|Cahir Castle, Ireland|
Perched quite high on my list of travel destinations are castles. We prefer the wild, deserted, partially ruinous ones to the overly restored, museum-like, antique filled ones but there are many gems (like Cahir Castle, Ireland) that fall in the middle. It has been thoughtfully restored to it's medieval might in a way that you can imagine the history around you. Castles have inspired the contents of July's Issue of Emerald Post. In addition, I'm starting a series of posts here, digging into the parts of the castle.
Note - I am not a historian or any sort of architectural expert on castles but I did study Medieval History in my college days and continue to be entranced by these grand monuments of the past, their role in history, and their continuing presence throughout Ireland, England, Scotland & Wales. So join me here for my blog series "Anatomy of a Castle" as we explore Medieval fortresses of the Celtic Isles.
My Webster's defines a castle as "a large fortified building or group of buildings." The web adds "fortified against attack with thick walls, battlements, towers, and in many cases a moat." And fortified is the key here. Castles were not just palaces or royal residences. In many cases, royalty did indeed live within the fortified walls and often, these castles showcased power and wealth but they were built to be strongholds. The fortified castle from the Middle Ages (5th-15th century) is where we will journey, touring the massive walls, great halls, and all the nooks and crannies of these Medieval marvels. We'll begin, in my next post, with Walls & Battlements.