Chateau d’Abbadia

On the Basque Coast of France, Chateau d’Abbadia stands on a bluff above the sea. It’s an impressive building built in the 19th Century by a fellow who liked to explore the world and beyond. Here’s a look at the main entrance:

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And a look at the south side for a better sense of scale.

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Sadly, no photography was permitted inside the building which featured a handsome library, a telescope, countless beautifully furnished rooms, not to mention interesting artifacts.

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The photo above is a look at the chapel wing. The chapel itself was quite impressive in scale and decor. Clearly, the architect knew what he was doing, as did the builders. If you’re in the area of Hendaye, France, I highly recommend a visit here. Guide is in French with a written handout in other languages including English.

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Published in: on October 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm  Comments (2)  
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Torégano Castle, Spain

East of Segovia, you’ll find the tiny town of Torégano and one of the most unusual castles I’ve seen in Spain.

From the photo above, you may be thinking it’s just another pile of rocks left over from another age. In some ways it is. The original fortress was built around the Tenth Century. Over the years it was expanded and modified.

You can see how the outer wards were expanded and a larger keep installed, rising to several stories. However, what makes this site most curious is the construction of a large church within the center.

The church spans the entire center courtyard, and when it was built, the older columns were simply covered over and incorporated into the newer structure. From the upper keep, you can see the roof of the church and the countryside beyond.

What a view! The tiles on that roof are showing their age, and the floor that used to be located here is gone. But the window seats by the arrow ports are still in place within the span of the wall. There’s a story behind the church being built within this castle. It’s a long one, like so many about Spain, so I’ll skip it for this blog post. Nonetheless, take a final look at the keep from the outside.

Imposing is the right word. If you happen to visit this town, don’t forget La Casa Vieja, a fine restaurant and inn where you’ll have a great meal and peaceful rest. See an earlier post on that subject.

Published in: on October 5, 2010 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Trujillo Castle, Spain

Is there a hilltop in Spain without a castle? Very few. Trujillo’s Castle dominates the town with its battlements looking out over every quarter. You are permitted to walk the walls, which is well worth it. Don’t forget to stop into the chapel, too. You’ll see them both in the following video.

I most enjoyed those expansive views out over the countryside. No army was going to sneak up on this town. Judging by the size of the outer wards, the place was well-prepared to wait out a siege, too. Bring your catapults!

Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 1:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Peñafiel Castle, Spain

If you like your medieval castles intact, then Peñafiel has much to offer. Only guided tours are permitted, but no worries as you’ll see plenty. There’s also a wine museum built into the southern portion of the castle. It’s worth your time. The gift shop has a fine selection of hand blown glassware that is the epitome of class and style. So, let’s have a look at this fortress. Here’s the video:

Impressive, no? I’ll say. It’s hard to imagine someone taking a chance attacking castles like this. There are so may angles for the defenders to launch everything from stones to arrows to boiling oil. Nasty. Climbing those stairs was good exercise, too. There are a few more castle videos and photos essays to come. Stay tuned.