Castle month (3/4) – One of the things we love most at My Next Memory when visiting Castles, it’s not just that it makes you feel royal, but rather these historical places are filled with little details that nobody usually notices. Come follow us to become a true historical detective!
A Castle’s signature
Yes, former builders and owners of castles usually would leave their signatures in various places and in various forms. You can find the usual initials, often letters arranged in a stylish and artistic manner.
Or also the symbols of the family or person who was living in the Castle. One of the most famous is the Sun for Louis XIV or the Salamander for Francois 1er during the Renaissance.
Oh yes, one universal thing about luxurious residences, from the Middle Ages to the 19th-century bourgeois mansions, is the subtle arrangement for domestics and servants discreet passage. Doesn’t one say that ultimate luxury is having service without noticing it?
French castles are full of those secret passages that you don’t easily see…. Look for the small doors near beds in Versailles, or for the back courtyard staircases in modern buildings. All those very smartly built for service to work smoothly without coming in the way of the visible noble life!… But also providing a safe escape in case of any attack or bad event!
For lovers or conspirators who wanted to meet discreetly, away from all the other people living in the castle, the best place was….outside!
And strangely, it feels like gardens were almost designed for this! Both Renaissance and Classical gardens host a number of good places where to meet in all intimacy…if you have the courage to walk a little more, away from the main alleys, you will easily spot mazes, ruins and “bosquets” which were set on purposes for such quiet meetings away from curious eyes.
Really Safe Furniture
Furniture is not always on display when visiting a castle…but if you do get the opportunity to see some of it, you will probably notice a lot of smart details.
My Next Memory particularly likes the double layer chests from the Middle Ages which were made to hide precious belongings, complex locks on jewellery boxes. And of course, the king of furniture: the amazing 18th century Secretary which was a real travelling office for the powerful decision-makers! It had to be practical, beautiful and most importantly, safe! With plenty of hidden compartments, a good Secretary always makes me dream I had one too!
With all those insights and details, we sure hope you won’t visit Castles with the same eyes…Do take the time to look for those little secrets, there is always a rewarding feeling when you manage to spot one! Haha