A Relic From the Past: Visiting Chateau Roquetaillade
Scott and I found a castle ! A real-life castle!
My grandmother was looking through a box of old photos, and out fell a piece of paper that had a castle on it, titled “Chateau Roquetaillade”. It looked medieval and beautiful and it was what Scott had always dreamt of seeing. When we first started dating, for example, I remember spending four hours with him researching castles that we would dream of visiting (owning, actually – but visiting sounds more modest). This castle isn’t one that we would want to live in per-se, but it’s a real castle – merlons, moats, hidden hallways, drop-down bridges and all. It’s absolutely beautiful — and — get this: It was built in 1306, and has been inhabited by the same family for 700 years.
Scott and I wandered the grounds, found goats munching on grass inside the now-empty motes, and decided to take a tour of the inside. We were able to get a glimpse of how royalty in the 1300’s used to live, and it was really interesting to say the least! The way that people lived was extravagant, in detail, but also — with much more lenience on myths or tales. For example, in the bedrooms, pillows would be stacked up high and the people would only sleep upright — they thought that sleeping fulling lying down would cause them to die in their sleep. Extravagant, because every night, especially in the winter time, they would run a silver pan of boiling water along the foot of the bed, between the sheets. Why? Because they couldn’t go to bed with cold feet, of course! Attentive to detail — this was one of my favorite discoveries — the rooms had picture frames up on the walls, on top of each fire place. These frames looked like normal frames, except they weren’t at all — the paintings would slide out of their sockets, being easily replaceable, in order to please the guests that were to stay in that particular room. Luxury!
PS, fun fact: The castle was going to be destroyed during the French revolution, but thankfully the owner was smart and secretly bargained with the construction workers that were in charge of having it torn down. He gave them the key to the wine cellar, in exchange for secrecy and the survival of the medieval beauty.