Wandering through arches — TTT 20 Apr

There are certain places that I would very much like to visit and know, in my heart of hearts, that I will never see. One of these places is the finest Crusader castles ever in existence, Krak des Chevaliers.

Look at this thing:

Tiny pic gets twice as big when clicked

That’s a serious castle, sited on top of a hill, able to hold a force of 2000, stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller. I think by now it’s recognized that I’m a castle junkie and this one in particular is important as the inspiration for the Edward I’s Welsh border lords’ constructions at Conwy, Caerphilly, Caernarvon etc. It’s a beautiful castle, a huge castle, and I will never travel to Syria and wander through its interior, feeling the air kept chilled from the desert sun by twenty-foot-thick walls.

There is one way I can take a nice look though, and that’s via some panoramic photos taken by a man named Willy Kaemena. If you are not familiar with viewing this mode of photography on the web, it’s more-or-less a 360 degree view, built on a grid that looks much like the turned-off holodeck on Star Trek:The Next Generation. (And with that sentence I have just cemented my reputation as a total geek, by the way.) Although the pictures take from seconds to a couple minutes to load, once they are on-screen you can move your mouse around to look left and right and up and down and it’s the next best thing to smelling the stone dust yourself.

This one, of the castle’s entrance, is my favorite. It gives a sense of the immensity of these fortresses, as well as showing off the skill needed to build those Romanesque arches (hint: pan up and look at the ceiling, it’s so freaking cool!)

Here’s a view inside the church, with Gothic arches this time. It’s not hard to squint my eyes and imagine these walls whitewashed and decorated with scenes of saints and their tribulations, inspirations for the warriors who worshipped within.

And finally, a third panorama from the top of a tower, showing how really huge this place was and how much it dominated the countryside with its superior position. Magnificent, I think.

And that’s today’s abbreviated history post, with thanks to Mr. Kaemena for providing the means for my castles-in-the-sky daydreams of travel to become just a tiny bit more real.

Wikipedia entry on the Krak des Chevaliers.


3 Responses to “Wandering through arches — TTT 20 Apr”

  1. Conor Kovacich (13 yrs.) Says:

    OMFG i love castles so much and im gonna visit that castle.(well i hope so!) Can you tell me all you know about this castle because i heard about it in a game and heard that it was a Knights Templar castle and I really badly want to see Knights Templar stuff.

    Sincerly, Conor Kovacich

  2. Conor Kovacich (13 yrs.) Says:

    I just read all of your posts or blog thingies,anyway.Wow u should be a writer your life is amazing and you live in Greece at least i think since you’re “total Greek”. And i love Greece and all its history, i hope to see all the historical statues and structures made by the ancient Greek civilizations.

  3. AlloffhoW Says:

    When I put my nose in a glass, it’s like tunnel vision. I move into another world, where everything around me is just gone, and every bit of mental energy is focused on that wine.

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