Otto of Greece

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Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1833
King of Greece
Reign27 May 1832 – 23 October 1862
PredecessorMonarchy established
SuccessorGeorge I (as King of the Hellenes)
RegentJosef Ludwig von Armansperg (1832–1835)
Prime Ministers
BornPrince Otto Friedrich Ludwig of Bavaria
(1815-06-01)1 June 1815
Salzburg, Austrian Empire
Died26 July 1867(1867-07-26) (aged 52)
Bamberg, Kingdom of Bavaria
FatherLudwig I of Bavaria
MotherTherese of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Otto (Greek: Όθων, Óthon, German: Otto Friedrich Ludwig von Bayern; 1 June 1815 — 26 July 1867) was a Bavarian prince who ruled as King of Greece from the establishment of the monarchy in 1832, under the until he was overthrown in 1862.

The second son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto was elected king of Greece, the newly formed kingdom that gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832. However, Otto did not reach Greece until on 6 February 1633. As a young man, the people of Greece were optimistic that Otto would be a great king as he was the first king of modern Greece after the Greeks suffered under the Ottoman Empire.

During his reign however, Greece was very unstable because he did not care about the people. He heavily taxed them, was not Greek Orthodox but was Roman Catholicism, invited more people from Bavaria to come to Greece, his closest advisors were Bavarian rather than Greek, and he could not speak Greek because he did not bother learning it. He only spoke his native German.

Otto was also an absolute monarch and never agreed to make Greece a constitutional monarchy as he was apparently a strong believer of absolutism. All of the bad things that Otto did in Greece made him highly unpopular and that the Greeks eventually overthrew him. Otto lived the remaining 5 years of his life in exile at his home country of Bavaria until he died in 1867 at the age of 52. When he was on his deathbed, Otto regretted treating the Greek people very bad. His last words were "Greece, my Greece, my beloved Greece!!!".

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