castle

Gorka Castle in Sobotka, Lower Silesia Poland

Castle Silesia PolandWe went to Poland for a wedding and got one day to get away from the city of Wroclaw and sightsee.

Gorka Castle was build as a summer residence of Wlostowic family. Then from XII to XIX it became a cloister and was systematically expanded. It is surrounded by Sleza Landscape Park.

Today the castle is being renovated and serves as a hotel. You can see the gallery here.

fire place gorka castle silesia poland

fire place gorka castle silesia poland

gorka castle silesia poland

gorka castle silesia poland

fire place gorka castle silesia poland

gorka castle silesia poland

gorka castle silesia poland

gorks castle silesia poland

Gorka Castle Silesia Poland

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Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland

Cashel Castle Ireland TipperaryThe castle was being renovated when we got there. A bit disappointing considering pictures I would have liked to take however it was still magnificent and impressive. It’s called by many names among them: Rock of Cashel, St. Patrick’s Rock, Carraig Phádraig or Cashel of the Kings. It is said to be a place where St. Patrick converted Aenghus the King of Munster.

Cashel Town Council

Cashel Castle Ireland Tipperary

Cashel Tipperary Ireland

Rock of Cashel Ireland

Cashel castle cementary celtic cross

Rock of Cashel Munster Ireland

Cashel Ireland

Chapel at Cashel Castle Ireland

Chapel at cathedral Cashel Ireland

Rock of Cashel Ireland castle Munster

Cashel castle Ireland

Cashel castle Ireland

Cashel ireland

Please do visit new Facebook profile for more pictures here.

Cahir Castle

Cahir castle Ireland

We didn’t know Cahir Castle will be closed for maintenance until March 2015 so on a lovely sunny day in March we headed down to Cork and Cahir. Yes the castle was closed and the Swiss Cottage was closed. Bad luck. Both sights look amazing even if you can’t go inside.

Cahir Castle is a stronghold located on a small island on river Suir. It’s one of the biggest castles in Ireland I’ve seen.  After walking around the castle we decided to follow the trail to Swiss Cottage. It’s a nice walk leading along the river. We only got a glimpse of it through the back gate but it looks like taken out of fairy tale. Enjoy the pictures!

Cahir Castle Tipperary Ireland

Cahir Castle South Ireland

Cahir Castle Ireland

Cahir Tipperary Ireland

Cahir Park trail

Cahir Castle Ireland

Golf course Cahir Ireland

Golf course Ireland Cahir

Cahir Heritage Trail Ireland

Swiss Cottage Cahir Historic Town Walk

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland

Cahir Ireland scenic walk

 

Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, UK

corfe castle panorama

The dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle stand on a natural hill guarding the principal route through the Purbeck Hills. As you can see it guards the gap between the south of Purbeck, where Purbeck marble was once quarried, and the rest of England. Nothing could pass in or out without going past the Castle.

Corfe CastleCorfe castle is one of Britain’s most majestic ruins. It’s history can be tracked back to 6000 BC. Of course back then it was not a castle but a village. The oldest surviving structure on the castle site dates back to the XI century.The fortification of the castle was initiated by William the Concqueror to insure its durability for use as a royal fortress. In the end it was destroyed from within by a “turncoat” during the civil war, who gave entry into the castle allowing Cromwell’s army to enter the castle to destroy everything in their path.Corfe Castle ruins

Cromwell’s army fought the most remarkable Lady Bankes, a Royalist, who cared for the castle while her husband, Sir John was called away by Charles I, earning her the name “Brave Dame Mary” as well as the respect of the Parliamentary commander; who was so impressed with her courage that he allowed her to leave the castle with her garrison and the keys to the castle once the Roundheads finally persuaded her to surrender.  She was betrayed by one of her own garrison, who allowed Parliamentary soldiers to gain possession of the building, whereupon they set about destroying the edifice. The Bankes family still preserves the keys at their family home, which is protected by the National Trust.Cementary Corfe Castle Some say that probably more damage was done by the locals than by the troops as they looted the site for its limestone masonry. It was used to rebuild the pretty local village which had also suffered at the hands of the destructive parliamentarian troops.

There is also a legend which Tomas Hardy recorded concerning the disappearance of an entire Roman legion, with of course, only its ghost remaining leading to the conclusion that a massive battle must have taken place between the Celts and the Romans.The Fox Inn

Corfe castle has had a lot of reported ghost sightings that has made the BBC (Corfe Castle Murder Walks). A ghostly white lady and a weeping child are just two of the ghosts that haunt the castle. They say you can come across the headless white lady, whose shimmering shade chills the blood of those who chance upon her, and they find themselves shivering and shaking until she turns and drifts slowly away, fading into nothingness as she goes. The spirit is thought to be that of a young woman who betrayed the castle to Cromwell’s troops during the Civil War.The village

The castle was also the scene of the assassination of King Edward (Edward the Martyr) on the 18th March 978, on the orders of his scheming stepmother Queen Alfthryth. He was stabbed while still on horseback, then dragged along to his death by his horse.

