Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wales: Castell Coch

Howdy, peeps!  It is pretty much taking me forever to post our Wales pictures which is sad because a.) it's a beautiful place and we had a great time there and b.) it's almost a year since we were there.  Like, ten months ago.  So today we're visiting Castell Coch, which means "Red Castle" in Welsh--not because the castle was red, but because one of the owners had red hair.  I always wished I had red hair as a kid and couldn't understand why Anne of Green Gables hated hers.

Anyway, Castell Coch is quite possibly the cutest castle in the history of ever.


There have been fortifications on the site since about the 12th century, but the current castle is a Victorian-era reconstruction using the ruined medieval foundations as a base.  You can read all about it on the Wikipedia page linked above; let's just say that if I had squillions of dollars, I would totally rebuild a castle like this.  Or if I wanted to stay in America, I'd build one from scratch like this.


Castell Coch was pretty close to our hotel, so we hit it up first thing in the morning (before it even opened) and walked around it, and then after we did the Doctor Who Experience we went back to actually see the inside.  (Fun fact:  night before last, I had a dream that I was with the Eleventh Doctor and Clara and we were fighting the Cybermen.  No kidding, I woke up kind of in a panic around midnight because Cybermen were chasing me.)


I've seen some McMansion houses that have their own towers, but I think this one is cooler.


Pic of the top of the other tower, just because I thought it was neat looking.


This is when we came back to the castle in the afternoon; the scads of old ladies are gone (they came in a tour bus) but there's that truck sitting right out front and the lighting was nowhere near as good for pictures.


This is the inner courtyard, which just begs for a Shakespearean production to happen here.  Another fun fact:  Castell Coch has been used on more than one occasion to film episodes of Doctor Who (Vampires of Venice I think was one of them).


The interiors were really, really cool, and kind of bonkers in a Victorian sort of way.  I mean, doesn't this fireplace put every other fireplace you've seen to shame?


There were several pairs of these windows with shields on them, and the really cool thing about them was that the metal separating the panes is connected to the heating system so in the wintertime, the windows actually help warm up the room.


More decorations.  A lot of the decor is based around myths and legends; one whole room is painted with scenes from Aesop's Fables but my pictures didn't turn out that great in there.


Dude, I totally want a room like this.  All I need is a domed ceiling, 14 million pounds of gold, a huge chandelier, and a paintbrush.  Then IT WILL BE MINE.  Seriously though, isn't that beautiful?


Here's a slightly blurry photo of the three Greek Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.


And another picture of that glorious ceiling.


This was a doorway to the marquess' bedroom (okay, so in British aristocracy there's a whole confusing hierarchy of titles and a marquess is one of them, I think it's more towards the lower end of the totem pole whereas a duke would be closer to the top).


And this is the sink in the bedroom.  Ok Lee, when we buy a house, I want you to build me a vanity like this one for our master bathroom ; )  So now do you see what I mean about this place being kind of bonkers in a Victorian way?  That sink is pretty off the hook though.  I think I've been watching too much HGTV lately.


Above the fireplace in the marquess' bedroom is Psyche, wife of Eros/Cupid in ancient myth.  Generally any female in paintings with butterfly wings is Psyche.


Here's a few shots of the courtyard area from upstairs.


It's kind of hard to get a sense of the place just from the pictures, but this really was the cutest little castle I've seen anywhere, and the first one that I could kind of imagine living in.  I could totally get along with the castle-riffic sink and the Psyche fireplace decoration.


Castell Coch is also where I got my super cool Welsh souvenir--a mug with the red Welsh dragon on it like you see on the Welsh flag.  The mug is so cute too, it's a fun shape and I love it and I don't care that Lee thinks I have too many mugs for drinking tea (I'm not quite so British that I use teacups, though I have a collection of those too).


Castle selfie!  Loved visiting Castell Coch.  Had we gone to Wales earlier in our time in Europe, I probably would have wanted to go back a few more times.  So anyway, I'll try to get the next batch of pictures up sooner rather than later.  Cheers, peeps!

1 comment:

CCsMom said...

That courtyard makes it look like a little village. And it's cool that you can see how it could be decorated instead of seeing ruins. I'd love to see this. Fun!