Dungeons and Dragons

This is a continuation of my last post which I left off just as we were entering the main area of the castle. We entered the courtyard in front of the keep, a long narrow area open to the elements, with a wall running along by the cliff edge at the base of the castle. We settled ourselves into a picnic area on the left-hand side and took out our packed lunch. We were joined by a feline friend who happily gobbled up the few morsels I threw his way. After a brief rest watching tourists come and go into the courtyard and onwards into the castle, we got up to explore the rest of the castle grounds.

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The delightful outdoor picnic area within the castle walls had more of a barn/alpine lodge feel to it.
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The Czech Space Agency’s latest rocket awaits launch behind the castle*
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Yep, definitely a barn.
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Treemendous.
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This little chap hung around the picnic area and looked pretty well fed for his efforts.

On a raised platform against the castle wall we came across a rather interesting medieval accessory. A large tree pylon wedged into the ground with a chain and neck brace attached, either created to amuse the tourists or a reconstruction of a former area for punishing enemies or villagers who stepped out of line.

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Chaffes a little, I wouldn’t want to be left tied to this on a cold Winter’s evening.
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If your kids are being unruly you can just lock them up here until you’re finished exploring the castle**
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Totally forgot to read this sign, emmm these are mysterious and evil trees….yeah.

We moved onwards into the castle itself, tickets and photography pass in hand. The attendant kindly took my longboard for safe-keeping and in we went. Although it wasn’t a gloriously hot day out, it was pleasant enough and certainly not as cold as it had been recently. Once we entered the castle building there was an immediate drop in temperature, the place was positively icy. The first room we entered had a beautifully carved ceiling, big bright windows and a menagerie of decorative furniture and fixtures. I think it’s safe to say it was a reconstruction, or certainly recently refurbished. That didn’t take away from the medieval atmosphere and in fact gave a better sense of what it may have looked like in its prime.

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He’s not very handy, can’t get a foothold. Insert stereotypical medieval decoration here, although it is still pretty badass.
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Mmmmmm banquet table, it’s easy to imagine a full table back in the day filled with well fed guests.
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“Dead or Alive, thou art coming with me” – The original Robocop
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What a lovely window display, you just don’t get that amount of window sill real-estate these days.
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“Hello ladies”
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Ooooh that scratch ain’t coming out easy.
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You won’t find this in your local Ikea.
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An apple a day keeps the Black Death away.
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Most people have a calender or a painting on their wall, this is much cooler.

Across the corridor from the first room there seemed to be a more authentic display at first glance. Looking through the doorway I could see worn away walls and uneven ground, perhaps an area left to disintegrate and fall into ruin. But then you enter the room, and it’s a big one, the ceilings are very high and restored to their former wooden glory. It’s an impressive sight, a cavernous area in which you could swing many a cat. However it’s more than just a big empty space, for slap bang in the middle of it there’s something I did not expect to see. A dragon! A huge full scale model of the mythical beast, scourge of Saint George, terror of the skies, and generally an oft used fairytale menace. Most castles are happy with a few swords and some carpet on the walls ,but Kunětice goes all out and plays up the stories of old, and I for one think it’s fantastic.

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Holy Sh……..ish Kebab! Didn’t expect to see this when I entered one of the chambers. How kick ass is that?

Into the next room and more gruesome medieval sights awaited us, except this time they were genuine and very much based on reality. There were stocks that just begged to be utilised for a cheesy photo opp, along with various crude and terrifying implements of torture, including a delightful torture rack.

Shortly after this my camera battery died and the spare I had brought with me was, yep you guessed it, flat as a really flat…..flat….thing. So alas I don’t have many images of the rest of the castle. There’s plenty more interesting rooms and areas throughout the castle complex, including original foundations, deep pits and of course the main tower of the castle itself, complete with glorious views of the surrounding countryside.

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Awww look at those puppy dog eyes.
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This is NOT for laundry I’ll tell you that much.
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Beautiful carving of the Pernštejn legend seen throughout Pardubice on numerous buildings.
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Gonna paint your wagon, gonna paint it gooooood, gonna use oil based paint, because it’s made of woooooooooooood.
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Gets awful drafty in the Winter.
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God help the poor chaps who had to drag themselves around in these hefty suits.
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Oh deer.

I had to resort to using my phone’s camera for the rest of the visit and have included those images below. They were taken on an iPhone 4 and edited in Snapseed, my favourite photo editing app.

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Crop Circles? Oooooooooh.
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This stone marks the centre of the top of the castle tower.

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This Victorian hunting lodge is now home to a cafe, restaurant and various tourist facilities at the base of the mountain.
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Travelling home in style through Raby.
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Just what the doctor ordered after a long day of skating and exploration.

*not really

**You monster! Why would you do that??


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