Monday, August 4, 2014

The Ever Changing Windsor Castle

While returning the audio guide after visiting the castle, there are two predominant emotions, disappointment and awe. The disappointment stems from one factor. The fire of 1992. Although there were no injuries or death from this accident, a fire breaking out in one of the important castles in British history is indeed shameful and disappointing. The royal house of United Kingdom is known as House of Windsor, a name chosen by George V when he decided to change the name of the Royal Family from a German one to a British one. This itself should be an indication as to why this castle is important.

The awe generated by the castle is due to many factors. Originally built for military purposes by William the Conqueror, the Windsor castle has changed from a military castle to the home of the Royal Family. The Windsor Castle has adapted well to the changing times, sometimes neglected for a long period and at other times, pampered. For instance, after the recent fire, St George's Hall underwent a major transformation where the ceiling was redesigned with coat of arms of Order of Garter, the highest order of chivalry. In one of the adjacent rooms, they came up with a simple way to restore the wooden floors after the fire.They decided to the turn the wooden planks while restoring the floor.

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle. The kings and queens of different era made changes to the castle to make what it is now. Charles II, in order to re-establish the royal authority following the beheading of his father by Cromwell, commissioned a lot of changes. One of the best pieces is seen on the ceiling of the banquet hall, a baroque by Antonio Verrio. There are quirky facts associated with the castle especially a king's bedchamber where the king never sleeps yet puts on a show in this room of getting up to noblemen in waiting with grievances.

George III declared Windsor Castle as the royal home. George IV decided to do away the architectural diversity by adopting Gothic style. He also commissioned what is now known as the Waterloo Chamber. The walls of this chamber adorn the portraits of all those who were instrumental in defeating Napoleon. Then there is the amazing collection of miniature items built for Queen Mary known as Queen Mary's doll house.

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the castle. In a way, it is a boon as it forces you to give attention to details.




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14 comments:

  1. Beautifully expressed... though I wish you'd been able to take some pictures inside...

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    1. Thank you very much. I don't know why they are restricting tourists from taking pictures. The castle has many rooms which provides the basis for a good photographs. It is a pity we can't use the camera even without flash.

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  2. Especially love the two photos you did include

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  3. Impressive structure. :)
    Now if they allowed photography inside I could have seen it all here. :(

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    1. You may check for BBC documentaries on Windsor Castle on youtube. You can see these rooms in some of the documentaries. :)

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  4. Wow!!! I some how feel... your visit to the castle.... would have thrilled dad.................................
    :-)

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    1. :) Thank you. I realize I am doing a travel piece after a very long time. I was initially skeptical but let the sentences find me instead of me finding them. Looks like it worked.

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  5. Beautiful pictures.. it looks majestic.

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    1. Thanks. It is the largest inhabited castle.

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  6. Nice photo of castle. So unlike Indian forts.

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    1. Yes true. Architecturally, there are very different.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you. These were the two I could click in a hurry. If you have a day to spend, you can shoot a whole lot of pictures here.

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