I have a lot of castle photos saved from places I've never been, but which make me dream...but since there has been some discussion of what they were like to visit:
This is Warwick Castle (Warwickshire, England.) I visited it in 1994 or so, purely by accident: I spotted it from the motorway and my family decided to trust to serendipity. At the time, while it was being operated as an attraction (and still is), a wing was still inhabited by the Earls of Warwick, and off-limits. I don't know if they're still there!
The modern-day Earls may not be Nevilles, but the Nevilles are the most famous Earls of Warwick. King Edward IV's mother, Cecily Neville, was from the extended family, and Edward's brothers married the Earl's daughters -- George, Duke of Clarence (the first man to be imprisoned in the Tower of London, notoriously said to have been drowned there in his favorite wine) married Isabel Neville, while Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Richard III) married Anne Neville (he was her second husband, and he had to sign a sort of prenup essentially waiving any rights to her inheritance, to get his family to agree to it -- George was NOT eager to share his heiress's windfall!) The Earls of Warwick were so politically powerful that Isabel and Anne's father, the 16th Earl, was known as the Kingmaker for his importance in the Wars of the Roses.
The castle is gorgeous, and the views of the countryside are exquisite. It may be more well known now, but when we went in 1994, there were NO tour groups and very few other people there. Just us and centuries of history, beautifully preserved.
Ok Chris, where is it.
It's in central Germany. Here's its fascinating history, plus some stuff about Neuschwanstein nobody knows (they were both rebuilt from stone ruins in the 1800s, this one by a wealthy businessman from Berlin).
Here's Civita in central Italy. It looks like a castle but it's a village with a nice church, access via pedestrian walkway:
Hohenzollern in Germany again!
Matsumoto castle in Japan The curse of being a photographer is I can tell how it was photoshopped.
Most of you have seen this castle in film somewhere ( hint - The Highlander) - Eilean Donan Castle circa early 14th century
Not a castle, exactly, but an English military barracks in Scotland - Ruthven barracks built in 1719 after the 1715 Jacobite rebellion.
Italy. Technically a church, but looks like a castle to me.
This has to be one of the most spectacular castles in the world:
Does anyone know where this is?
Rock of Cashel:
According to local legends, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satanfrom a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.
The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Photo of internal stairs from Cahir castle:
The stairs are deliberatly built with steps of different heights and climbing in a clockwise direction so a right handed attacker's sword is close to the right hand side and is less effective.
I recently watched a BBC documentary on the Norman conquest of England / Ireland. They built castles across Britain and Ireland. It's worth a look:
Mont st michel:
From the west side of Scotland - Kilchurn Castle on Lock Awe
From the east of coast of Scotland south of Edinburgh - Bamburgh Castle at sunrise at a very low tide
I founds this series very interesting and informative. How did I not know that Normans derived from Viking raiders in the 8th and 9th centuries??
Probably because the Norse migration into the lands now known as France is not emphasized in American schools as much as the later invasion of England by the descendants of those Norse who settled in what was called Normandie: The land of the Northern Men. Norse-Man plus the suffix "die."
It's my opinion that the history of western Europe from the time of the fall of Rome till the "renaissance" is poorly taught. AND, many children's history books leave the children with the impression that places like Spain and France were single countries hundreds of years ago. France was for about 200 years but was split up in the mid-800s.
In many places, the idea of a "country" as we use the term today didn't really exist and instead loyalty was given to a family and its head. Thus many of the fuedal wars were not seen as treason against a land but rather as the result of the death or imprisonment of a liege lord.
But my point is that much of what is taught to children is "simplified" to make it easier for them to grasp. While the reality of the time periods was often much more complex.
Alnwick Castle is still there on the river Aln, with the Royal Lion on the bridge over the river
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Castle Strečno, Slovakia
I love your Eileen Donan image with the nice blue fluffy sky.
I have been there three times, always with overcast and rain.
Argh, it is Scotland, after all.
I wonder what it is like to live in a place like this.