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House Of The Rose Photo Tour: Medieval European Houses

One of the things that fascinates me about writing historical fiction is discovering how ordinary people lived. It’s one thing to visit castles and cathedrals; another to see the home of an ordinary family that’s survived the centuries.

The House of the Rose novels take place in many different countries in the 13th century, and the Houses of the Rose in each country are built to conform to that land’s norms. It was a lot of fun to research our various locales in the course of writing the five novels that comprise the series, from England to Constantinople (modern Istanbul)…to that end, I’d like to share some of the photos I took on various trips between 2000-2012.

The medieval homes in this slideshow range from a 12th-century Moorish courtyard house in Southern Spain (itself built on top of a Roman villa, whose mosaic floor can still be seen in the house’s cellar), to a 13th-century Great Hall home in England, complete with a open hearth-pit in the center of the hall, and finally, a selection of late-medieval/early Tudor houses from the English towns of Norwich, Salisbury, and Lavenham.

Slideshow: Medieval Houses

House Of Rose Photo Tour – Kingdom Of Granada

As promised, I have a couple of new slideshows to share, from my recent trip to Spain. Though we didn’t get as far south as Malaga, where Robert spends the early chapters of The Shattered Crown, I did spend a few days in Granada, the capital city of the last Moorish kingdom in Spain.

Granada is a fascinating blend of medieval Muslim and Christian architecture, tiny cobbled lanes and busy modern avenues, and, towering high on the hills above the city, stand the reddish fortification walls of the Alhambra, a sprawling complex of gardens, palaces, churches, and fortress that commands a spectacular view of the rugged countryside around the city.

I was lucky enough to stay in a hotel located in a historic building–a 15th-century Moorish merchant’s house, a two-story complex of rooms constructed around three inner courtyards–giving me another chance to glimpse a bit of life in a long-ago age. Like many Moorish houses, the exterior of the hotel was a blank plastered wall facing onto a steep, extremely narrow cobbled alley, with only a single large, iron-barred oak door set in the wall. Inside, however, it was an oasis of gracious living–the courtyards provided light and air to the rooms opening out into them, with gently splashing fountains and potted plants set on the cobbled pavement.

City of Granada  The Alhambra

Where Did All The Photos Go?

Those of you who visited the old Michaela August site seemed to be very fond of the slideshows I had posted, with photos of locations from the novels, as well as other items related to the settings of the novels.

So, where did all the photos go?

Fear not–my web designer is still in the process of migrating over content from the old site, and the Worlds pages will be returning soon, in a slightly different format, but with all of the photos of medieval, Moorish, Turkish, and Roman sites intact, as well as the Sonoma Valley wine country photos.

In the meanwhile, here’s a new slideshow, from a recent trip to Cordoba in Spain, that includes photos of medieval Moorish houses, complete with courtyards and interiors (and even a visit to an ancient basement that used to be the ground floor of a Roman villa…just like in some of the Houses of the Rose). These houses resemble the one in 13th-century Moorish Kingdom of Granada, where young Robert was fostered in Queen of Heaven and The Shattered Crown.

Medieval Cordoba

I had the opportunity to spend some time in Granada on this trip, with an afternoon spent wandering around the fortress and palaces of the Alhambra. I’ll post those photos in a few days.

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