Photo essay: Buildings

One of the most fascinating things I’ve learned while travelling around looking at castles and other buildings is how different cultures produce such aesthetically different styles, all while conforming to the basic formula. Kind of like chicken recipes region by region! Here are some stunning examples …

So, the next few photos are of the truly astonishing Angers castle. I’ve never seen anything quite like this place. It’s the home of the Angevins, the counts of Anjou. Henry I’s daughter the Empress Matilda married Geoffrey of Anjou, and together they produced a son, Henry, who’d become Henry II (who was indirectly – or directly – responsible for the murder of Thomas Becket, his one-time best friend). It was Matilda and her cousin Stephen who fought England’s first disastrous civil war. When it became clear that neither side could win, it was agreed that Stephen would rule until his death, and Henry would be his heir. That ushered in the Plantaganet dynasty.

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This model is what the castle originally looked like, with the typically French witch’s hat tops to the towers.

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An amazing private residence in Canterbury dating back to the 1400s.

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A typical English medieval hall roof interior in York.

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