Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a medieval castle? This woman shares her experience as she lived in a 1482 castle for two years.
During the Middle Ages, much of Europe was divided between lords and princes. These royals would rule the local land and the people who lived there.
To protect themselves from enemies, they would build their homes as large castles in the center of the land they ruled.
These fortified buildings would defend the residents from attacks as well as prepare to launch attacks.
Originally, castles were made of wood and timber. But they were later replaced with stones and mortar to make them stronger.
Today, many castles have been turned into museums. You can visit these vintage buildings and see how people lived centuries ago, how they decorated the interior, and what their daily lives looked like.
Also, there are some people who own and live in castles.
Meet Yulia, an Imgur User Who Lived in a 15th century Medieval Castle
Yulia recently shared a little bit of her experience of living in a castle.
Born in Russia, she lived in a castle in Germany for about two years before moving to Spain.
She is a woman with many interests as she studied mechanical engineering and created her own fair-trade marketplace.
Life in a Medieval Castle Isn't a Fairytale
For two years, Yulia and her husband were offered to work on the castle in exchange for living there.
When she moved in, the castle wasn't modernized. Fixtures and furniture in the castle remained the same as they were in the Middle Ages.
The castle survived the local wars and WWI and WWII, so it didn't need much renovation.
While living in the castles wasn't always so glamorous, it provided home for Yulia, her husband, and her cats.
Renovating the Castle
The first attempt to modernize the castle started in the kitchen, where Yulia installed an oven and a sink. She also installed running water.
For the cooking, Yulia had to prepare meals 'really medieval' since the stove didn't work sometimes.
Speaking of the renovations, Yulia explained:
"[The] goal was never to really modernize it."
"[In the two years, Yulia and her husband fixed smaller things like] windows, doors, large balcony, glasshouse attached to it on the outside wall."
"We also repaired electricity, installed a phone line (as WiFi was needed for some projects we did, etc.), fixed holes around where rodents could easily enter, etc."
Yulia, however, didn't have enough time to complete all the projects she had in mind.
"We were there sadly not long enough to touch bigger projects as they mostly require a lengthy process with agencies governing over historical monuments."
Yulia Made all the Furniture in the Castle, Including Kitchen Cabinets
She made the cabinets from plank wood. She also made this bed. It weighs 400 kg (882 lb).
Yulia Believes Not Many People Would Survive a Few Nights in the Castle
She explained that winters could get quite cold, and the only source of warmth was a large furnace where she and her cats would spend their time.
She added that temperatures in the house could go as low as 8 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit).
During summers, living in the castle was also uncomfortable. The temperature could get as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Another challenge of living in the castle was showering and cleaning with cold water, even in winter. Yulia also explained there were no hot showers nor bathtubs.
Also, the castle is located deep in the forest, so she encountered many wild animals around the castle.
The Toilet was Inside, but She Had to Flush It with a Bucket of Water
The toilet looks like a wooden chair with an ash tray integrated into the handle.
Underneath it, there's a septic tank. The 'pull' on the side isn't for flushing, though. It was used to ring the bell to call a servant that helped to clean up.
If you want to flush the toilet, you would need to use a bucket to pour water.
The Glass Balcony and Glass House
Yulia said the castle had a glass balcony that faced the forest.
And underneath the balcony, there was a glass house underneath. This was Yulia's relaxing spot during the day.
But she explained the glass house was scary at night.
"Imagine sleeping in a glass cube which was completely see-through from 4 sides in the middle of the deep forest."
The Caste had Christmas Trees in Its Garden
While there were many things wrong with living in a castle, it seems there were many things she loved, too.
Trying to decide on her favorite feature, she said:
"It was the whole package. From the road, you arrived on to every single room which had its specific charm and features. Sunsets and sunrise. The fact that we actually lived in a castle…"
However challenging it might have been living in the castle, Yulia said she certainly doesn't take simple things like heat, running potable water, and electricity for granted anymore.