Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wake up and smell the castles

I have struggled since the beginning of this blog to formulate the right words to discuss the topic at hand. While i mulled and considered that space was filled with words and pictures about casteles. To my chagrin there was a problem with all of the discussion about castles. While points were vigorously debates I couldnt quite figure out what the problem was. Then I realized...all of the castles lived firmly across the border from the far outpost of crazytown we generally inhabit and existed in fantasy land. So here as follows are the top 5 REAL castles. Thats right, these ones exist, no b.s. these castles are not a series of 0111000111 001 00111 but they are legit. Here we go.

1. The Forbidden City: Beijing China

First of all this is more than a castle, this is the most badass place you could inhabit. Emperor Puyi was a captive within the walls of the forbidden city of over 15 years and he didnt even care the place was so big. To start with, what is more forbidding as an entrance way than a giant picture of chairman Mao. Also I like this pick as number one because it takes the traditional idea of castle, puts it on its head and then asks for 300 yuan for the traditional chinese foot massage it just gave you. The only thing i would change about the place is that its army of Eunichs there to serve the emperor, well they make me uncomfortable.
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2. The Alahambra: Granada Spain,
This place is both incredible and incredibly different than the forbidden city. This fortress if mostly stone as opposed the wooden architecture of the forbidden city. But the castle is really known for its intricate stone work.

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Now whats also sweet about this place is that not only is it built by the Moores (or muslim people from north africa). It was built by people who were like, um i dont really care that we dont live here im building a castle...and you get out. In a nutshell this place makes old crumbling british castles look like a pile of loose stone they took off Hadrians wall glued together with mud. need more proof?

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3. Mont Saint Michel: France

Neil mentioned this castle in passing... but passing isnt good enough for this one. As neil mentioned its on multiple levels surrounded by tidal mud flats. Its literally built on a mountain that sticks out of the sea. There is only one narrow strip of land to this place. Imagine surveying the seas off the norman coast of france from the top of this place. Its just sweet. Better yet this island repelled the brits multiple times during the 100 years war.


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4. Chatau de Chillon: Montreux Switzerland

Location Location Location. Look at this place. If that romantic jerk lord byron loved it, who wont? Its not in use now like the next pick is but, looks like a sweet place to kick back after the Montreux Jazz festival.


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5. Windsor Caslte, Birkshire county England

If the Royal family loves it so will you. This place is huge, and if you love intricate paneled interiors that would make a wealthy victorian woman swoon you got it here. while its defenses may be questionable (this seems to be an important issue to some though im not planning on waging any war unless it be ideological) im sure it will be all right seeing the william the conquerer never lost the place. This place also has some sweet guards with awesome hats, we should get some of those dudes.

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Other castles worth note:

No i will not mention mad king ludwig's caslte that the disney castle is based on, way too cliche.


And there you have it...reality fights back.