Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eilean Donan Castle

February theme-Castles

For those who like to have a royal-like wedding with a castle as the location, Eliean Donan in Scotland is one of the popular venues for this memorable occasion.

Eilean Donan is in Scotland, close to the village of Dornie. It is named after St. Donan, a celtic saint of the Dark Ages.

The original castle was built in 1220 for Alexander II as a defence against the Vikings. By the late 13th century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail (later the Earls of Seaforth). In 1511, the MacRaes, as protectors of the MacKenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle.

In 1539 Iain Dubh Matheson, chief of the Clan Matheson died whilst defending the Castle on Eilean Donan island against the Clan MacDonald of Sleat on behalf of the Clan MacRae and Clan MacKenzie.

In April 1719 the castle was occupied by Spanish troops attempting to start another Jacobite Rising. The castle was recaptured, and then demolished, by three Royal Navy frigates on 10–13 May 1719. The Spanish troops were defeated a month later at the Battle of Glen Shiel.

The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap. The restoration included the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle. In 1983 The Conchra Charitable Trust was formed by the MacRae family to care for the Castle.

source of information: wikipedia

Monday, February 04, 2008

Castelo de San Angelo-Rome-Castle

February theme-Castles

Castelo de San Angelo

One of the landmarks visited by the family when my brother was still staying in Italy.

It was built in Rome by the Emperor Hadrian. It was originally created as a tomb but was mostly used as a defense fortress. From its top place, a wonderful view of Rome is presented.

Its original structure was begun in 139 by emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum personal and family (tombs of Adriano), come to be completed by Antoninus Pius in 139. The monument, in travertine, was adorned by a quadriga in bronze, led by Adriano.

Soon, however, its role has changed and is used as a military building.In that capacity, joined the Aurelian Walls at 403.

ts current name dates back to 590, during a major epidemic of plague that struck Rome. At that time, Pope Gregory I said have seen the St. Michael Archangel on the top of the castle, which embainhava your sword, indicating the end of the epidemic. To celebrate this appearance, a statue of an angel crown the building: originally a marble from the Raffaello Montelupo, and since 1753, a bronze statue of Pierre van Verschaffelt on an outline Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

During medieval times this was the most important strongholds belonging to the Popes. Also served as prison for many patriots at the time of the movement of unification of Italy occurred in the nineteenth century.

From its terrace above, it has a magnificent view of the Tiber, the buildings of the city and even the domo top of St. Peter's Basilica.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Château de Chenonceau - France-Castle

February theme-Castles

The Menier family, famous for their chocolates, bought the dilapidated château and asked Bernard Voisin to restore this once used as hospital during World War 1.

Château de Chenonceau in France, was designed by Philibert Delorme and built in the 11th century.

The original manor was torched in 1411 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a castle and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s. Subsequently, his indebted heir Pierre Marques sold the castle to Thomas Bohier, Chamberlain for King Charles VIII of France in 1513. Bohier destroyed the existing castle and built an entirely new residence between 1515 and 1521; the work was sometimes overseen by his wife Katherine Briçonnet, who delighted in hosting French nobility, including King François I on two occasions.

for more of the history of the castle, go to Château de Chenonceau.