In the opera, this is where Tosca threw herself off…splat.
To quote their website, “In the heart of Puisaye, in Yonne, Burgundy, a team of fifty people have taken on an extraordinary feat : to build a castle using the very same techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages.”
And yeah…it’s on a BIG scale….
…it’s the most amazing…
…mad, mad place.
They’ve been working since 1997, and they estimate that they have another twenty years to go.
The finished product looks just like the ‘real thing’.
There are a few concessions to Health and Safety :-).
As well as the castle building they make all their tools, and ropes etc.
Plus some animals…(the wooden frames in the background are for holding up the vaulted ceilings)…
….and a garden…
…and a little stone dressing work shop.
Oh, and yeah some stocks. BTW, I’m not quite this fat, my shirt is billowing out (but yes, my legs ARE that short!).
I’m just back from a few days in Kent visiting the APs. As I was there for more than the usual weekend dash, I had time to visit various childhood haunts.
This is Bodiam Castle – when I grew out of children’s parties (for which my Mum sewed me long party dresses – how times have changed!), I always chose a trip to Bodiam.
The castle was built (or rather a house extended and fortified) to repel pirate raids. As the sea has receded it’s hard to imagine that this was in dangerous territory – although the WW2 tank trap is a reminder that invasion was feared not that long ago (although with a sodding big castle, why do you need a tank trap?).
[The Boy tells me that this is because a tank would “Blow the shit out of the castle”.]
The moat is full of huge carp.
I was rather taken by these sheds – they’ve weathered nicely.
From this angle (where the drawbridge would have been) you can peek through the castle.
As long as I can remember – I’ve loved this place.
St Hilarion castle is a truely amazing place – and pics really don’t do it justice.
It’s perched on the top of a massive mountian. Most of the apparoach is a restricted military area with lots of signs up saying “Stop and we’ll shoot you” (however, it has to be said that the soldiers we saw yodelled out “Hello” and waved – must the the legendary Traves charm).
The castle just appears to grow out of the rock rather than having been built. Stunning, stunning, stunning.
Walt Disney was very impressed by it apparently, and it’s claimed that the castle in either ‘Snow White’ or ‘Fantasia’ was based on St Hilarion.
The castle was built to protect the town against Arab raids. In this shot you can see the annoying couple who kept getting in my shots (he shouldn’t wear tiny denim shorts at his age!).
Inside the castle – no idea who this chap is, but he turned up at just the right time.
Inside St George’s chapel.
Outside the chapel – look at that sky!
I thought that the shape of this palm was fantastic.
Here is the obligatory flower photo!
I wonder who this lady was? I love the drapery across her chest.
This is the remains of a what they think was a Syrian (or possibly Phoenician) ship that went down in a storm ~300 BC. All the literature claims that this is the oldest shipwreck recovered in the world, but Selin the guide says that there is an older on in Turkey (but as my driver said “why is she guide? She from bloody Turkey”.
I felt quite moved looking at the detail of the boat. Thinking of the hands that had made it. I’d better stop or I’ll come over all whimsical.
The cargo was in pretty good shape. As well as fig pips and other bits and pieces they recovered 9,000 almonds.
I’m really pleased that they didn’t totally clean this one up.
Here is the view from the lower Lusignan tower. I wanted to capture the contrast between the light outside and the dark within.
PS Many thanks to my eagle eyed reader who realised that this photo was the WRONG WAY UP. Now corrected 8-).
Skipton is a lovely market town – it recently won the ‘fave Yorkshire market town’ poll in the ‘Yorkshire Post’. One of its many charms is the Leeds-Liverpool canal that runs slap bang through the town.
This chap looked very happy. Take a close look at the sign on the front of his boat.
The town also has a castle, built in Norman Northern ‘harrowing’ (read genocide) days.
This ginger urchin was having fun as well. This cries out for a caption competition!
But, not as much as this! One of the worst pics of me EVER! Still the ice-cream was good.