Americans are fascinated by castles. Probably because we don’t have any. While there may be a few structures that might qualify, for the most part castles are not an American thing.
|View of Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany|
seems there are castles, or the ruins of castles, every few miles. For someone
like me, who wants to stop at every bend in the road and take pictures, it
makes it hard to get anywhere. Although I can't begin to name all the castles and all the countries that have these treasures, Germany has it's Nekar Valley and it's Burgenstraße (castle road), which starts in Mannheim and goes all the way to Prague, in the Czech Republic. France has the Loire Valley. Of course the UK has it's share, with tiny Wales having more castles per square mile than any
|Inside Caerphilly Castle, Wales|
|Palace at Versailles, France|
|Kensington Palace and gardens, London|
Castles are fortresses, with thick, stone walls, ramparts and towers where enemies were locked away. They are big and cold, with moats with drawbridges and narrow windows for shooting arrows through when the enemy attacks. They are high on hills or perched on the edge of the sea or the river – the better to spot approaching armies. They are mysterious ruins with ghosts that inhabit the darkness. And there are some where you can get a room for the night and a delicious meal with maybe a ghost or two thrown in for good measure.
I don’t really think I would have liked to live in a castle, back in the day – a palace would probably be more to my liking, but visiting them is certainly a valuable experience and can set the imagination soaring. It’s a step back in time, into history – all you have to do is bring your imagination. And I think, if you listen well, the walls can tell stories.
Castell (Welsh)Chateau (French)
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