Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Castles

Last week we visited two castles, both of which were less than an hour's drive from our home. On Wednesday, our day off of school, we studied for about three hours in the morning, and then we went to Château de Dourdan in the afternoon. Built in 1220, this castle is known for its state of the art defensive systems.

Here you can see the (now empty) formidable moat. This photo also shows that the Château de Dourdan sits smack dab in the middle of a town which seems to have grown up around it.

This is Chandler at the ruins of one of the original towers. Château de Dourdan is a rustic castle, equipped with dungeons and medieval weaponry. Coder boys--we bought you a Christmas present at this castle, and both Graham and Chan think it looks like something they themselves would enjoy, but I am not giving you any more hints.

All throughout the castle there are slit-like openings which were designed for archers, as Chandler demonstrates below.

On Sunday after church we toured the Château de Fontainbleau. Evidence of this castle dates back to 1137, but it has been enlarged and remodeled many times since then.

This is the grand ballroom, where I begged Graham to waltz with me. He was much too dignified to dance with his silly mom, but he finally acquiesced to a photo.

Have you ever seen a real live throne? This was a first for me. It is the only throne room in all of France that is still outfitted with its original furniture, and we found it quite regal indeed! Napoleon himself ordained that this room was to be kept as it is, and I, for one, am grateful.

The Château de Fontainbleau is resplendent with glorious antiques and extravagant furnishings.

After touring the castle we stopped for gôuter, where David and I split a delicious little tarte aux pommes.

We finished the day with a delightful stroll through the expansive garden. Is there anything better? I think days like these just might be little tastes of heaven.

1 comment:

  1. AAH! I shall be in suspense until Christmas! Glad you guys are having a good time!