Sunday, June 3, 2012

Final Stop........Caernafon Castle

We ventured to Caernafon Castle before we left Llanberis.  It is located nearby and is mostly known as the castle where Price Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales in 1969. That is unfortunate because the castle itself is a fascinating glimpse into the past given that much of it is intact.

The castle is currently situated in the heart of town although originally surrounded by water.  Here's a view from the town square....

And these are views from the castle itself looking toward the square and the harbor.

We were lucky enough to get a private tour of the castle by a not too busy guide.

He began by explaining the castle had never been taken by the enemy and thus retained its original features.  It had never been finished so parts were mere facade.

The facade is evident in this photo.

The castle was cleverly built to fool the enemy.  This system of arrow slits appeared from the outside to be only a third of their real fire power so the enemy would be lured into thinking there were fewer men defending the castle.  Up to three men could shoot their arrows through each slit.

The interior of the castle would have been wooden which is long gone.  However, he did explain the hierarchy of living conditions with the upper class residents living on the water side which was safer and more comfortable.  They lived on the upper floors above the level of the latrines, in rooms with fireplaces, glass windows, covered walls and lots of protection.

The peasants, on the other hand, lived on the the most vulnerable side of the castle facing the side that would be attacked by the enemy.

Here would be located the kitchen......

This is where the large pots would simmer FOREVER.  Since it was hard to light a fire , it was important to keep it going.  So the pot never left this pot and food was continually added.  It was consumed via hierarchy with the top going to the upper class and the bottom , which could have been there a very long time, to the servants.  Yuck!


This was the cistern that collected water for the castle.

Our final stop was the view of where Prince Charles was invested which is on display in the courtyard.

Although referenced as a castle, it is really a  medieval palace complete with glass windows, elegant living quarters and statues above its towers.

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