Search Results for: castle mclachlan

Muider Castle in The Netherlands

While many people go to Amsterdam to get baked and stare at Van Gogh paintings, the area around the city has a lot to offer, including one of the most visited castles in The Netherlands. A twenty-minute bus ride from Amstel station takes you to the little port of Muiden, and from there it’s a pleasant walk through a park and along the coast to Muiderslot, a picturesque little castle by the sea.

Visiting York Castle

York in northern England is justifiably famous for its well-preserved Viking city. The foundations of an entire Viking neighborhood are preserved under glass at the Jorvik Viking Center, a delightfully cheesy tourist trap that includes an animatronic Viking taking a dump in a Norse outhouse. But let’s not dwell on that. For a different, yet equally one-of-a-kind sight, check out York Castle just a short stroll away. It was founded in 1068 by William the Conqueror as a typical motte…

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Mysterious Paintings in the Donjon of an Italian Castle

When I visited the castle in Gorizia, Italy, the part that intrigued me most was the donjon. This cramped room is a grim little place with no window to the outside. It was used for several centuries and over the years bored prisoners decorated the walls and vaulted ceiling with drawings. Religious motifs, sailing ships, people, and a number of abstract shapes caught my attention.

A Look Inside Gorizia Castle, Italy

The Isonzo River on the border with Italy and Slovenia has long been of strategic importance. Most famous as the site of the World War One Battles of Isonzo, you can find fortifications dating much earlier than the old bunkers and trenches that dot the hillsides. One of the most magnificent is Gorizia Castle, which sits atop a steep hill overlooking the Italian city of Gorizia on the Isonzo River a few miles before it reaches the sea after its…

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Spanish Castle Magic, Part Three

In my previous Spanish castle magic posts, I’ve talked about some of the classic castles of Spain. The country is filled with castles thanks to the Reconquista and all the fighting that happened before that period. As we all know, however, these weren’t the last battles on Spanish soil. The most bitter fighting happened during the Spanish Civil War from 1936-39. Some of Spain’s castles were actually used in the fighting. Strategic positions don’t tend to change, and when visiting…

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Sean McLachlan’s The Quintessence of Absence Now Available as a Free eBook

It’s been a good day for free fiction. We’ve heard from BG blogger Sean McLachlan that his original noir fantasy novella, “The Quintessence of Absence,” is now available as a free ebook at Smashwords. Can a drug-addicted sorcerer sober up long enough to save a kidnapped girl and his own Duchy? In an alternate 18th century Germany where magic is real and paganism never died, Lothar is in the bonds of nepenthe, a powerful drug that gives him ecstatic visions….

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Spanish Castle Magic, Part One

Living in Spain, I’ve had the good fortune to visit many of the country’s castles. The most stunning, and most popular, is the Alcázar in Segovia, an easy day trip from Madrid. It’s in great condition, mainly because it was never caught up in the Reconquista or blasted apart during the Spanish Civil War. Built on the end of the rocky promontory atop which Segovia stands, it’s literally cut off from the rest of the town by a deep moat…

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Treasures of the Archaeological Museum, Córdoba, Spain

Funerary stela, Roman, middle of the first century AD In past weeks we’ve looked at the historic city of Córdoba, Spain–its famous mosque/cathedral, its castle, and other sites. To wrap up this miniseries, let’s look at the city’s excellent archaeological museum. Like many local museums in Spain, it covers a broad range of history from the Paleolithic to the Renaissance. It is especially strong in Roman artifacts, and is in fact built on some Roman ruins that can be seen…

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Strolling through Córdoba, Spain

The Calahorra tower, on the far side of the Guadalquivir River from Córdoba, protects access to the Roman bridge. It was originally built in the Islamic period and rebuilt in 1369 Last week I wrote about the magnificent mosque/cathedral of Córdoba. While that’s the city’s main draw, there’s plenty else to see in this historic place. In fact, the entire city center, where most of the old buildings are, is one big UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area, next to…

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