Friday

Windsor Castle

Right from teenage, when I started reading novels, I was fascinated by the descriptions of palaces and castles. I have seen few palaces in India and seen the exterior of some of the palaces in Malaysia.

But, I have always longed to see a castle. When I stepped out of the Windsor and Eton Riverside Railway station, I was so thrilled to see the majestic round tower dominating the skyline.

Whenever I read or even thought about castles, I had a vivid visualization of sprawling lawns, high towers and cold breeze. I would say that the Windsor Castle did not disappoint me.

Instead of expressing my feelings in words, it would be better to watch the video to get a hang on my thrill, and also see how I was rattling to my husband, with great excitement:)

video

It was just awesome. Look at this bird's eye view photo.

We saw a different kind of flag on the round tower...

Someone in front of us asked the security personnel if the Queen was in the castle. He answered that it was easy to tell by looking at the flag in the round tower. It seems that if the Queen is in residence (meaning, she is living there at the moment) the Royal Standard flies else the British Union Jack flies! So, we knew the relevance of that flag and also that the Queen was there when we were visiting, not a big deal though...

The dark corners of the castle remind me of all those romances that I have been reading since my college days:)

And the moats remind me of all those bloody wars.

Look at this deep wall, where a soldier can comfortably aim at the enemy...

Look at the beautiful view from the lower ward of the castle.

On your right, see the castle and on your left you see the St George's and Albert Memorial Cathedral, dating back to the 11th century.

It is a good example of Gothic architecture and exquisite glass paintings. Besides, it is a living church, which means, it is still in use by the royal family and the people of Windsor. Around 11 kings are buried here.

In the upper ward of the Castle, Photos are prohibited.

The Doll's house was dimly lit, to preserve the fragile miniature collectibles of Queen Mary. The highlight of this section was a present from one of her granddaughters, which was a doll's house. In this, everything is a working scaled down version of a modern mansion of the 18th century.

Then as we entered the Grand staircase, I was reminded of the Mysore place in India. The audio tour explained that, even now Queen Elizabeth II, receives the state guests, from this staircase.

The State Room was filled with treasures acquired from various British colonies. The best piece was the large golden tiger head seized from Tipu Sultan of Mysore, India. In fact, the largest collection was from India that ranged from jeweled armouries to dresses. Though, I had a sense of misgiving to see my country's treasure in a foreign land, I consoled myself by thinking that we have migrated here and no point to talk about the glorious past, right?

Then, the King's, Queen's Chamber was like what you would expect in a palace. The walls were adorned with marvelous paintings by famous artists from 15th to 17th centuries.

Holbein and Rubens paintings were captivating. Holbein's self-portrait was the best, and I spent long time in front of that painting, as it was so powerful. I wanted to take a snap, but unfortunately, it was a restricted area. However, you can see Holbein's self-portrait online. In the original, his rich silk robes and straight posture shows an air of authority and whichever angle you stand, you feel as if Holbein is watching you smugly.

This post is getting longer, so let me wind up with a beautiful shot that shows the backside of the castle.

1 comment:

hayley.jay said...

great pictures :) i would love to see it someday!

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