Luigi - Explorer of the Mediterranean

TV-Documentation by Rosa Plattner

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Documentation, 52 min, 2017
GS-Film, ORF/3sat
Written and directed by
Rosa Plattner
Harald Mittermüller aac, Gernot Stadler
Camera assistance and Sound
Björn Kölz, Eva Mittermüller
Jörg Achatz
Manfred Plessl
Production Management
Monika Orsini-Rosenberg
ORF Enterprise

“There is no book that is so instructive, whose pictures are so beautiful, as the simple contemplation of nature” – Ludwig Salvator.
Ludwig Salvator, Archduke of Austria and Prince of Tuscany, travelled and explored the Mediterranean for decades with his sailing yacht “Nixe” and finally settled in Mallorca. He was a scientist, artist, visionary, pacifist, conservationist, writer and one of the most dazzling personalities of the House of Habsburg. He was educated, unconventional and open-minded. He was particularly interested in the exploration of then unknown islands, land and people, flora and fauna. He documented his travels in words and pictures. Magnificent books testify to his universal work.

Ludwig enjoyed a liberal upbringing and studied nature at an early age. He was not only a lively globetrotter, but also a recognized explorer of the Mediterranean, especially the Balearic Islands. His research results on their history, animal and plant life have been documented in extensive publications.

The documentary “Luigi – Explorer of the Mediterranean” by Rosa Maria Plattner shows the most important stages of Ludwig Salvator’s life and the lasting effects of his research activities in the late 19th century. Throughout his life, he was driven by the desire to travel, to understand and to preserve. As the owner of the steam sailing yacht “Nixe” and the “Captain’s License of the Long Voyage”, he travelled for decades in the Mediterranean to arouse public interest in the then largely unknown regions such as the Aeolian and Ionian Islands.

Countless legends and anecdotes surround the “uncrowned king of the Balearic Islands”. He did not care about the appearance expected of a member of the Habsburg family or what others thought of him. Because of his shabby clothes, he was often thought of as a shepherd or agricultural worker – to his great amusement. He calmly commented that at court he was regarded as a scholarly oddman: “Better diverse than simple.”