Monday, July 13, 2015

Wales: Conwy Castle

What's up, dudes?  Are ya surprised to see a new blog post here?  I'm still slowly working my way through pictures from Wales, and that trip was over a year ago now.  Sad, I know.  I still have two more Welsh posts to do after this one.

But anyway, today we're going to Conwy Castle.

I love the juxtaposition of the centuries-old castle wall and the modern road.  Conwy Castle is quite large and dead smack in the middle of town.  It's another castle built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales.

On our way up to the castle, there are a couple of the eight towers this castle boasts.

I find something endlessly fascinating about looking at the signs in Welsh and wondering how on Earth to pronounce them.

Hey, anyone remember where we parked the car?

I don't think there was a sign or anything explaining this sculpture, but I took a picture of Lee with it anyway.

Our fabulous luck with the weather pretty much ended the day we were at Conwy.  It was cloudy and windy and a little cold.

You can read all about Conwy's history on the Wikipedia page linked above; the short version is that Edward I built it as part of his campaign to crush the Welsh, and it was used off and on for centuries in several wars.  Then after the English Civil War, it was intentionally slighted (damaged to preclude its use as a military base) and later all the iron from the roofs and elsewhere in the castle was sold off, which turned Conwy into a total ruin.  Fast forward another century or two and like many other ruined castles, Conwy enjoyed a resurgence in popularity with artists who painted "romantic ruins" landscapes.

This was one of the larger castles we visited in Wales, maybe about the same size as Caernarfon.  And there's no way I remember now what part of the castle we were in for all of these shots (or...any of these shots) so I'm just picking the ones I like.

Oh hey, I found a wee patch of blue sky!

And there's another juxtaposition of ancient and modern:  on the right side you can see tunnels for trains coming into town that go right through some of the castle fortifications.

There's a view of the town.

'Nother view with the river in the background.

I think there was some legend about a king's ghost haunting Conwy but alas, I can't remember the specifics and I don't think we bought any guide books in Wales.  Anyway, this wire sculpture was hanging up in one of the roofless rooms; this picture was taken from the back since I couldn't get any of them to come out facing front.  You might have to squint and tilt your head a bit to see that it's a king; crown on top and the eyes are easy to see, but from this point of view the back of the crown goes through the middle of his face.

There's another view of the castle and the town...

...and one with mostly the castle as seen from on high.

Stained glass window in the chapel.

And just one more picture of a tower before...

...the obligatory castle selfie.  Gotta love my hairdo...I told you it was windy up there!

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