04 August 2009

Friesach

We went back to Friesach on a couple of different days to explore the city after the festival was over. It was a really neat place to walk around. The city is walled in still, and even has a moat around the outside. Up in the hills are ruins of various castles, forts, and churches to be explored!

Here is the view from one of the hills with a little fort on the top. Kaernten is so pretty with the rolling green hills. If you look carefully at the picture you can see me in the bottom left corner...

At the top of the hill in this tower is a little museum that shows some of the historical items from Friesach. It was only a couple Euros, so we decided to go in. The tower is called the Fortress of Petersburg, and was built around 1000.

There are some other ruins on the top of the hill, including a large open air theater that they still use to show plays in the summer. We didn't get to enjoy any plays there, but it is still a neat hilltop to walk around and see all the various ruins.

Inside the museum. Here is an old crossbow, complete with a case for carrying extra crossbow bolts. Elora is a big fan of the crossbows now that she got to shoot one at the festival (and since we bought her one that she got to play with a little at the Bauernhof).

One of the floors of the tower is an old chapel. I actually really loved this room. The faded paintings on the walls have not been restored, but I liked seeing them anyway. It just reminded me that there really is a lot of history to this town. It is considered the oldest town in Kaernten, first being written about in 860.

For those of you who were fans of the movie, "A Knight's Tale", apparently Ulrich von Lichtenstein was a real knight (although nothing like the movie). Here is a picture from the book of poetry he wrote about great deeds he did to honor noblewomen - a picture of a tournament that was held in Friesach in the 1200s. According to the stories, he did compete in many tournaments in order to honor his lady, and was undefeated in jousting, but the noblewoman demanded more and more great deeds and even mutilation for the honor to hold her hand. Hmmm, nice lady...

In the basement of the fortress was a little children's section, where the kids could draw pictures, build with blocks, shoot more crossbows, or pose in these cute wood pictures. Ollie loved this! Not sure why... he just giggles every time we put him up to pose like this.

There was also some actual old armor to try on. Chris was picking out what he thought were the coolest pieces for Elora to put on. You can probably tell from the pic what she thought about that.

There were also some fabric costumes to wear. Elora told me this was her favorite knight costume, and she got really excited to show off her sword and shield. I think she will be a knight for Halloween this year, look how cute she is!

Here is Elora, very excited to be posing as a princess. She also insisted on posing as all the other characters too, the knight, jester, and witch... but I didn't include all the pics, this was my favorite. She just looks so pleased.

Elora in the stocks! She did tell us that it would not be a good idea to use the stocks for timeout...

Here is the main square of Friesach, with Ollie of course admiring the fountain.



After the museum we decided to hike along a trail that would take us to the other ruins of fortresses and castles. Here is Elora along the why catching a grasshopper. She is really quite talented at bug catching.

Chris caught her a "butterfly". She is not actually trying to eat it, but is trying to blow on it to make it fly.

A picture of the trail. We actually got a bit lost and wandered around the town for awhile before finding the right trail... so here we go back into the forest to find some ruins.

And we found a herd of sheep in the forest! Oliver was very happy (he loves sheep) and baaaed at them for awhile, and Elora tried to feed them some leaves.

Ruins at last! I won't tell how long we had been wandering around before we found them... Elora didn't seem to mind, she liked finding sticks and treasure all along the trail.

Ollie at the castle ruins.

A nice view of the city from a different hilltop. You can see the fortress of Petersburg in the middle on the hilltop, and the castle ruins off to the left, with the main city being off to the right. I love the church to the right, but could never get a picture that showed just how neat it was.

Here are some ruins of an old church. This was a really relaxing spot, with no people and a beautiful view all around. And the kids loved all the flowers.

Ollie giving us the thumbs up.

And finally, we stopped by the outer walls of the city to get a picture of the moat. There is a nice path so you can walk around the outside of the city, but the kids were tired and it was getting hot... but we loved this town, and hopefully we will head back next summer for the festival again and to explore this area some more!

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