Splendeurs en héritage, palais et châteaux des grandes familles d’Europe
Alexis Gregory, photos by Marc Walter
Never has the life of the "jet set" fascinated us as much. Compared to the new heroes of television and advertising, others can be proud of a long tradition of luxury and social niceties, personnified by castles that have survived over the centuries. The author and the photographer managed to be invited in eight of them, all belonging to the same family since they were built. From the Gangi palace in Palermo, used in Visconti’s movie "Il gattopardo", to the palace of St. Emmeram of the Thurn und Taxis (with baroque church and library), from the Dutch castle of Haar to that of Harewood, the property of a count and musicologist, the journey takes us through ball rooms, gardens, boudoirs, roooms with frescoes and chapels. Bizarre love affairs, murders, parties or secret meetings… Small stories sometimes feed themselves from History with a capital h: aside from the fact that these persons called in major architects and decorators, many past owners of these residences contributed to form Europe’s current face.
• Splendeurs en héritage, palais et châteaux des grandes familles d’Europe, by Alexis Gregory, photos by Marc Walter, Le Passage, ISBN : 2-84742-093-2, 2006, 50 €.
Review published in the newsletter #20 - from 26 October 2006 to 1 November 2006