© Arthur Browne
Yesterday I was listening to some Scottish bagpipe music on the YouTube and I said to my son:
“Wow…these are beautiful, I’d really like to go and visit some. It’s be cool to go on a trekking holiday and walk from one castle to another!”
“Sure, they’re beautiful!”
“Sometimes I think it would be nice to have lived back then.”
“….uh…well, no actually….” here he went on to remind me of what castle life would have been back then.
Of course he was so right! I don’t know if you’ve actually visited some of these places. Now, they often have some beautiful gardens and the places are of course fascinating…but they’re also some of the coldest places I’ve ever been to. Not even the super cold air-conditioning of a Wal-Mart can compare to the bone chilling rooms inside a medieval castle. I remember Palazzo Ducale in Mantova during the summer. Had to pull a jacket on it was so cold and it was 30° outside. Imagine what it would have been in the winter. They’re also often pretty dark on the inside and the rooms are pretty small.
Then there’s the fact that these places were fortresses. Now days people actually live in a castle that’s been partitioned off, but back then, they were fortified cities. Common people, unless they were there because of the local aristocratic family’s needs, rarely saw the inside of a castle. If they did, it was because the area was under attack.
One can imagine a castle under siege by some invading army, in Scotland I suppose they’d have been English armies. Here in Northern Italy they could have been Austrians or some other Germanic army, we even had Napoleon come along in the 1800s! Ah, yes, here in Trentino, in the 1800s most of the local castles were blown-up by Napoleon’s army as it marched towards Trento then occupied by the Austrians. Nope, wouldn’t want to be in a castle under attack or worse yet, siege! Castles are beautiful to see now days. I love to go and visit them, but I guess my historian son has the right of it…not back then.
stone walls and towers
great view across the valley
A view from a Castel