Friday, September 28, 2012

Medieval Castle: Château d'Angers

The medieval castle in Angers in France's Loire Valley is a must see for anyone interested in medieval history. The Château d'Angers is not only a stunning piece of medieval architecture and medieval castle design but its list of tenants over the centuries reads like the 'Who's Who' of medieval greats! Here are just some of the people who spent time at the Château d'Angers:

Henry II ~ Eleanor Of Aquitaine ~ Philip II ~ Catherine de Medici

Visiting the castle leaves a unique imprint on the mind - at least that's what we found. Its style and location as well as the colour and pattern of the stonework are like no other medieval castle we've ever seen before.The drawbridge at the entrance with its heavy chains makes you feel like you're walking back through time!

Read more about medieval castles in France on our main website.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Medieval Fireplace In The Movies

Medieval history is a theme featured in many movies. Medieval times were so colourful compared to life today and it's not surprising that when this is portrayed well, the movies that take a medieval theme prove very popular. Two such examples are "The Lion In Winter" (1968 - about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine) and "Braveheart" (1995 - about William Wallace),

We recently watched the movie "Joan Of Arc" (1999) directed by Luc Besson. Having read about the life of Joan of Arc and also read the reviews of the movie itself, we knew not to expect full historical accuracy but it was interesting to see how the director had tackled such a powerful medieval story, how he portrayed the battles, etc.

One particular scene caught my eye ... the setting was supposed to be the English court where Joan's activities in France were being discussed. Immediately I recognised the fireplace and the steps in front of it - it was a fireplace I had seen in real life, not on a studio set!

Where was the fireplace? Not in England! It was a medieval fireplace quite unique in its size and design - in the Ducal Palace in Poitiers, France. Here it is in a short video clip .... look out for it next time you watch the movie!


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Donjon Pons - From Below

Our last medieval blog post featured the magnificent donjon in Pons in the Charente-Maritime. We were able to show you the views from the very top of the donjon looking out for miles across the French countryside.

Today we are going back down to the bottom of the donjon and looking up. This video clip gives an idea of the size and scale of the tower. Imagine what it took to construct this back in medieval times - in 1187 in fact.

This particular donjon is now classed as one of France's historical monuments and is regarded as the best example of its type in SW France. The tower is 30m in height and its walls are between 2.5m and 4.4m thick.

Read about the magnificent donjon in Bazoges-en-Pareds.

Read more about medieval donjons.

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