Conwy Castle (Wales)
The eight towers of Conwy Castle guarding the sky, and they hide it. I sense it as soon as I walk on the main road of the homonymous city, and looking for the entrance to the fortress of Wales.
Its walls, stretches for over 1,273 meters along the bay in front of the Irish Sea, they are so impenetrable as not to distinguish the entry. Only the sign faded, close to a road sign, the means: I follow and, the stone stairs built, I can cross the threshold of the castle built by Edward I of England.
It was 1283 when the king decided to build the castle of Conwy, in North West Wales in the inlet where there is this town of 14,000 inhabitants, and entrusted the work of James of St. George, one of the greatest architects of the military and the engineer Richard of Chester. The reason was simple: the castle would be his garrison his troops.
During the Second Country of Wales, the British troops were able to occupy the Snowdonia and the Conwy valley, and did not intend to move back to give new breath to the voice and will of the separatist region led by Llywelyn ap Gruffud.
So, as often happened in that time, the men of the occupied places were forced to work non-stop to the structure: in the summer of 1285 alone, 1,500 people were employed. Two years later the castle of Conwy was over.
The interior of the current manor is a set of ruins, ancient remains and scarred of what was the first of four forts that were built in north Wales by Edward. All together they formed the famous "Iron Ring."
Yet, even today, Conwy Castle is one of the best preserved of North Wales. Perhaps for this reason it is inserted with the other manors in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO desired.
I continue to aggirarmi within its walls wounds by time: explanatory panels close to the walls, telling the long history of fights, battles, wars fought in the area and the crucial role of the castle.
In the fall of 1294, the Conwy Castle was used by the British as a base to stop the revolt led by Welsh Madoc ap Llywelyn. Because of its location on the bay, ideal as a garrison, but detrimental to the foundations, the building threatened to collapse.
Only in 1346 was started the first restoration work on the orders of Edward, the Black Prince. Just over 50 years later, the castle was occupied by Owain Glyndwr followers who kept it for himself until 1624 when it was then sold to the Viscount of Conwy for the astonishing figure of 100 pounds.
Castle Conwy finally lost its strategic function to the middle of the seventeenth century during the Civil War: for three months of 1646 was occupied by Republican troops led by Oliver Cromwell. Since then no one has thought of restoring it.
Today, the castle is managed by Cadw, the body of the Welsh Government which aims to protect, preserve and promote the architectural heritage of Wales. I continue my ride until you get on top of one of the eight towers that before I had seen from the street: 70 feet high that give me the Conwy sky and its cities lying beneath my feet.