|View of the Grund|
|Ha, me and a small child|
|It got a bit drizzly by the time we got to the far side of town|
The Château, which is actually named after the Duke of Marlborough, Churchill's ancestor, who came here at some point during the War of Spanish Succession or something (there was an explanation of this in the château but I got a bit lost in all the details), is mostly reconstructed, but it's been done really well. One interesting thing in one of the towers was a display of the methods used to reconstruct the site. The level of detail and the care they took to make sure they used authentic methods and tried to reconstruct exactly what was here before it fell into ruin was very impressive. I think it's one of the biggest and most expensive castle renovations undertaken in France.
|On the walls of Château Malbrouck|
|View from the Château|
The main reason for visiting the château on this occasion was that I saw a friend's photos of its current exhibition, Knights and Samurai, on Facebook. It's a pretty interesting concept for an exhibition - to compare and contrast the culture, lifestyle and history of European Knights and Japanese Samurai. On one level, the similarities are obviously - both noble classes of fighting men. But it went deeper to show how the two groups fit into the wider culture of their homelands - the influences of things like courtly love poetry and adventure literature in Europe and the place of knights in Japanese art and literature, knights and samurai on film, the different ceremonies that took place to become a knight or a samurai, the codes of honour - chivalry and bushido - etc.
There were some great displays of samurai armour and masks too. I'm usually not that interested in displays of armour and weaponry, but the intricate Japanese armour really was a work of art. Interestingly, most of these pieces came from a single, private collection, which I imagine must be someone's lifework and passion (or maybe they're just really rich?)
|I liked how you could really see the influence of traditional Japanese art on things like manga (not that I'm an expert)|
|Got to have that fake moustache|
|Cute 19th-century owl|
|Péckvillercher outside the restaurant|