Castles

IdleRich

IdleRich
My girlfriend went gallivanting around France recently and she came back with a new found appreciation for castles. That meant that two days ago we went to look at Sesimbra castle which is about 45 minutes drive from where we live.
She was amazed at how badly maintained it was compared to even the worst of the French castles... but whatever, it's free to get in and wander round and I liked it. The walls are about a thousand years old and put their by conquering Moors, and then I think taken back and maintaining by the returning Portuguese. It's on the highest point for miles around and the view is ridiculous. Although she might have had a point with this particularly informative sign.

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And there were quite a few bits where a combination of a a lack of railings and some seriously wonky floors definitely meant there was serious danger of death. But the views....

Sesimbra12.jpg

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Sesimbra seemingly had its own weather system or something cos of the hills, there was a load of mist kinda trapped below us and when we went down to the beach it was totally overcast.
The way out at this end was called The Door to the Sun or something


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So really it was just some walls surrounding a big open space containing a chapel with a truly beautiful tiled inside - it reminded me of an East London pie and mash shop - and also a coffee shop and loads of scrubby faded grass.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
The other castle I've been to here is the ridiculous kind of toy castle thing in Sintra. Really a palace built for the queen so they could just chill there I think. Again the view is spectacular and I remember feeling all this cool air rising up from the forest below, a feeling I've not experienced elsewhere in Portugal. But the thing is mad... crazy colours that put me in mind almost of St Basil's in Moscow which was, I think, designed by people who starved or sleep deprived themselves until they hallucinated. No idea what the excuse for this one is though.



 

IdleRich

IdleRich
In Sintra there are loads of castles for some reason... all in the shadow of an ancient Moorish one.
This one, not quite a castle but it's rather odd



Not been to the Moorish one but it looks kinda like the same deal as Sesimbra. The imprint left by the invasion is still massive - you stop noticing the Arabic names such as Algarve, Alverca, Alcochete etc


 

IdleRich

IdleRich
When we were kids we used to go and look around castles all the time (or that's what my memory said) - Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Warwick Castle, Tintagel... Corfe Castle too I think. It's basically a really middle class thing to do I suppose.
There was also a place near me called Uffington Castle but that was incredibly disappointing and did not deserve the name.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Did anyone read The Accursed Kings books? There is a bit where they go to Castle Galliard which was so named cos Richard the First (I think) saw it and said "Oh what a gallant castle!" - I dunno why that stuck in my head but it did.
But shit look at the size of it... no fucker was gonna capture that cunt




 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Corfe castle was built for William the conqueror:s son and was faced in marble like the tower of London. A royal residence. Very impressive, very visible. A brand, in both senses, on the nap of the earth. Probably built on something sacred
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I wondered about that too. Especially with the yesterday. I was thinking that you can see that the Moorish ones were obviously built in kinda hostile (captured) territory so they put on massive mountains that could see everything for miles around and be impossible to capture - whereas the Portuguese ones (such as they are) or more just decorative as far as I can tell.
But I was thinking, imagine if you lived there, even if you were the king, any time you left you'd have to go back up this massive fucking hill to get home - cos it's steep enough that it would be a nightmare even if people carried you in a bed every time -, is it worth it? Or maybe he just stayed inside all the time, but that doesn't sound much fun either.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I would have just got my army to build a wall around the castle. Leave them there.
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Castles were all about seeing people coming and sallying forth, fresh and full off beef and mead, hyped for cracking skulls, then sallying back for dinner
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Carreg Cennen is a gem




Equally impressive are the castles of the Marches, a highly recommended day trip - Chepstow, Grosmont, Skenfrith, White, Longton, could add Tintern and Llanthony Abbeys for ruins too. Then a detour via Caerphilly for their gigantor castle plus chips and cheese.
 
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