Monday, 12 March 2012


On Saturday, March 10, a castle in Slovakia - Krasna Horka - was badly damaged due to fire. Cause of the fire was possibly burning grass on the slopes close to the castle that somehow managed to ignite the wooden roof shingles.

The castle was a tourist attraction and newly restored - it only opened again for the public last year. It contained a museum as well - now probably mostly lost. It's a tragedy - and one that has been handled like all tragedies are handled in our age: it has been filmed.

So if you have always wondered what it looked like when a castle burned in the past - you can now watch and see. (There are plenty more videos on youtube about it, by the way.)

h/t to schmalenstroer's blog

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here in SE England we had a sad reminder of what a burning castle looks like when Windsor, "the largest inhabited castle in the world", caught fire in 1992. The damage was restored in five years.

The fire that now gets forgotten but which caused possibly the greatest "save or let decay?" debate of recent times, was the fire at the Stately Home of Uppark, a National Trust house open to the public.

The house burned completely, but luckily the fire started at 3pm on a Saturday in August and took several days. Visitors who'd been told "Don't touch the artefacts" were available to suddenly be told "Please take an armful of something, anything, put it on the lawn, come back for more". Photos were taken, samples were ripped from the walls, mirrors were smashed to get the frames out...

What do you do if you know you're going to lose something historically priceless, but have two days...?

It was decided that as the outter shell and the ancillary buildings had survived, and there was a houseful of artefacts to store somewhere, it was better to rebuild the house. The recording undertaken while the fire was in progress meant that this was possible. It re-opened in 1995. What no one expected was to find during the rebuilding process how many crafts had been lost which had to be reinvented. A further debate was whether to restore to 'new' to a specific period or restore to the colours after 300 years of fading. The house now looks as it did on 29th August 1989, as that is a snapshot in time that no one can argue. The only obvious difference is that behind the scenes the channels flowing through the walls that meant that a fire could not be extinguished or contained are no longer there.