars' table every evening served without exception for social gatherings. From today's point of view, the Ludlamshöhle is a prime example of the Biedermeier sociability.[2]

During the night of 18-19 April 1826, this society was suspected (unjustified by anything) of "endangering the state" and was banned. By order of the Viennese police chief Alois von Persa, more than 30 policemen occupied the inn, arrested those present and confiscated all manuscripts found. The private flats of the arrested "Ludlamites" were also searched until the early hours of the morning. Some of their members continued to suffer years of spying and other harassment. It was precisely this excessive action by the authorities that led to the mythification of the group and its members in the following years.[3]

A new member had to prove to the amusement of all that he was capable of increasing the pleasure of the society by joining. He was then examined in the subjects Ludlam History, Ludlam Finance and Frivolity Science, with several whispering seconds being given to the subject. After passing the exam, the new member was given a "Ludlam name" and the "recording song" was sung together. Various songs for the society have been preserved by Antonio Salieri, including the texts Es lebe Ludlam and O Gott, o Gott! d´Ludlam ist todt.[citation needed]

After 1848, an attempt was made to revive the Ludlamshöhle, but it was a failure.[citation needed]

In 1949, the writers Franz Karl Franchy [de], Egon Hajek [de], Theodor Mayer, Friedrich Schreyvogel [de] and Karl Wache [de] joined together in Vienna to form a society called "Neue Ludlamshöhle" which lasted until 1972.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Ludlamshöhle: Bringing the 19th Century to the Present
  2. ^ "Ludlamshöhle". Oxford Reference.
  3. ^ Ludlamshöhle on Aeiou

Further readingEdit

  • Adam G. Oehlenschläger: Ludlam’s Höhle. Dramatisches Mährchen. Nicolai, Berlin
  • Max Maria von Weber: Carl Maria von Weber. Ein Lebensbild. Leipzig: Ernst Keil, 1866. 2nd vol., 3rd part. pp. 494–497 Die "Ludlamshöhle"
  • Alfred Liede: Dichtung als Spiel: Studien zur Unsinnspoesie an den Grenzen der Sprache. 2nd edition. Mit einem Nachtrag Parodie, ergänzender Auswahlbibliographie, Namensregister und einem Vorwort neu hrsg. von Walter Pape. de Gruyter, Berlin 1992.
  • Joseph Kiermeier-Debre: Der Volks-Schiller. Gesänge aus der Ludlams Höhle; pornographische Parodien aus der Biedermeierzeit. Brandstätter, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-85447-563-2.
  • Horst Belke: Ludlamshöhle [Wien]. In Wulf Wülfing, Karin Bruns, Rolf Parr (ed.): Handbuch literarisch-kultureller Vereine, Gruppen und Bünde 1825–1933. Metzler, Stuttgart, Weimar 1998, ISBN 3-476-01336-7, pp. 311–320 (Repertorien zur Deutschen Literaturgeschichte. Ed. Paul Raabe. Vol. 18).
  • Karl Friedrich Flögel; Friedrich Wilhelm Ebeling (1887), Floegels Geschichte des Grotesk-Komischen: bearbeitet, erweitert und bis auf die neueste Zeit fortgeführt von Friedrich W. Ebeling (in German) (5th ed.), Leipzig: H. Barsdorf, pp. 348–358, Wikidata Q105821923

External linksEdit