Tag Archives: gothic

Llandaff Cathedral, Wales

Possibly one of the most underrated cathedrals in Wales, can be found in Llandaff, in the outskirts of North Cardiff. The Anglican cathedral is extraordinary, both visually and historically.

On the 2nd of January, 1941; during world war 2, Cardiff suffered the worst bombing of the war. With around 165 people killed and another 427 seriously injured, the city was at a chaotic state. The UK’s major towns and cities have been bombarded by then. And so, was Llandaff. Landmines have fell and exploded in the churchyard, cathedral spire and the roof. It destroyed many a graves, but especially the roof which collapsed inwards destroying most of the furnishings. Luckily a lot of its valuables such as the Victorian stained glass was taken out and put into into storage, and there was no outbreak of fire.

The architect, wanted to restructure the remaining parts of the cathedral by including a modern additional plaque to support the building itself and give it a new feature. To this day, visitors comment about this choice; you either love it, or hate it!

 

 

 

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Favourite things

We all have our passions and our favourite things in life.

I think I have always made it clear with all those who know me, that nature and medieval / gothic buildings are close to my heart; my inspiration. It kind of ties in with why I enjoy traveling so much, and why it is one of the few things in life which relaxes me and make feel at ease.

Fact: at least two thirds of my photos on social media cover these topics,  so don’t act surprise on what you are about to read!

When I bought my 300 year old house,one of the things I fell in love with is the courtyard. Although not huge in size, it is very homey and it had one gorgeous tree which flowers so many times a year. It felt like it was my own private garden. I was so happy to have found such a serene and beautiful place.

In the past 3 years, I have kept the yard as green as I could, considering that I work full-time and my gardening knowledge is not the best around. I have maintained and kept alive all the plants which came with the house and added a few new ones too!

Too many times, I have had tea outside, admiring the calm and peace of my safe place. At times, even birds came by.  My little peace of heaven!

bougainvilleaBut this week, the unthinkable has happened. My beautiful bougainvillea tree was snapped from the bottom of its trunk due to the winter winds. And now, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I must say, it has been a shitty start to the new year. The courtyard feels so empty now, and what’s worse is that I have spent three days chopping down this gorgeous healthy, full grown tree. It’s painful that I have to do this; putting it into boxes for the bin-man to take away in the morning.

And for those who think I am being dramatic, imagine that your favourite thing in the world is broken and is irreplaceable. (you will not find the exact replica) How would you feel then?

Schloss Drachenburg

Built in the 1880s, Schloss Drachenburg is a fairy tale castle. The architecture is full on romantic Gothic, with spires, the style of a medieval cathedral and a beautiful clock tower. It stands on a hill above the Rhine River, with beautiful breathtaking view of the said river.

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A story from the German folklore says, that Siefried has slayed a dragon up on this very mountain, which the castle gets the name from. Drachenburg, translates to Dragon’s castle in English. The actual story of this castle is however less glamorous as it was commissioned by a rich stock broker. Funnily enough it was built in two years, yet recently a 15-year restoration was completed for 31.5 million euro.

Completed in 1884, the castle started off as a private villa, then was converted into a museum, which later on was used as an “Adolf Hitler” college for boys. To this day, you can still see holes from the US artillery fires, as they smashed the stained glass windows and facade in the last months of the war. It was at this time that the Nazi schoolboys decided to stop resisting against the americans.

The inside of the castle is full of German art and craftsmanship.

See below, some photos I took of a day well-spent in the Dragon’s castle.

Such a dreamy castle!

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey has been in my must-see list for years. The reason it took me this long to visit is because it is in the South of Wales, and I have mostly traveled to the North and Mid Wales as it is more accessible for me, due to Manchester and Liverpool airports being so close to my destination (also I have never driven in the UK, but I probably should…).

I would say that the Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the most beautiful monastic ruins, not just in Wales or the UK, but within Europe. The location of the abbey is very scenic, and the village of Tintern is tiny. In fact, after spending hours in this serene place, we walked to the village for a snack. We even watched River Wye which runs behind the abbey and through the village. The river has been an important source of water which sustained the villagers and monks, and is till useful at this day and age.

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The abbey was founded in 1131, by the lord of Chepstow and the building and its surroundings kept growing exponentially until its closing down around 400 years later. In the 13th century, Roger Bigod rebuilt the church, and as a thank you his coat of arms was put in the glass of the east window. This church forms the largest part of what is still remaining today, and is a great example of welsh architecture of the medieval period, even if in ruins.

Although it did not have much importance history wise, what is left of this abbey is a major tourist attracting in the South of Wales, as is Caerphilly Castle, Raglan Castle and Cardiff Castle in the capital city of Wales.

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What’s Up

My blog is a priority to me, however there are times and things that surpass my blogs. Such things are travelling and starting a new job; which in this case are very, very true.

In the last month and a half, I have taken time travel and in total I have visited 5 countries in almost 3 weeks. This has not only led me to learn new things about different cultures and do plenty of sightseeing, but also helped into finding myself again. To me, traveling is the very best thing. It is new and exciting… an adventure!

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For more photos of my travels and my endeavors please follow me on Instagram: SteffiWorld.

After making it back to Malta, I have spent a few days catching up with friends, doing the laundry and relaxing. This is because two weeks ago, it was time for me to change my job. This time, my role is Reporting Specialist, which is highly focused on reporting – gathering data and specs, creating the reports and reconciling. It is a very exciting role as there are a lot of changes going on, and my role is a part of it, and in two years time, I am hoping to see myself in a managerial position. I have been aiming for this for some time, and it has gone unnoticed in my past job, so I am very happy to be in this position now.

