|Swarovski Crystal Castle on Peacock Mtn - 100% Handcrafted
Crystal Emporium has full-leaded castles for you to cherish, own, and admire! Most are handcrafted
from genuine Swarovski full-leaded crystal. Precisely crafted with observation
towers, artillery openings or windows, gatehouses, staircases, and a main house, our castles are each unique, yet most are
all handmade and sculptured from Swarovski's own crystal! We also carry a
few smaller-sized Austrian castles as well! Whether you’re a castle historian or a person in a powerful
position, each castle makes a wonderful gift or collector’s piece!
As you browse through our selection, we invite
you to guess which castles were inspired by this list of stately royal residences.
Windsor Castle: England’s own Windsor
Castle "stands on a low hill on the south bank of the
River Thames overlooking the little modern town of Windsor." (Hindly, p. 80) The first castle on the site was a
mote-and-bailey castle created by William
the Conqueror. Windsor Castle
is the largest inhabited castle in the world; Presently,
it is the home of Queen Elizabeth II.
Tower of London:
of London was built to protect the capital, while Windsor
Castle was built to control the approaches to London.
William I built the White Tower
and it stood only a few yards from the city's east wall (the old wall of a Roman town). The White Tower is 90 feet high and the original
tower is located in the center of a building.
The Chateau of Chambord:: In one of the loveliest Renaissance buildings in the valley of the Loire in France, Chambord was a retreat for French kings,
especially Louis XIV. It was under his reign that French dramatist Moliere's Monsieur de Pourceaugnac and Le bourgeois
Gentilhomme were first produced there.
Versailles:: Touted as the most beautiful castle in France, Versailles was built
between 1660-85 by Louis LeVau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. It features the works of André LeNôtre (gardens) and Charles
LeBrun (decoration). 36,000 workmen were employed to build the palace. In 1677, Louis XIV
moved the court there. Versailles
is famous, not just as a building, but as a system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV exhibited.
Tintagel: Connected to the mainland
by a slim finger of land, this legendary Scottish castle is set on a dramatic and picturesque headland that is virtually an
island. Over the centuries, much of the castle has fallen into the sea and very little remains today, but it is
worth the steep climb up the steps to either part of the castle for the picturesque setting alone.
The headland has been linked with the tales of King Arthur since 1136, when Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that it was here that
King Arthur was conceived. Later stories told of how Arthur was born and even lived at Tintagel,
but there is no direct evidence to connect him with the area.
From the earliest times, walls surrounded cities and palaces, often of enormous thickness and great height. Some were
surrounded by a moat while others were flanked by towers. Some ancient fortifications
can be traced as far back as 1600 B.C. such as the walls of Babylon and the curtain wall of Ashur.
The main function of all castles was defense; everything else
was secondary. They were always surrounded by a curtain wall, which was often supplemented
by a reinforced shield wall at strategic points. Crenellations (a pattern of repeated square indentations) or battlements
and arrow slits protected the defenders, and attackers often also had to overcome a series of several gates. A drawbridge protected
the main entrance and machicolations projecting over the gate, from which boiling liquids and missiles
could be dropped on the hapless foes below. The final refuge of the castle residents
was the stronghold, or keep. It was the tallest and strongest building within the walls,
with a high entrance accessible only via a removable ladder or wooden bridge.
In addition to a watchtower, usually the center point of the entire castle, the keep was also a status symbol.
The main residential building (great hall) was called the Palas. The castle chapel was often installed in the gatehouse
or in one of the main towers, while a small garden inside the walls provided herbs, flowers and vegetables for emergencies.
Offices and service rooms were generally located in the outer ward.
From the 16th Century on, castle walls had to be made increasingly thicker and stronger in response to the development
of artillery. Only a few castles were made into mighty fortresses. Instead, the wealthy moved to more
comfortable residential castles. Many were sumptuously decorated and extraordinarily
lavish in all detail.
A castle was a home for its owner and family as well as a place for guests, admistrative meetings, and justice events. It also was built strong enough to defend its occupants.