Wordless Wednesday: Storming castles throughout Europe

The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in April 2022. Lauren J. Mapp

Like most children raised on a healthy diet of Disney princess films, I often dreamed of what it would be like to live in a castle. The "castles" of my youth were constructed as pillow forts, snow structures, tents, play closets and during one week-long stint, a decorated refrigerator box. 
Preparing to trick or treat in my princess uniform on
Halloween with my mom, Lorraine Gray, and brother, 
Daniel Mapp, on Oct. 31, 1991. Ronald Mapp
Donning my mother's defunct bridesmaid dress and a cone-shaped hat covered in taffeta, sparkles and cascading ribbon, I would run around making grand pronouncements on the state of affairs in my queendom.

After touring castles throughout Europe, I now feel like living in one would be miserable. Suffering from the wrath of the drafty interior would keep you constantly sick, and whenever you wanted to grab a midnight snack, you'd have to traverse several stories down to the kitchen to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Regardless of what level of comfortability you may or may not have while living in a castle, at least the ones that we have seen were beautiful and filled with amazing works of art. 

Bratislava Castle during a trip to Slovakia in January 2019. Lauren J. Mapp

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert in the Prague Castle of Czechia.
Lauren J. Mapp

A stairwell in the Budapest Castle District during a trip in January 2019.
Lauren J. Mapp

During our trip in January 2019, we saw this ornately decorated ceiling inside the Belvedere Palace, a Baroque palace turned museum in Vienna.  Lauren J. Mapp

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