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Saturday, June 09, 2007

just when you thought castles were passe

A favorite comedian of ours (who is from Europe himself) has a bit about the way Americans and Europeans look at castles. Americans, he says, look at a castle and see Disneyland. The cameras come out, jaws drop, oohs and ahhs commence. Europeans, on the other hand, being residents of the world's greatest treasury of castles of all makes, models and states of repair, see a castle and say to themselves, "Now who put that bloody castle here!"

After seeing our share of castles in the Czech Republic (fun parenthetical fact: the Czech Republic has the highest ratio of castles per squre mile than any other country in the world), we've slowly come to see it from our neighbor's point of view. Castles are great, but they are after all, just castles.

Just castles. Never thought I would say that.

Anyway, in the past few months, we've been to a few "gems" that have really perked us up to castling again, including one of the crown jewels of central Czech, the Konopiste chateau (pictured above). Now this is a castle that I could live in. No drafty hallways, no cold stone walls (although admittedly, no Coldstone either), no touristy museums of medieval torture elements. And, per the requests of its last royal resident, fully equipped with 14 modern toilets, showers and a slow-moving but stupendously posh elevator.

Too---and this was the real eye-opener of the place---its aforementioned final resident, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand (best remembered for being the unfortunate victim of the assassin who kicked off World War I) left the place fully equipped with enough hunting trophies to make any Green Peace type throw in the towel. This avid (to put it mildly) hunter even documented each and every kill; the grand total came up to---I kid you not---more than 300,000 confirmed kills. At least 3,000 of those trophies hang from the walls of Konopiste. I'm pretty sure that this was the guy who shot Bambi's mom. In fact, that just may be her up there on the right.


Blogger The Agees said...

Before anybody tries to point this out:

Yes, I know that a doe (a deer, a female deer) does not have antlers.

I reserve the right to blogger's licence.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous denim Woman said...

How Totally NOT fair to steal the right to the announcement from thy Mother!
I so wanted to point out that fact to the world. Oh poop...

1:38 PM  
Blogger The Booters said...

that is the education that 80,000 dollars will get you. And some how it was worth every penny I send to sallie mae monthly. And i will forever think castles are cool, especially ones that bands live in.

7:43 PM  
Blogger James said...

Never been to a castle myself, but I plan on changing that in the near future.

Oh Ireland come quickly.

8:25 PM  
Blogger the CoR said...

Boy, that sure is overKILL, wouldn't ya say? Badum ching! Oh man. Bad pun.

Is that Eddie Izzard you're quoting? I know I've heard that somewhere before.

11:49 AM  

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