Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And Then There Are Castles...

Finally made it to Chillon Castle via local train that stopped at every burg along the way. The castle is fairly big,  made of stone, and impenetrable during its heyday (we're talking the 12th century) and it's dusty. And it's cold. How did they ever run around in this castle when it was COLD?? There were fireplaces and some makeshift stoves as well as four poster beds with curtains all around it to keep in the warmth.

Can't leave well enough alone, so here are some shots that I just had to play with.
Fun colors...

The station that I arrived at for the Chillon Castle.  Actually took these when on the way home sitting across from the station itself waiting for the train to Lausanne.
Chillon Gare Black and White. This is the station one gets off at when going to the castle. It is a five minute walk along beautiful Lake Lèman (Lake Geneva) and you can see France from its shores.
But then...I saw this image that looked so much like an Edward Hopper...Same place, same shot. and just had to play some more - except all I did was crop it. The rest was all in camera.

So the signage said THIS WAY to Chillon castle. It meant walking under the tracks via a tunnel, stairs on the right in this photo, and finding a wonderful path leading to the castle.

So autumn - a great path for bicycles
And there in the forest, next to the lake, was the magnificent castle that Lord Byron at one time, wrote some of his famous poetry and literature. Funny thing though, I didn^t see ANYTHING referencing him. All I saw was stuff on witchcraft, which was the exhibition for the season of Halloween I think. Rather depressing too I might add.  The castle was built around 1200 I think.
It was a beautiful autumn day.

It was gray some of the day, but it did finally break in the afternoon. That is France on the other side of the lake.
We are looking to the North from the castle, across the lake to France.

Inside the castle keep - lot of gothic arches. Those are the ones with the pointy tops.
Hard to see the pointy top but it's there.

Arrowloops - one could shoot through these holes and not worry about getting killed by an incoming arrow. Sort of. 

The size of the people show an idea of what the dimensions were of the castle itself.
This is the ground floor and the entrance to the main part of the castle itself. Many stairs and doorways, very little, very narrow. These people must have been very small in stature.

Beautiful frescoes, done in the 1300's on the ceiling. Amazing.

So mirror mirror on the wall....I AM the fairest of them all. Sort of. I do have the blond hair. 
The Fairest of them All was also getting cold. Hard adjustment. Wearing the coat I bought (made in Germany). Nice and warm with the requisite scarf from H&M at IKEA. Bought the green bag in Venice.

Part of the moat that really wasn't a moat at all. Moats go all around the castle and this one was like an inlet, or a catch all for refuse and other wonderful unmentionable things. At one time it WAS a moat though. The castle was built on rock, quite high. It was well fortified and just the fact that it is still standing attests to its strength and durability. Wouldn't want to live here. It was a pretty picture though...
This was supposed to be the last photo in this series, but the blog thing insists it goes HERE. This is Montreux, the village that is right before Chillon. 

A stencil done in fresco style. Thought of my daughter in law, Michele who has artwork similar to this
 in the house in NJ. 
This one has my name on THIS is how they kept warm...a little vin from the cellar. And what a cellar! The wine is still made here and as you can see, the barrels look fairly new. Swiss wine not too bad, but French wine much better.
Pretty geraniums
This is an HDR photo meaning it is enhanced with detail and color. It is taken on the inside of the castle.
Beautiful texture with the stones. A Roman arch on the left and a gothic arch on the right.

Painted as fresoes around the 1500's when calligraphy was the in thing to do. Even on walls. And if you spoke Latin, you were IN.
No significance except that I liked the colors on the shingles.
(note to self: when you do touristy things, bring someone with you who will take the photos that everyone likes to see. Photographers are all ADHD anyway. We can't just focus on one thing for one second because there are SO MANY things to SEE and photograph!)

 Chillon Castle was interesting and historically important from the time it was constructed in the 1200's. During the Middle Ages this kind of 'house' was for the Kings, Queens, Dukes and EArls. They were designed to protect the land that the grapes and other things grew on here. So the Duke had a big job when he agreed to be man of the castle.  The King lived in another castle farther away and would come visit occasionally. It was time for feasts and parties, the castle was 'cleaned up' - I assume that menat that the old chicken bones and other debris was thrown out the window (how convenient).

As far as witchcraft, which seemed to be the major theme here today, it seems that Switzerland burned many withches (no mention of warlocks though) - upwards of 200,000 -  at the stake for being all kinds of things. If a midwife was present when a child and mother died from chidbirth, she was considered a witch and put to death. No arguing with this group....

Hope you enjoyed your short visit to the Chillon Castle as I did. 

Continue on the journey....More photos of Lausanne CLICK BELOW

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