Before magician Roy Horn passed away from the coronavirus on May 8, 2020, at age 75, Siegfried and Roy artist and his partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, lived together in their own Las Vegas paradise.
Known as Little Bavaria, the famous illusionists’ oasis covers 100 acres and, as the Las Vegas Weekly noted, the estate is by no means “small”. Little Bavaria reportedly consists of “an amazing hideaway of connected mansions, with fields as large as a dozen football fields, a water park that rivals the Bellagio fountains, and miles of intertwined walkways that surround and cut through the property”.
“They are 100 acres and we have all the water rights, that’s why we can build the big pools. We couldn’t build Little Bavaria today,” Siegfried told Las Vegas Weekly. “There are too many restrictions … Out here, you’re not in Las Vegas.” According to Siegried, “There is a central house [where] we spend time together. We have houses on each side, one for Roy and one for me. They are like two arms, wrapped, and we are in the middle”.
Little Bavaria was built over three decades ago, but over the years, the property continued to evolve, as did the couple’s relationship. “Las Vegas implodes everything,” Siegfried said. But here, we continue to build. We will not be shot down. So in the years after Roy was attacked by his pet tiger, Montecore, Siegfried made sure that Little Bavaria offered Roy the ability to move freely around the grounds without fighting.
Siegfried remodeled Little Bavaria after Roy’s tiger attack
After Roy Horn was attacked by a pet tiger named Montecore, something he said was misrepresented by the media, the magician struggled with the physical limitations of paralysis – the tiger’s bite cut his spinal cord off.
As Roy had to learn to walk again, Siegfried Fischbacher made sure Little Bavaria could accommodate his mobility. According to the Las Vegas Weekly, hip-height rails were built along the winding sidewalks so that Roy had something firm to grab on his walks around the property. Siegfried also oversaw the construction of a new house designed to ease Roy’s transition.
Thanks to these alterations, Roy was able to live his last years with total freedom. “Pain is my best friend,” Roy told Las Vegas Weekly on the tenth anniversary of his attack. I have to live with it. [But] I’m pretty good. I’m a little disabled, but I’m not an invalid. I can do many things. I can walk, I can go swimming, I can go to the gym, I can go shopping.”
“I’m so grateful, every day, for every breath I’m taking,” said Roy. That is my message to anyone who has had a stroke or heart attack: keep moving. Make progress. Keep yourself, because you can do it”. And for 17 years, he did exactly that. Roy was a true inspiration.
Fans can’t visit Little Bavaria, but they can visit Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden
From Wayne Newton’s House of Shenandoah to Liberace’s mansion, many famous Las Vegas residences have been opened to the public, but when asked if they would ever allow fans to tour Little Bavaria, Siegfried Fischbacher had no hesitation. “Absolutely not,” he told the Las Vegas Sun. This is our private, no, no, no. It is ours. We have had some offers… But no, no.”
However, Las Vegas natives and tourists can visit Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, where the two spent their 14-year residency in Las Vegas. While it was originally designed to house the animals used in the Siegfried & Roy magic show, the Secret Garden made the transition to a small zoo after its residency ended and still serves as a home to its many members of the family of four paws.
Dolphin Habitat also aligns with its devotion to animal welfare, as the 2.5 million-gallon home helps bottlenose dolphins that were rescued or born in the complex. “The Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat certification … demonstrates to the public his impressive leadership as a responsible and humane steward of the animals in his care,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane. And now it represents a part of Roy Horn’s incredible legacy!