Saturday, April 04, 2020

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Favorite palaces and castles

Posted by Hippobean at 1:01 PM
In Hippo's travels:

1. Punakha Dzong - Punakha, Bhutan
Most majestic in all of Bhutan. The Hippo was stunned by the Tibetan Bhutanese architecture. Unlike any she's ever seen. So unique and intricate. Stole my heart.

2. Peleș and Pelișor Palaces - Sinaia, Romania
His and hers palaces. Peleș elaborate enough but not too much. Pelișor with a feminine touch, more like a home. These castles were dear to my heart as I've read about Queen Marie. At an altitude of 930m, at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains in the Carpathians, Sinaia stays with me always.

3. Pavlovsk Palace - Pavlovsk, Russia
More like a country home than a grand palace. Richly decorated but its smaller size makes it intimate. The lake on the back with the palace reflected perfectly on the calm water. After all the over killed gold and excessive frescoes of the other
bigger palaces, this one offered a breath of fresh air. I really liked this palace.

4. Tashauli Palace/Harem - Khiva, Uzbekistan
Harem quarters. Ceilings and walls covered with Islamic art. Colorful ceilings for the concubines, walls in the arabic blue and white. Beautiful quarters for the ladies.

5. Nezvizh Castle - Niasviž, Belarus
Small castle but ornate. Russian crystal chandeliers and mirrors on the walls that perpetually reflect the crystals. In its halls, we dined on potato pancakes in the dead of the night, and breakfasted eggs and toast in torrential rain. The cloudy rainy days made the castle longing and romantic. The adjacent hotel also made it to Hippo's favorite hotel list.

6. Winter Palace - St Petersburg, Russia
The Jordan staircase has no parallel. So beautiful, it's beyond words. The Russian crystal chandeliers, the huge lapiz and malachite vases, Hippo's 2 favorite semi precious. Golden onion dome, inside and out. The Hermitage. All next to the Neva river. Russia's most beautiful.

7. Mikhailovsky Palace (The Russian Museum) - St Petersburg, Russia
Not large in size but filled with great treasures such as the Briullov's 'Narcissus looking into the water', 'The Last Days of Pompeii', and Alvazovsky's 'The View of Constantinople by Moonlight'. Beautiful Russian gilded crystal chandeliers. Intimate palace. I've enjoyed the museum pieces but liked the palace more.

8. Bahia Palace - Marrakesh, Morocco
Intricate and elegant Islamic architecture. Very colorful, every inch carved and painted, and the design never repeated. Each room a new color combo, a different design. Great feast for the eyes and blew the Hippo to color heaven.

9. Malbork Castle - Malbork, Poland
The Teutonic Knights castle, a stunning structure of red bricks, with an outer fortress, a middle castle complete with latrine towers, and an upper castle on a hill through a drawbridge. The outer courtyard in the Middle castle was big and the inner courtyard in the Upper Castle was intimate with the Teutonic Pelican atop the central well, surrendered on 4 sides with 2 stories cloisters. Bronze statues of the Grand Masters. The entire complex was huge, the biggest brick castle in the world, impressive and absolutely gorgeous. Couldnt take my eyes off it.

10. Trakai Island Castle - Trakai, Lithuania
Eye catching red brick castle that sat on an island. Beautiful sight. Inner courtyards with open corridors running the entire wall. Enormous round and square towers. Colorful stained glasses depicting knights on horses. In the Duke Chamber, a painting depicting the king at the head of the table with 2 rows of chalices, a serpent with the head of the bishop under the table, and the bishop stealing the crown on the other end of the table. Wow. Loved this castle.

10. Tintagel - North Cornwall, UK
On a jagged promontory projecting into the Cornish sea, the ruins are pitch black. Not very much remains in the mystical Arthur's castle but the arched gate and the few wall ruins stood on the headland like a silent reminder of the boy who became king, wielded the Excalibur, founded the Camelot, a tragic betrayal and found redemption in the Grail. With the sea forever crashing on the shores below and the incessant howling winds, the black ruins, and the Romance, the castle has made it to Hippo's list as a bonus.



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