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posted 03-02-2001 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Riggs     Edit/Delete Message
I'm new here, Neat site! You Europeans are lucky!
Ok, some friends and I who love swords and armour etc. are going backpacking thru Europe & UK this summer, what individual castles should I visit that have A&A displays or museums?
Also, are there any castles that have hostels in them?

Philip Davis
posted 03-03-2001 12:47 AM           Edit/Delete Message
The greatest display of arms and armour in England is at the Royal Armouries, which has museums in Leeds, Portsmouth and at the Tower of London.
St Briavels Castle Youth Hostel is probably the best in England but see the Youth Hostel Association site for more and for info about booking etc.
Be aware that an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease may result in countryside hostels in the UK being closed. Hopefully this outbreak will be over by the time of your holiday but you will need to keep an eye out.

And the astronomyours beheldyne the constellacions of hys bryth by thare castle, and foundyn that he sholde bene wyse and curteyse, good of consaill
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Visit Castellarium Philippis

posted 03-03-2001 02:53 AM           Edit/Delete Message
There are fine displays of arms at both Edinburgh and inverary Castles in Scotland, and a wide selection of european armours at The Burrell Collection in Pollok Park Glasgow. The Burrell collection however, is so large and varied in it's contents that the items displayed are changed around at frequent intervals, so one visit is not enough. It's worth checking before you go to find out what's on.
Edinburgh; 0131 225 9846 www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
Inverary; 01499 302203 www.inverary-castle.com
Burrell/ Pollok; 0141 632 0823 www.nts.org.uk

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[This message has been edited by wurdsmiff (edited 03-03-2001).]

posted 03-03-2001 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Riggs     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the replies! I will definitely visit these! where I can, anyway. This foot and mouth disease is nuts! I hope it gets controlled, I can't help feeling sorry for the farmers.

Erik Schmidt
Senior Member
posted 03-04-2001 02:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Erik Schmidt   Click Here to Email Erik Schmidt     Edit/Delete Message
There a quite a few places that I have seen throughout Europe. I'll give you a quick list off the top of my head.

San Servando castle, Toledo, Spain. A castle with hostel. All the old parts off limits though.
Alburquerque(Sp?), W.Spain. Castle with hostel.
Ehrenfels(Thusis), Switzerland. Hostel, but haven't stayed.
Hegi castle(Winterthur), Switzerland. Hostel, but haven't stayed.

Grandson castle, Switzerland. A&A
Lenzburg castle, Switzerland. Small, but very good A&A displays.
Chillon castle, Switzerland. Some A&A
Morges castle, Switzerland. Variety of A&A, lots of modern stuff.
Wildegg castle, Switzerland. Some A&A.
Barcelona fort, Spain. Good collection.

The Royal Palace in Istanbul has a great little collection of Ottoman A&A.

You will find that, unless it specializes as an armour museum, a castle will tend to have a small display of arms and armour. The good stuff tends to be part of larger museum collections.
Let us know if you would like a list of the museums with good collections.
Enjoy your trip!


posted 03-04-2001 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
In Italy there are many castles that have a display of weapons etc.
Though perhaps the most well known is Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome.
A little out of Rome at Lago di Bracchiano, is the castle of the same name. This does have guided tours in Italian. Though if you do visit in Italy don't forget, nearly all places open from about 10am to 1pm, then perhaps don't open until 3pm.

posted 03-04-2001 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Riggs     Edit/Delete Message
Erik, yes I would love to get a list of great museum collections! since I don't really know much about any of them. And Peter, thanks for telling me about the opening times 10-1 for Italy. I had no idea. Thanks guys.

posted 03-04-2001 02:19 PM           Edit/Delete Message
I should have mentioned my favourite holiday destination, Malta.
Malta has a plethora of historic visitor attractions, museums etc. The most rewarding for armour and arms is The Palace of the Grand Masters in Valetta. There are also a wide variety of explanatory video shows to attend which provide enthralling detailed accounts of the medieval experience, and other periods of history.
If you go, try visiting Mdina, the Mdina Dungeons, the Mdina experience, and enjoy wandering around 'the silent city', an intact medieval citadel, where only residents (and there are only a few of them)are allowed to enter by car.
The island has numerous sites which have various cannon on display, as illustrated in our photo archive.
There are re-enactments at Fort St Elmo (in season), quite fantastic religious works of art by world renowned artists (Carravagio etc), an unrivalled collection of Gobelin tapestries, superb domestic and military architecture...........
No more, I'm off to book another holiday!

[This message has been edited by wurdsmiff (edited 03-04-2001).]

Erik Schmidt
Senior Member
posted 03-13-2001 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Erik Schmidt   Click Here to Email Erik Schmidt     Edit/Delete Message
OK Riggs, I finally got around to looking through my diary to see which museums I thought had good A&A collections. Note that most museums have small collections when compared to Churburg, Leeds, Reale etc.

-Ethnographic Museum, Izmir, Turkey; Good Ottoman weapon collection.
-Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey; Good Ottoman A&A collection.
-Military Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; Swords and Archery. Lot of modern stuff.
-Historical Museum, Athens, Greece; Chainmail and plate armour.
-Some Museum/Gallery, Napoli, Italy; Armoury, mostly 15th-18th c., including full horse armour and crossbows.
-Historical Museum, Bern, Switzerland; Various armour, including Ottoman.
-Alcazar of Segovia(Castle), Spain; Small armory.
-Military Museum, Madrid, Spain; Not a lot of medieval objects, but crammed with all sorts of stuff, including the only chinese repeating crossbow I've seen.
-Cerralbo Museum, Madrid, Spain; Small collection.
-Military Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; Biggest collection I have seen.
-Historical Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; Good for Viking stuff.

I have as yet not been to any of the major armouries outside Copenhagen. That's for the next trip I guess. Go to them first given you only have 2 months, and take in any of the above if you happen to be there.
The major ones, from what I hear are;
Leeds, UK
Tower, UK
Churburg, Austria
Veste Coburg, Germany
Zurich, Switzerland
Reale, Spain
What's its name(Paris), France

By the way, have you tried asking at the armour archive for tips on where the best stuff is? Go to:

Have a great trip,

All times are PT (US)

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