Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cavalcade of Castles

I'm not really sure why I became so fixated on castles last summer. Its not something I really had an interest in in school and I didnt' go out of my way to read a lot of books on castles, knights, dragons and all the other images that we like to associate with them. I think for me it was purely for photographic reasons. These buildings (to me any way) make for a good picture and was quite pleased with the way most of them turned out. The other (and main)reason I suspect is simply that visiting them allowed me to walk into the steps of Napoleon, Franz Ferdinand, Mozart and many other historic figures I've read about and studied.

Prague Castle

Kinsky Palace in Prague's Old Town Square

Konopiste Chateau outside Benesov - former summer home of Franz Ferdinand.

Krumlov Castle in Cesky Krumlov - the 2nd largest castle in Czech Republic and my personal favorite of the bunch.

Telc's Water Chateau

Hradec Castle in Jindrichuv Hradec- owned by the same family that owned Krumlov Castle. The Lords of Rozmberk sure knew how to build some nice houses.

Another Renaissance gem - the chateau in Mikulov.

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The forbidding Spilberk fortress in Brno. It was converted into a citadel in the 17th century and gained a notorious reputation as a prison, used by both the Habsburgs and the Nazis.

Karlstejn Castle - not the best of pictures but it had quite the fairytale feel to it. It served as home to Charles IV, the Czech's greatest king and used to house the Bohemian Crown jewels. Unfortunately these treasures, like many others from this time, now sit in Vienna museums.

The Italian Court in Kutna Hora, the former Royal Mint.