Sunday, March 29, 2020

FRANCE POINTS

Sunday, March 15, 2020

EGESKOV DENMARK


Egeskov Castle, the house as we see it today, was built by Frands Brockenhuus and was completed in 1554. A few years prior to this, he had married Anne Tinhuus who had taken over the original estate from her parents.
In those days, political unrest, the Reformation and the Counts' Feud caused many landowners to build their houses as well-protected castles, and Frands Brockenhuus was no exception. He built his castle in the middle of a lake on a foundation of oak pilings, according to legend, in such quantities that "it took an oak forest to do it".
The building, which looks so peaceful and idyllic to today's visitors was built for defence purposes. It consists of two long houses connected by a thick double wall - the first house could be abandoned and the fight continued from the second house. The double wall is so thick, it contains hidden stairs and a well to secure a water supply during a siege. The outer walls have machicolations for dropping solids or liquids on the enemy and embrasures, and the enemy's flank could be shot at from the towers. In addition, the only access to the house was across the drawbridge.
In the more than 400 years that have passed since it was built, various families have lived in the castle. In 1784, Egeskov was sold to Henrik Bille whose descendants have owned the castle ever since. In 1883, Julius Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille moved into Egeskov and, during his time at the castle, it was restored by Helgo Zettervall, a Swedish architect, who also made the tower roofs higher, re-established the corbie gables and built the gatehouse you pass through when visiting the castle.
During this period, the castle was developed into an up-to-date model farm with its own dairy, power station and railway track to Kværndrup, and this formed the economic basis for the large, modern farm that Egeskov is to this day.
The park has been open to the public for several generations and has remained unchanged since 1959 when restoration of the historic grounds commenced.

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In 1967, the Veteran Car Museum was opened in the impressive building which used to be a barn and, over the years, the museum has been extended to include several of the surrounding farm buildings.
The Banqueting Hall was restored in 1975. Since 1986, the Hall and many of the other rooms in the house have been open to the public daily throughout the season.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

MALTA

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Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast. It's a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.CFounded in 1566, Valletta is Malta’s capital cityand is one of Europe’s smallest (and southern-most) capital cities, with many buildings having a strong Baroque character.Built on a peninsula between two natural harbours (Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour), the city sits perched on higher ground. Its streets were aligned in a grid-like layout, being wide and straight, which is said to have been chosen to allow the sea breeze to provide respite from Malta’s hot summer weather.
Valletta is Malta’s administrative and commercial hub, with several government departments occupying some of its historical buildings and several financial and logistics companies having their offices here.
Despite its small size, Valletta is packed with sites of historical significance, with buildings dating back to the 16th century. So much so that it’s been an officially listed UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980.
That’s right, the city of Valletta as a whole is recognised by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value. That doesn’t mean the place is swarming with tourists however, although tour groups aren’t an uncommon sight, particularly during the summer months.
Intrigued? In this article, I cover the basics of what you need to know about Valletta, what makes it so special and what’s worth seeing and experiencing when you decide to pay Malta’s capital a visit.
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