Tuesday, 23 October 2012

kastelen. chateaux. { castles }

Traveling in europe with a six year old boy makes one seek out
Kastelen/ Chateaux/ Castles. The towers, lookouts, turrets & armour - 
all make for a happy and engaged young travel companion.
We recently visited the 12th century Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg ( photos to the left).
It sits atop the Stophanberch mountain in Orschwiller in Alsace, France and it can been seen from many towns away. It is a beautiful sight - we could see it as we drove from in from Strasbourg,  the political, economic, cultural capitol and largest city in Alsace. If you have never been, Alsace and the Vosges mountains, situated along the Rhine valley and close to the german border, is an area full of medievil towns and vineyards - a region of France not to be missed.
In Leiden, just a bike ride away from where we are living in the netherlands,
the De Burcht ( photos to right) is tucked away right in the center of town, encircled by two canals. It is from the same era, 12th cen., and is considered a shell keep, a style of medieval fortification best described as a stone structure circling the top of a motte ( rasied earth). In Holland it is rare to have a view as eveything is so flat so it was very exciting to get a view out and over the gorgeous town of Leiden, one of my favorite cities here in NL.
 *if you have a favorite castle - do share/comment - we will try and visit

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