Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Wall and the Legend

You can click on an image to see full size.

I mentioned in my last post that Gruyere is a walled village.  These are different images of the wall surrounding the village.

There is a room in the castle called the Knight's Room that is full of beautiful paintings that depict the history of the village...all original paintings that have been preserved beautifully.  This particular painting depicts an actual event that took place during the time when this area was being fought for in the middle ages.  Some depictions describe it as a legend...others depict it as a true event.  You decide for yourself.  You can see the Gruyere castle in the background of the painting.  It is said that this was a time of constant battles for land and for which lord would be the most powerful of the region.  The lord of the castle had a full regiment of knights which defended Gruyere against the onslaught of neighboring lords attempting to overtake the castle.  There was a period when the regiment of Knights were away from the castle on a war campaign which left the castle defenseless against  intruders.  Knowing this, the intruders sought to take advantage of this weakness and invade the castle and village over the wall.  Only the women were left behind to defend the castle.  How would a few women defend this village while the knights were gone?

Keep in mind this was the middle ages...a time when superstitions ruled supreme.  The women attached candles to the horns of the goats and during the darkness of night they lit candles and released the goats towards the intruding army.  The lights of the candles on the horns of the goats lit up the countryside as they fled the castle walls.  From a distance the intruders saw this strange sight as demons fleeing the castle interior...only the candle flames were visible by night...not the goats.  Immediately the order was given to retreat....fearing the demons would steal their souls and cast them into the flames of hell.

The Gruyere castle was saved from the intruders by the women who were left behind.



shabby girl said...

What a great story! I make no judgements. :)
Again, fantastic photos!

ADRIAN said...

Superb processing and images.
Like the story, it reminds me of a similar one from Fishguard.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Shabbygirl. Hope things are looking up for you and hubby.


Dan Felstead said...

Yes...Adrian, the ladies again saved the day! "Local legend says it was the Welsh woman, with their red cloaks and black hats that saved the day. The French thought they were surrendering to British grenadiers. The prisoners were held in Haverfordwest, then in Portsmouth, then returned to France. A stone monument now marks the spot where the French landed. You can take a walk there—follow directions to the Carreg Wastad Point."