Friday, August 29, 2008

A "real" princess in a real castle

Once upon a time, in the year 1274, a fortress was built in a Prussian town named after their patron saint the Virgin Mary. Marienburg, later rendered in Polish as Malbork, became (and still is) the world's largest brick castle in the world.

In the year 2008, a family from Ohio visited the Malbork castle.
No princesses have ever lived at the Malbork castle. It was under Teutonic order until Casimir IV Jagiellon, the underage grand duke of Lithuanian whom later became the King of Poland, moved in with his wife Elisabeth of Austria. Together they had four sons. No daughters. No princesses ever lived in this castle.

The family from Ohio was eager to learn about the real history of the castle.

So much history to be told about Poland and Prussia. But I did not have the heart to explain to a four year old, that no princess EVER lived at the Malbork castle to Lola as she raced from room to room searching for signs of a real princess. "Was THIS the room of a princess?"

The castle is actually three separate castles as you can see in the background. It takes visitors a minimum of three hours to tour. It is beyond impressive to walk through corridors and feel history.


Fifi tripped at least eighty-six times on the stairs that were concave from useage, and on the uneven stone pathways, and tripped through each and every wooden framed door. "Owwwww!!!! Ow!" She would cry out for three seconds and get back up again only to run some more before falling again a minute later. For three hours, "Owwwwww!!!!" My sister who is working in Timbuktu called us from Africa on our transatlantic cell phone, during one of the times Fifi tripped through a door way. "Where ARE you?" She asked about the noise. What a world we live in, my sister in Africa and we were in a real castle in Poland, talking on a cell phone.


Jay was in heaven as he walked over the draw bridge and saw the pulley weights that were used to close out enemies. The kid spent hours investigating the castle's cannons and sizing up the cannon balls. Each steel doorway we passed called his name to walk through and admire. "There were REAL knights here, Mama? Like REAL knights?"


Lola never found a real princess at the Malbork castle. She did find a "real" princess gown that we purchased for her and she wore for the rest of the trip. Lola wore the gown gracefully on the grounds of Malbork and stopped many smiling German tourists. She played the part as princess as if it was her job, up until a German family wanted to take a picture with her.

"Lola. They want to take a picture with you in front of the castle." I explained.

"Mom?!?"

"Just stand next to them in your gown, Lola. They said you look Schön. Beautiful." I encouraged her.

"But Mama. Mama?"

"Yes, Lola?" I knelt down before her.

"Can you tell them that I am not a REAL princess. I am only pretending."

"Yes. I will." I giggled out loud.

72classy comments:

Eve Grey said...

I love those photos, especially the top one! It looks right out of a fairy tale. ♥

Rhea said...

That's an awesome looking castle! I love the princess gown, Fifi falling down nonstop and Jay with the shield. You have such wonderful stories and pictures to share with them from this trip. I love it!

Cecily R said...

I think she IS a real princess. And you can tell her that for me.

LOVE LOVE the pictures. You truly have talent.

Hooray for OHMommy PSFing!!

anti-supermom said...

I love the sweetness and shyness that comes out when she has 'you' explain to them that 'she is just pretending' - isn't childhood wonderful.

What a beautiful post.

krissy said...

She looks like a real princess. Your children are adorable.

Poor Fifi. At least the 20 dozen falls didn't break her spirit.

I love reading about your vacation and am anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

How adorable.

I love how she was so concerned about them knowing she wasn't the "real" princess.

Chris said...

Wow. That story was fantastic and the pictures are truly beautiful. As for the princess, I'll bet you could put her up against a "real" princess, any time, anywhere.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CC said...

Awww! What a lovely princess and handsome young knight you have there!

Great photo story!

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

The pictures are so amazing, it's almost surreal. I love the effects you used too. Your princess is adorable!

Sharon said...

Well, it's a good thing you visited. Now they can say that there castle has hosted a true princess! Great story.

Amy said...

What a great story to have for your princess!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

but momma, but momma, what if a dragon comes out and . . . but momma but momma . . . I love this!! G-O-R-G-E-OU-S.
I love Europe! I want to live in Europe!!

LaskiGal said...

The princess and her castle.

How perfect . . .

What an adventure! One they are sure to remember for a long time.

vic said...

You're right - disney has nothing on this!

carrie said...

I would have been running around looking for a princess too!

That is so much better than Sleeping Beauty's Castle. :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a fabulous experience! I wanna go.

Kash said...

Such a cute stories...and there was a real princess in Malbork that day...a Polish Princess!

Tracey said...

What an awesome trip!! My boys (especially my 6 year old) would have FLIPPED over a real castle with real knights and battles... Why can't there be any castles in Illinois?

Ellyn said...

What a fun day.

Alexandria said...

What a neat trip!

Indy said...

Lola is such a princess.

Robyn said...

She looks like a real princess to me!

Beautiful pictures and story.

Mandy said...

I am loving all these pictures and stories to go with them.

Keep them coming. They are awesome. It is like I am there on the trip.

We took a small road trip earlier this week and it wasn't even an over nighter and I felt like it was a true vacation. Man, I need to get out more. :)

momof3crazykids-Val said...

That is so dang cute of Lola. Great photos. I am enjoying your trip to Poland, seeing it through your eyes. This is great!

MamaGeek said...

I'm stoked you played because she SO IS a princess! Lovely shots.

Kel said...

What a beautiful story...I love the photos!