There is a Legend of the pelican at Corfe castle. In 2008, there was great excitement when a stone carving of a pelican was discovered high on the keep at Corfe Castle. To the castle’s Norman builders, the pelican was a powerful religious symbol and its presence here underlines Corfe’s importance as a royal stronghold.

Back: Lady and a henchman

Back: Lady and a henchman

A pelican’s breast plumage has a reddish tinge and its beak a red tip. In ancient times, it was wrongly assumed that the pelican was pecking its chest with its bill and giving its own blood to its chicks. The pelican feeds its chicks with small fish. As the chick reaches up for the food, it was thought they were attacking the parent. When – full of food – the chicks snuggled down into the nest, it was thought the parent pelican had killed them. After three days the pelican was said to peck its own breast and spray blood on the chicks, thus bringing them back to life.

Early Christians, familiar with the legend of the pelican’s

Front: Lady and a henchman

Front: Lady and a henchman

apparent self-sacrifice, saw this as an appropriate symbol to represent Christ the Redeemer. The pelican is usually portrayed with its wings back and head down – a representation of the cross.

You may see another birds in Corfe Castle – the resident ravens, which have recently returned to nest at Corfe Castle. It was believed that if the ravens left the castle it would fall, and according to local legend in 1638 the ravens disappeared and the castle was largely destroyed in 1646.There is the same prophecy for Tower in London, so they keep breeding ravens there just in case.

Corfe Castle’s history continues to be celebrated by the National Trust with court jester days, castle quest activities and living history events. You can see my friends wearing the court clothes on the right.

Swanage RailwayThere is one more attraction nearby: the award-winning Swanage Railway currently operates on the six miles of track between Swanage and Norden, through the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle. The Isle covers approximately 100 square miles but it is not a true island even though the English Channel, Poole Harbour and the River Frome almost surround it.

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Kórnik yet another castle on our May trip through Greater Poland

Kornik castle

It was starting to get dark when we got to Kórnik. Kórnik means a hen house but is spelt with ó instead of u. I bet it does not ring a bell for anyone who doesn’t speak Polish. the vowels ó and u are pronounced the same (although in former times they were in fact pronounced differently). It means the difference between them is purely orthographic. Polish schoolchildren do not like them because of the spelling errors they cause (and because of the bad marks as a consequence).

Kornik castle towerAnyway, the castle beginning dates back to Middle Ages. It was a fortified stronghold surrounded by a moat, the only access to the castle was by a draw-bridge and wrought-iron bars. In the XVI th century the castle was rebuilt in the renaissance style and fortified further. In the XVIII century, Teofila Działyńska-Szołdrska-Potulicka, with all determination she had, turned the mansion into a baroque aristocratic residence. The castle as we see today was created by Tytus Działyński, who changed it into a Neo-Gothic, fortified structure with towers, turrets and battlements.Kornik castle Poland

There is a legend about a “White Lady” strolling the chambers of castle at night. You can find her portrait in the castle, it supposed to be Teofila Działyńska-Szołdrska-Potulicka herself.

According to legend, beautiful Teofila, called by everyone the White Lady, descends from the portrait every night and goes to a park, where a rider on a black horse awaits her. They wander around the park until the crack of dawn. This is how the ghost of Teofila Działyńska was punished by evil powers. In the vicinity of the castle in Kórnik there was a small hunting hut. Treasure was supposed to be hidden in the cellar of the hut and guarded by the evil powers. Teofila, however, ordered the hut to be pulled down and gave the bricks to members of the local community. The evil ghosts took their revenge by making her wander around the castle and park. The curse will be removed when somebody finds the treasure once hidden under the hut.

castle kornik side viewProbably the legend of the White Lady took the beginning of the Teofilas evening walks. She suffered from migraine and she spend willingly time in the park to ease her ailments.

The salon was called by Wladyslaw Zamoyski “peace convicts” because most of the portraits hanging in the family present to persons convicted of participating in various national uprisings. The presence of an empty coffer ceiling heraldic hall Tytus Działyński explained as the need to have free space in case you had to paint a missing arms of a visiting guest. The castle also hosts a library, which contains the works of such great Polish writers and poets as Jan Kochanowski, Mikołaj Rej and Juliusz Słowacki. The Kórnik library also holds the manuscript of the third part of Mickiewicz’s “Dziady”.

The castle’s large park-arboretum comprises over 2,500 species and varieties of trees and shrubs, the largest collection of that kind in Poland.

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