In the early 1870s King Ludwig II, Wagner's most devoted fan, gave the composer the cash to build Haus Wahnfried, a pleasingly symmetrical minimansion on the northern edge of the Hofgarten. The building now houses the Richard Wagner Museum, Ludwig's bronze bust standing prominently outside. Crisply renovated in the early part of the decade, the bulk of the exhibition looks at Wagner's life and work. Another section in the new building examines the history of the Bayreuth Wagner Festival.
Behind the house, hidden behind a ring of rhododendron bushes, lies the completely unmarked, ivy-covered tomb containing Wagner and his wife Cosima. The sandstone grave of his loving canine companion Russ stands nearby.