We will try to pursue a subject of castles and its indoor and outdoor main features. And today our topic will concern furnishings and fireplaces, its peculiarities, changes, purposes etc. So, let’s start.
A fireplace was primarily intended to heat old castles. Among the many interior items and things in the old style, fireplace is the heart and becomes the object of everyone’s attention throughout the room, because it collects people around, attracting everyone’s attention and interest.
Antique style fireplaces required a vast of materials: stones, different types of sandstone, granite, marble, bricks, and many others. Often these materials are used in conjunction, which makes the fire even more original and natural. But let’s dip into the history of fireplaces.
Marble fireplaces were installed in old small castles of intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th century. There are so-called “regional fireplaces,” i.e., fireplaces, performed in the style inherent to some regions, such as Provence fireplaces, fireplaces of Burgundy. These fireplaces were installed in the homes of farmers and villages and were popular in ancient times.
Fireplaces in the era of Louis XVI were pretty small, friendly, and only a few people could gather around the fire. However, those days the fireplace turns into a majestic and magnificent construction of marble or sandstone with a marble decor, painting, and carving, sometimes with the use of wooden elements. It fits a fireplace in the reception of huge castles.
Nowadays creating such “antique” fireplace allows for plunging into the past, to go through the century, tell a bit of history and enjoy the unique beauty of a particular era.
Furnishing of castles
Residential towers of castles in early Middle Ages were sparingly furnished, and the furniture, even in the castles of lords was simple. At the same time, the decoration of the walls, floors and ceilings were much richer, brighter and more varied. The entrance to the residential tower served as a simple staircase leading to the second or third floor. The walls of the lower floors were either plastered with a thin layer of lime or masonry remained open.
Cool, going from the walls, was desirable here, because there on wooden shelving were stored fruits and bread, vegetables, and herbs in containers of baked clay, other foods in large wooden vats, the supply of water in case of emergency. Above the warehouse there was a kitchen with a great place for a fire on the ground level or slightly higher – a big fireplace. Furnishing was economical – simple table, cooking shelf for pots, dishes or products. The floor is covered with a thin layer of fire-resistant clay or lime mortar, in the next century, the floor was made of brick or stone slabs.
On the second and sometimes the third floor of a residential tower there was the living room, the central part of the castle, which was dominated by a large wall fireplace. Here, the walls were plastered and covered with frescoes. Tapestries were both decoration and protection from the cold, especially luxury items were hung only on holidays. Next to the fireplace on sat the lord and his family, having a rest after breakfast. If you follow the descriptions of contemporaries, we can see that the tables were entered into the hall only during breakfast time, and then immediately carried away. People sat on stools or benches (chair appeared only in the 15th century), also on folding chairs and stools and chests. Along the walls, there were benches or a bench, marching around the perimeter.
Above the hall, in the living tower housed the sleeping chamber of the master and his family, under the roof – the room of maids. Bed and breakfast combination was common for those times. To protect against the cold, walls were trimmed first by just a message board, but mostly by tissue lining. Sleeping room, common to all workers, right up to modern times was unheated. In the chest, rarely closet, the owners stored valuable clothes and documents. Other chests were used to store bedding. If it were possible, lords enjoyed a canopy bed. The canopy of cloth or wood had to delay insect pests. Beds were shorter than today, as slept half-sitting. The servants slept on simple, downed from the boards shared beds.