Have a wonderful weekend.
~K

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

How adorable is your little princess! And the castle- wow!

LceeL said...

Only a Real Princess would be that honest.

Kelly said...

I bet that was such an amazing place to tour. The kids seemed to love it and the pictures are awesome.

Crystal D said...

Hilarious that she didn't want them to think that she was a REAL princess. Isn't so funny how natural honesty can be for them.
It looks like you all really enjoyed that castle, even Jay! OK, well maybe Fifi didn't enjoy the tripping but other than that all fun.

Flea said...

Your Lola is so sweet. She's a princess.

Stephanie said...

absolutely precious. I love reading about other places! I applaud you for taking three kids with you, too!

Mishelle Lane said...

Love It!

the dragonfly said...

Aww, I love that Lola played the part of princess. She's beautiful!

Krystyn said...

Such an amazing fairy tale! I hope they will cherish the memories!

Susan said...

I love it! How cool is that...visiting a real castle...real princesses or not.
I loved the photo story associated. Your Lola is truly a little princess! Your other children are beautiful too and looked like they enjoyed their castle time as well. (Except maybe for all the falls Fifi had to endure.)

Laura said...

You photos are simply BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing.

Jenni said...

My kids would have been in heaven! Beautiful pictures.

Jill said...

A princess castle, real or not, would send my girls over the edge. We wouldn't be able to leave. Life as we know it would be over. Seriously.

renatamic said...

i forgot how beautiful malbork is!! so, you've got jay the knight, caroline the princess and fifi the court jester (?) that keep falling down :-) not only are you classy, but royalty too!

CrackerJacks said...

You did an excellent job! Those photos make my heart melt! Great story too, so sweet!

Lisa said...

Could your trip have been any more of a fairy tale? I mean, really - what a fabulous experience!

lattemommy said...

I love that you can take your children on a 3-hour tour of an old building, and they understand the wonder and beauty of it all. They are able to use their imaginations to see the Princesses (even if there weren't any) and the Knights, to bring history to life in their own minds.

You've given your children a rare and wonderful gift.

The Gerster Family said...

These photos are absolutely perfect. They completely capture the entire trip. What a fun destination to visit!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

That castle is so beautiful. And Prussia was SUCH a force to be reckoned with in the day. And European history FASCINATES me.

KEEP BELIEVING

the MomBabe said...

but she IS a real princess...

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a beautiful castle!

Lola is the perfect princess in her new outfit....I bet she wanted to sleep in it too!

Beautiful photos as always!

Lisa

Blessings From Above said...

Amazing pictures!!! And how cute and gracious is Lola, worried that someone may actually mistake her for a real princess. Priceless!

"What a world we live in, my sister in Africa and we were in a real castle in Poland, talking on a cell phone."

Yes, you certainly were a long way from Ohio! Speaking of your sister being in Timbuktu. Awhile back she hijacked your blog for name suggestions for the blog she was going to keep while in Africa. Did she ever end up doing that?

And last but not least, thank you so much for pimping my video out. And not making fun of my horrible acting skills. You are such a wonderful and generous bloggy friend!

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your trip and seeing all your pictures. What memories!

mamatulip said...

Oh, those pictures are brilliant. I love them.

andreawilliams said...

Looks like you had so much fun! Great pictures!!

Supercool Hotmama said...

Of course they would assume that she is the real princess!

crunchiemummy said...

Awwww -- that is soo cute and some awesome photos! I just love how you are sharing these wonderful stories and photos of your trip.

MommyTime said...

I love that she was worried they might think she was a real princess. My kids would have LOVED this place too. I can't wait to start traveling with them.

Karen said...

Your vacation sounds absolutely fabulous! I love reading your version of it all. The bricks on the castle are beautifully oversized, the castles themselves are gorgeous, and that pretend princess is more beautiful than any real one I've ever seen.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

This classy family looks right at home in a fancy castle!

Manager Mom said...

That is SO cool! Your daughter will carry those memories forever.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Sounds like an awesome adventure. Now a "real" princess has graced the grounds of the castle.

mommynotes said...

I love the photos and the history. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful memories! I love the castle

chris said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures! What a great moment together with your kids!

Leah said...

My daughter would have had a ball on that outing!!!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

What a gorgeous castle. The history teacher in me wants to know way more than you've shared. Is this in what was Prussia? Or on the border?

Maggie, Dammit said...

ohmygosh I will totally buy that baby from you. The third picture. Seriously. Do you take checks? I'll try not to bite her little nose but I make no guarantees. I'll let you think this over.

3 Peanuts said...

Lola is such a sweet princess. Love these photos....

Kim

Shanna said...

Looks like a great time!

Maureen said...

Hah! What wonderful photos; what a wonderful trip... what a great Princess (even if she IS just pretending).

Elisa said...

Ah, so classy already. And so honest! She looks lovely!

Unfortunately I have to tag you.
Sorry, it must be done. See?

Jennifer said...

you have one of the best blogs. i always enjoy stopping by.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

Can you tell her I think she IS INDEED a real princess?

With a Queen for mom as well. Especially one that gives her kids memories like these.....

Smart A$$ Mom said...

remind me to tell you about the time I argued with the shoes sales person at Nordstroms about me and my size 7 foot fitting into the kids size 2 Lelli Kelly....and tell Lola I heart her shoes.

Karen MEG said...

Magical, just like out of a storybook.

Your kids are just precious. What a lovely, lovely trip!!

 

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