“His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.”
-The Hobbit, Chapter 3: A Short Rest
On Monday we kicked off our series of posts looking at homes from “The Hobbit” with a peak at the Shire – a laid back, cozy and friendly village settled by Hobbits. With evil dark lords, Orcs with anger management issues, pesky rings and misty mountains; life in Middle Earth for the loveable pint-sized Hobbits could be down right dangerous…or at least exhausting. So lets take a look at the village Hobbits and other free Middle Earthlings love to go to when they need a little rest and relaxation – Rivendell.
Aptly dubbed “The Last Homely House East of the Sea” – Rivendell is an Elven village located on the edge of a narrow gorge that is surrounded by soaring mountains decorated with trees and Niagra Falls-like waterfalls that look more like a postcard than real life. Inspired by Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland (probably the most beautiful place on Earth), Rivendell’s climate was temperate with comfortably warm summers and snowy but not Winterfell-like winters.
As the saying goes, looks aren’t everything. The value of a home is more than just numbers or how many magical waterfalls add to curb appeal; it’s also just as much about those nights the family gathers and passes down old stories, or that peace of mind and feeling of calm that rushes over you when you come in through those doors from a hard day at the office or trekking through Middle Earth without shoes. If the value of a home is peace, good times and relaxation, then Rivendell is worth a whole lot.
A recurring theme we see in The “Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” is that Rivendell constantly opened its arms to weary travelers and those in need of some help or some plain old fashioned peace of mind. In LOTR, the Elves of Rivendell take Bilbo in after he chose to leave his home and family in the Shire behind and retire there after his 111th nameday (A Don Draper ad for Rivendell might be: “Rivendell, the Florida of Middle Earth”). Not only was it a place to retire comfortably, it was also a place that opened its doors to Frodo when he was near death and it also hosted the Council of Elrond, which made the difficult decision to destroy the Ring.
The actual home of Elrond (founder of Rivendell) and his family is as grand and larger than life as you’d expect it to be. Full of countless breathtaking rooms, sculptures and art, balconies, libraries, gardens and other zen like spaces; it’s no wonder that Bilbo decided to go there to concentrate on writing his memoirs. The centerpiece of the home is “Hall of Fire” which was reserved on most days for contemplation and thinking, but also served as the main area used for singing, feasting and story telling during celebrations. With an equal mix of quiet reflection and meditation time with feasting and singing thrown in…Rivendell sounds like my kind of place. Take a look at below at some more incredible pictures of Rivendell and Elrond’s home.
You couldn’t buy these views anywhere.
“This is the Hall of Fire,’ said the wizard. ‘Here you will hear many songs and tales–if you can keep awake. But except on high days it usually stands empty and quiet, and people come here who wish for peace, and thought. There is always a fire here, all year round, but there is little other light.”
The Elves didn’t go cheap on the interior design and landscaping.
The main home in Rivendell has a classic architectural feel to it.
One of Bilbo’s favorite rooms. You’re inside but always a few steps from being out in nature.
Elrond looking contemplative in his beautiful home. Take note of the Roman styled sculptures.
Rivendell was a “place of peace and learning” and it was pretty beautiful too. What do you think of Rivendell? Would you rather live there or in the Shire?
“They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave.”
-The Hobbit, Chapter 3: A Short Rest