Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mir Castle

I don't think I ever seen a castle quite like this one. Not that I've ever seen any castles, but never seen pictures of a castle quite like this one.

Mir Castle, also called the Mirsky Castle Complex, is located in the town of Mir (How ironic.) in the Karelichy District, Belarus.

You can read about it at

добры дзень

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kilchurn Castle

So, lately I've been doing a lot of Chateaus and Fairytale Castles, which are all nice and good in their own way, but I wanted something different. Like a old stone ruin castle, a castle that actually looked like It'd seen some action. A real he-castle.

Okay, okay, it got creamed in a lightning storm, BUT IT LOOKS COOL!

I'm speaking of Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was built in about 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy, as a five story tower house with a courtyard defended by an outer wall. By about 1500 an additional range and a hall had been added to the south side of the castle.

Further buildings went up during the 16th and 17th centuries. Kilchurn was on a small island in Loch Awe scarcely larger than the castle itself, although it is now connected to the mainland as the water level was altered in 1817. The castle would have been accessed via an underwater or low lying causeway.

At the turn of the 16th century Kilchurn Castle was extended by Sir Duncan Campbell with the addition of a single story dining hall built along the inside of the south curtain. During the second half of the century, another Sir Colin Campbell, the 6th Laird, continued to improve the castle's accommodation by adding some chambers to the north of the tower house, and remodeling the parapet. This included the introduction of the circular corner turrets adorned by corbels, most of which have survived remarkably well.
Engraving of Kilchurch Castle by William Miller, 1846

Towards the end of the 16th century the Clan MacGregor of Glenstrae were occupying the castle. Once owning the lands of Glenorchy during the 14th century, until they passed through marriage to the Campbells, the MacGregors were appointed keepers to Kilchurn Castle as the Campbells spent much of their time at Fincharn.

This arrangement lasted until the very early part of the 17th century, when a violent feud between the two families brought it to an end and the Campbells retook possession.
In 1681 Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy was made 1st Earl of Breadalbane. To take advantage of the turbulence of the times, he converted Kilchurn into a modern barracks, capable of housing 200 troops. His main addition was the three story L-shaped block along the north side.

In 1760 the castle was badly damaged by lightning and was completely abandoned; the remains of a turret of a tower, still resting upside-down in the center of the courtyard, attest to the violence of the storm. I wasn't kidding.

The ruin is currently in the care of Historic Scotland, and is open to the public during the summer.
Math latha.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Craigievar Castle

I hate realizing on Tuesday that tomorrow is Wednesday. But it almost always happens that way. It was late in the afternoon, almost 4:00 to be exact. My sister, Kae, would be coming home soon, and probably would be wanting her computer. I was hurriedly typing in the password to her computer and I thought, "Scotland!" I haven't done a post on a castle in Scotland! And I love Scotland! This had to be remedied. Soon. Now.

(So, whatchya think?)

Craigievar Castle is located six miles south of Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was owned by Clan Sempill. An excellent example of the original Scottish Baronial architecture, the great seven-storey castle was completed in 1626 by the Aberdonian merchant William Forbes, ancestor to the "Forbes-Sempill family" and brother of the Bishop of Aberdeen. Forbes purchased the partially completed structure from the impoverished Mortimer family in the year 1610.

Forbes family resided here for 350 years until 1963, when the property was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.

The castle originally had more defensive elements including a walled courtyard with four round towers; only one of the round towers remains today. In the arched door to that round tower are preserved the carved initials of Sir Thomas Forbes, William Forbes' son. There was also a massive iron yett or gate covering the entrance door.

You can read more about the place at:

So, I find it a truly lovely castle, though, a wee bit Fairytale for me to like it 100%. But I do think it is wonderful.

Math latha. Scottish, good day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Castles of Steel...

Fortresses in their own way, leveled in battle as many before them. Yet seldom before has an act of war been so grievous.

Remember them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chateau de Foix

I know, the chateau thing was from August. But recently on By Castle and River, I did a couple of posts of the Pyrenees Mountains, so I thought that it would be cool to do a post on a castle in that aria. Now there are several, so I'll just do the first one that I found.

The Château de Foix is located in the town of Foix in the French département of Ariège. It was built on an older 7th century fortification, but the present building was built in 1000. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.

You can read more about it at:

Well, it is actually a very interesting place, but my brain feels like it is turning into fuzzy mush, and I really can't concentrate, lousy excuse, I know. But it is just one of those days that I would rather spend reading about Marvel Comics characters (You never new, did you.) or anything but castles.

Besides, I've got pictures. And pictures are, almost, always better than words. And also...

El castels es tant fortz qu’el mezis se defent.
“The castle is so strong it can defend itself”

Need more be said?

I didn't think so.

God daeg.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Berat Castle

Well, this is new (for me): a blog post on a castle in Albania. See, I was yet again consulting, my, semi, Ever Faithful List of Castles. I thought I would just start at the top: Albania. The castles were in order by county. First county: Berat. The castle didn't look to impressive, but I thought I would give it a try.

(Click on the picture for a larger image, it really is quite cool on a closer look.)

Berat Castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Beratit),in Berat, Albania, is built on a rocky hill on the left bank of the river Osum and is accessible only from the south. After being burned down by the Romans in 200 B.C. the walls were strengthened in the fifth century under Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, and were rebuilt during the 6th century under the Emperor Justinian I and again in the 13th century under the Despot of Epirus, Michael Angelus Comnenus, cousin of the Byzantine Emperor. The main entrance, on the north side, is defended by a fortified courtyard and there are three smaller entrances. The fortress of Berat in its present state, even though considerably damaged, remains a magnificent sight. The surface that it encompasses made it possible to house a considerable portion of the cities inhabitants. The buildings inside the fortress were built during the 13th century and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments. The population of the fortress was Christian, and it had about 20 churches (most built during the 13th century) and only one mosque, for the use of the Turkish garrison, (of which there survives only a few ruins and the base of the minaret). The churches of the fortress were damaged through years and only some have remained.

Berat Castle is depicted on the reverse of the Albanian 10 lekë coin, issued in 1996 and 2000.

You can read more about the castle and the city around it here:

So, as I very often do after doing a blog post, I have another place that I want to go visit.

Ditën e mirë!