Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tour Balmoral Castle Scotland

Best Scottish Tours of Balmoral Castle, Scotland. This was the castle that Victoria and Albert leased in 1848. The royal couple had been looking for a permanent summer home in Scotland but without success. Then Prince Albert investigated the meteorological records and found that Deeside was drier than most other parts of the Highlands, which appealed to his advancing rheumatism. The rolling hills of Deeside also reminded him of his native Thuringia. For her part, Victoria was taken with the views of Lochnagar to the south west of the castle. She knew Lord Byron's poem Dark Lochnagar and had doubtless heard Beethoven's arrangement of Byron's romantic hymn to this majestic mountain. The Saxe-Coburgs purchased Balmoral in 1852 but soon realized that it was too small for their needs. Albert commissioned the Aberdeen architect William Smith to work with him on planning a new royal palace at a site about eighty yards east of the old castle. Victoria laid the foundation stone in September 1853 on top of a time capsule containing coins and a signed parchment. When the royal family arrived at Balmoral for its summer holiday in August 1857, not a single stone of the old castle could be seen.

The new palace, capable of holding over 120 guests and court functionaries, was constructed in the Scots Baronial style using white granite from nearby Glen Gelder. The exterior of Balmoral contained every architectural device that suggested a medieval fortress such as machiolation, tourelles and a battlemented Stewart tower but this decoration only just masked the reality of Balmoral as a rationally planned country house with two main blocks, one for guests and the other for service functions. The new Highland palace served its purpose well for Balmoral Castle could easily accommodate Victoria's growing family, as well as the entourage of ministers and secretaries needed for the smooth running of the state during the monarch's absence from London. So devoted was the Queen to Balmoral and Deeside that the ruler of the world's largest Empire regularly spent up to one third of every year in this castellated Highland idyll. Tour Queen Victoria's Scottish Highlands.

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