02-05-2009, 10:36 AM
Amber's castle is a place of wonders. Who would expect less from a place that has so many reflections and projections across shadow ? One paradox in this monumental collection of buildings, bulwarks, dungeons and gardens is that it's been influenced by shadow too. Take for instance Benedict's zen garden. He comissioned landscapers and masons to transform a modest portion of the original garden that offers a panoramic view of the sea to become an oriental enclave dedicated to meditation, harmony and tea degustation. As one would expect, there is an humble pavilion, just one story high, with the main opening restricting the view to a beautiful arrangement of pine trees, bonzais and a shallow sandpit containing gravel and rocks, all predisposing to relaxation. The sea in the background reinforces the sensation of being away from the palace and its medieval features, frentic activity and myriad of servants. Exotic dark noble wood was chosen for the carpentry, and the furnitures fit perfectly inside with their simple pure shape : a low table, a music stand, a few chests of drawers... In the center of the room a stone fireplace and all appliances for tea preparation capture the sight and was carefully crafted to be the axle of the design. Sliding panels at doors and windows confirm the oddity of the little abode. In the drawers of the pavillion one can find pens, brushes, ink and paper. But also a chess board... it's Benedict's legacy after all. And among various items and delicate laquerware, there is this small box with a few trump cards, most of them showing foreign locations except one representing a man.