Castles of the World Newsletter: June 13, 2003

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bullet All Castle Tours Cancelled for 2003

Every so often a situation arises which causes us all to freeze in our tracks and re-evaluate our position.  2003 has seen many such situations already.  This year we have suffered through a grim American economy, the inflation of the European currency, SARS outbreaks worldwide, as well as the ongoing threats of war and terrorism. These terribly unfortunate circumstances have lead to low participation in every 2003 Castle tour, thus leaving us no choice but to cancel all tours for this year.  This is the first time in our 4 year history that we have been forced to cancel all of our tours--and we hope it will be the last.  However, we are determined to keep our eyes on the future.  We have already begun working on the 2004 itineraries and plan on making it a year to remember.   New for our 2004 list of tours will be the  "Legendary Castles of Spain and Portugal" tour, which  promises to be one our best tours ever.  Good luck to everyone with the rest of 2003, and we look forward to seeing you in 2004!


Feature Story:

bullet The Castles of Scotland

Few sights can match the romance of a Scottish castle set upon a small island in the middle of a quiet loch.  These formidable retreats, often in remote settings, were built all over the Highlands, where incursions and strife between the clans were common.  From the earliest Pictish brochs (Iron Age stone Towers) and Norman-influenced motte and bailey castles, the distinctively Scottish tower-house evolved, first appearing in the 14th century.  By the mid-17th century fashion had become more important than defense, and there followed a period in which numerous huge Scottish palaces were built.

        ::Edinburgh Castle::

Standing upon the basalt core of an existing volcano, Edinburgh castle is an assemblage of buildings dating from the 12th to the 20th century, reflecting its changing role as a fortress, royal palace, military garrison and state prison.

This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War

The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the One o’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.

In addition to guided tours provided by the castle stewards, there is an audio guide tour available in six languages. The audio tour takes the visitor on a tour around the castle, explains its architecture, and tells its dramatic history. This guide is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and German.

        ::Edinburgh Military Tattoo::

From its early days, the Edinburgh Tattoo has been an international favourite. Performers from 30 countries have presented here, and around 35 per cent of the 217,000 audience each year are from overseas.

In addition, the Tattoo has been televised in 30 countries. An annual television audience of 100 million watches the coverage worldwide.

The international flavor of the Tattoo has been deliberately developed as a key element in its capacity to entertain a huge, cosmopolitan audience.

        ::Culzean Castle::

Standing on a cliff's edge in an extensive parkland estate, the 16th century keep of Culzean (pronounced Cullayn), home of the Earl of Cassillis, wqas remodeled between 1777 and 1792 by the Neo-classical architect Robert Adam.

        ::Stirling Castle::

Rising high on a rocky crag, this magnificent castle, which dominated Scottish history for centuries, now remains one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland.

        ::Eilean Donan Castle::

On a bright day, particularly in autumn when the colors are so warm and varied, Scotland can boast of no more picturesque castle. It appears a photographer's dream, yet each year more disappointing pictures must be taken of this site than any other in the country, for no photograph can begin to capture the totality of the scene. However, those wishing to disprove that statement may like to start by climbing the old road to the isles, running through the trees above the A87.


For more information on the above locations, please contact or check out the links below:




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