I have noticed in the past weeks, that my followers on WordPress have been increasing exponentially which is great to say the least. While I would like to welcome you all to my humble blog of anything that comes to mind, I would also like to excuse myself for the lack of writing, and hope that going forward I will have more energy to entertain you!

Flint Castle

During my last visit to North Wales in November, my boyfriend who knows how much I adore castles took me to Flint Castle. I did see some photos of the castle before we made way to it, but as soon as I saw the castle up on a green grassed hill, I realised that the photos didn’t do it justice. Although not massive in size, the location and the atmosphere was amazing. The fact that we were the only two people on its grounds made it even more special.

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A little bit of history

The castle has been erect for over 700 years now. In fact the building work began in the year 1277 and was finalised in 1284. It took 1,800 workers and masons to built the foundations and the castle itself. This castle was the first castles to be built after King Edward I invaded Wales. The design of the castle is a mix of Gothic architecture of the Medieval era together with the design of a Concentric castle – making it stronger, bigger and more luxurious than most castles built during the same time. Flint Castle’s unique fortress design was not repeated in any other castle, and as such the layout at Flint remains unique throughout the British Isles.

One important feature of flint Castle is its access to the sea. This not only speeded up construction due to the ability of transporting equipment and building materials by boats, but also helped in the success of the new fortified town which was built around the same time as the castle. This ensured that the town had fresh food supplies and provisions which prevented its occupants from starving to death during the siege warfare.


The castle is located on the North-East coast of Wales, which gives a magnificent view of the shore and Liverpool in the distance.

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Interesting facts

– In 1399 Richard II of England was held by Henry Bolingbroke at Flint Castle before returning to London
– During the English Civil Wars which started in 1642, the castle was held by the Royalists. After a 3 month siege it was then captured by the Parliamentarians in 1647. In order to prevent the castle to be used again in a conflict, the castle was set for destruction. It is because of this, that what remains today is ruins.
– Today, the castle is maintained by CADW which is the Welsh government body that conserved and promotes the building heritage of Wales. The castle can be accessed by the public for free.
– In summer 2009 the castle was temporarily closed due to anti-social behaviour as teenagers were drinking and vandalising the castle. It reopened after CADW liaised with police to improve security at the castle.

Of HayFever and Fun

This weekend was not an eventful weekend, mostly cos I had a lot of my plans cancelled due to a losing battle against my nose aka hayfever.
I started off Friday feeling miserably sick  so decided I should stay in. I spent my Friday swallowing pills and gutted that I had to miss an event happening at Razzett l-ahmar. When I woke up Saturday morning I felt almost as good as new. The plan was to go to Valletta with my mum to pick up our passports. Turns out we got delayed and found the passport office closed. I would have never guessed that they’d close at 11am on Saturday! We arrived only a few minutes late and we were devastated. I guess I know what I will be doing next Saturday morning!!
In the evening me and two friends went out to Coconut/Remedy which is the only alternative and metal pub still standing in Paceville. There was a live event of Martyrium and afterwards a goth/ebm event.
20150418 -  Where the light DIES (Martyrium Gig @Remedy) (6) copy
The gig itself was awesome. I was very impressed with their new material and some of their cover versions, mainly Dimmu Borgir. The party afterwards was a let down as no one would dance and most people vanished straight after the live music was over.
But our night was not over… We went downstairs and enjoyed 80s music and Rammstein music for the rest of the night. It’s my favourite music style anyway so I was not really gutted about the ebm party.
20150418 -  Where the light DIES (Martyrium Gig @Remedy)
On Sunday, my hayfever decided to take over again so I spent my day being lazy. I watched the most awaited first episode of the new season for Orphan Black and then straight after I watched ‘Secrets and LIes’ – a series which I recently discovered.

The Majestic Conwy Castle

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When it comes to castles, I have seen quite a few in England and Wales, but Conwy castle has made a huge impact on me. Be it, the fact that it is gritty and dark, and has a very medieval feel to it… Or perhaps because it is the entrance to the historic town of Conwy and of course, the background behind it of Snowdonia.

Look at this image.. you will get what I mean:
Conwy (featuring Castle & walled town) Aerial North Towns & Villages
This is the only photo in this article which is not mine. © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

The castle was constructed under the monarchy of Edward I between 1282 and 1289.

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The wall of this magnificent castle is made up of eight large circular towers and fours smaller towers. The insides of the castle are almost in ruins, but this adds to the grim factor of this castle. There is however enough remains to let you imagine what living in this castle must have been like.

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I have spent hours wandering around in this castle. It is large and fully accessible to the public at a very decent price of £6.75 per person.

Summer in Cardiff

Cardiff is going to be the first holiday I will be planning for this year. I will be visiting end of June and currently I am trying to decide whether I should book a hotel or self catering accommodation. Usually I tend to choose the latter as I cardifflike my privacy and have a kitchen, if I fancy to cook something myself one of the evenings. However it looks like it’s going to be quite hard to find what I want, as during the same time I am visiting, there’s a motorcross show, and as such some of the best self catering places are already booked. I have decided that if I have not decided my accommodation by end of the week, then I will be staying at Travelodge.

Obviously, I chose Cardiff for a couple of reasons:
1. I have not yet been to the south of Wales; I usually tend to visit the North (I’ve been to Chirk, Llandudno, Conwy and their surroundings so far)
2. Cardiff Castle
3. Doctor Who Experience and related fandom
4. Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve
5. Mermaid Quay
6. Gothic architecture (St. John the Baptist Church, St. Mary’s Church St. Fagans)
7. Hopefully a ghost tour in the castle itself but the dates are not yet out for summer!!