It gives me a great pleasure to write about the place which is probably unfamiliar to most of the readers and while it is always popular to write about the “super” locations like New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, we should not forget that our world is full of small and beautiful places. Such place is Vianden.
Vianden is a home to the remarkable Chateau de Vianden, a castle constructed in 300 years between the 11th and 14th century. It stands as one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the Romanesque and Gothic periods in Europe and an outstanding example of human will and ability in the Medieval ages. It was the seat of the influential counts of Vianden, who could boast their close connection to the Royal Family of France and the German imperial court.
When you are coming down to Vianden by car in one moment you are following a long bend on the road and at one stage the castle appears and it is one of the moments where you find yourself thankful for all the experiences you are able to take.
Following the path which leads to the castle's entrance, I found an interesting little atelier and because it was closed there was very little I could found out on spot and did not had a chance to speak with the owner. I took a flyer on which is signed ANIA’s ARTh and the title Art-Therapy. I thought how great the idea is, as drawing helped me a lot through my stages of difficulties, sure thing is that there are many entrapped by the haste of the modern world and something like this could help to focus and slow down a bit. Creativity, the greatest gift and so unfortunate that so few are using it.
It is funny though, all the ideas that you get while walking within these great walls. One of the first thoughts which I had is that most of the people that we consider on the edge of poverty these days and at least in Europe, the same people live a more wealthy life then the great feudal of that age did. With a central heating, a mobile phone, television, different choices of fruit and meat, public transport it does seem that only the vast and empty space is what made those people rich and it makes you consider what wealth actually is. Is it the price difference between ordinary and Hawaiian salt, as I did met people that are buying the pink Hawaiian as it would make any difference, but as in the old days, I consider this difference a great path of decadence. I would rather help a person, and there is so many of them, with a difference in price, rather than boost my ego with a deceit which pink salt brings.
Anyway, being feudal did bring some of the disadvantages. However hard life could get for the ordinary folk, on the other hand at lest they had their freedom of movement. For feudal people, movement was restricted and restricted by themselves. You could imagine being a great target to many unfortunate that would kill for the piece of your clothing or jewelry, so they had to be restricted from many places their surrounding's have offered and build protective walls around them and if going anywhere always being followed by the members of the personal guard. It is imprisonment by choice and it does not surprise me that all the mental illness, weird rituals and who only knows what strange acts were born in these places. When the occasional musician, the court’s fool or the maids daughter or even a son are your only source of amusement.
However it is admiration what you have while standing on the other side watching in. You do not think of the prisoners behind the walls, you think hastily about the “luck” some individuals have or had.
The view all around the castle is wonderful, as all the clever built castles and fortifications were built on top of the heels, making it’s steep slopes a additional defense against any potential intruder, on the other hand you again see all this stones which had to be carried, so it is no wonder that it took 300 years to build such a vast complex.
As times were changing, the whole Europe fell into a period where all the great architect projects of the old were despised even, you can barely find a place which was not effected by these changes. The similar destiny did occur in Vianden, as in 1820, under the reign of King William of Holland, the castle was sold piece by piece and as a result it fell into a state of ruin and it remain as ruin until the family of Grand Duke of Luxembourg transferred it to State’s ownership in 1977.
Within the walls, all kind of weapons of death could be found, such as the two handed sword above. I remember several years ago, when I was quite interested in swords and their creation, how the “real” sword did look like, how heavy they were. Remembering movies like Conan or any other where a strong and masculine man wielding a sword and scenes with female characters not even be able to lift them, did make me curious as the common sense did tell me that no battle could have been won with such swords and no human ever existed which could wield it without a drop of sweat. Not to make this article about swords any further, the fact is that the upper bar of a sword was around 7 kg or 15 pounds and apparently the heaviest sword (a two handed sword ) ever to be used in battle had no more than 18 kg, however most of the swords used rarely went over 2 kilograms or 4,4 pounds.
How many times did you feel as you were placed in one of those devices. Humans always had a very developed sense to create “gadgets” to torture or humiliate other humans. The one above was used for humiliation, it was a punishment for those who would make minor offenses and would be put on a display, so that the whole village can see you and talk about you. Something like newspapers or other types of modern media.
Humiliation was mostly reserved for the common man, while great terraces with romantic styles were more common for the privileged.
It is no wonder that every now and then you would have a rebellion, when ordinary man would stand against those privileged tyrants and no personal army could save them. Without minding the great losses of ordinary humans, ordinary humans would always prevail, at least sooner or later. But one thing is sure, that ordinary human will never learn, because as soon as they take one down, another one pops up that becomes the same as the suppressor they were fighting against. In the modern days we can find almost the same relations, especially between politicians and bankers, none of them care about the ordinary man, but they have “the system” which protects them not to lose their heads as they would in the medieval times.
One thing is certain, that they did had style and class. I am a great fan of everything that is old, especially styles that include a hard wood and stone never stop to fascinate me.
On the other hand, there was something I could never understand. For the upper classes which transferred to a lot of population later and a modern day Europe is a great example of of the wrong ideal spreading as a plague, so was the work, a plain old ordinary working is considered as a disgrace and God forbids if someone sees you working, or if you are a construction worker, a garbage man, a farmer, oh the shame of being of real use. I remember most of my father generation, great bunch of bar philosophers, how they would stand and make fun of those who work, not even knowing in their pompous brains that the only one they are humiliating is themselves.
Maybe the picture does not show it properly, but the “royal” bed was quite small as most of the people of that age were and I would like to send a message to my Biology class teacher from primary school, that we have standing proves about the constancy of the evolution, even when it comes to size, as I remember many of the great minds claiming that humans have reached their maximum in evolution. I could not disagree more to any kind of similar claims as we change in sight from generation to generation and what about our brains that we can not see? Why would the evolution stop in any moment? Just for us, or just as we say so? It is the fact that some circles of humans have stooped evolving long, long time ago, we may again find them among politicians and bankers, where their work is maybe evolving, but their robotic way of life and thoughts are not.
However, for such a small persons, it was important to have a chest the size of a bed. Ha, ha, some people at the time had houses of that size.
A great room of tapestry…..
….. would just remind about the boredom they must have felt there as for sure the counts were not the one making the tapestry.
Today we are lucky that we can witness all that splendor and I do like the idea of life without televisions, mobile phones and constant distractions as you can put your mind to work and discover beautiful realities of life. Our minds can produce far better amusement then any artificial device ever created, you just have to try to use it. But again, it doesn’t really matter if you use your mind in a cave or a castle, it is just important to use it.
The old well…
The ancient kitchen with admirable collection of spices.
Would maybe give a suggestion that it wasn't all just for the bottom of the well.
The last part of the visit was quite nice and surprising. It was an exhibition of young artists all over the world. I am not aware if it was people from abroad or if it was people which migrated to Europe, but some of their art left me stunned.
Brilliant minds, as I said. Funny thing is that every living human has the same abilities and the interesting thing is how many decide to use them.
The rest of our visit was walking to the beautiful little village of Vianden, as I noticed very popular for motorbikes, but never crowded as anywhere you would go in the country of Luxembourg.
Vianden seems as a place left only or tourism.
There are lots of nature paths you may take and enjoy.
Cable car for the lazy.
Or a nice picnic on the Our river.
A very nice little place.
With interesting designs and solutions.
You certainly wont be sorry to visit.
Lots of love from Vianden. See you next time.