The Town of Smardogg in Central Estalia

Smardogg is one of the largest towns on Lake Jatta and the site of one of the early Pogin-mim complexes. This still exists in pristine form, as does the old town itself. In what was marshy ground to the south and east, suburbs were built up over the years, especially in the late 18th Century, now called the New Town -- not at all as good as Edinburgh's New Town, but stylistically neat, with low-rise architecture of the Georgian sort, designed for the most part by an English architect named Silas Smedd who was commissioned by the then Archduke (Harl-furl the 8th, 1742-1783). His area is to the east; the southern part of New Town was built 70 years later, but in the same style. The town is mainly famous for being the place where the War of Holy Success rebellion of 1840 was decisively halted. More on that subject below.

Town Plan

The western portion of the town is bounded by Lake Jatta; there are docking facilities of a simple sort there, especially along the inlet from the lake (a cleft, not a river proper). To the north and east of the original Pogin-mim township are agricultural areas supplying the northern towns on Lake Jatta. To the south, towards Lar-min, more farms but in very marshy land. The principle feature is the steep forested hill with the craggy Dogg Tor at its summit (height 125 meters above lake level). The tor has remains of a prehistoric hill fortress, now with its original dry-stone walls standing no higher than 8 feet. It was cleared and consolidated, even partially reconstructed, in the 1870s as part of the public park and war cemetery built after the war. Along the lower slopes of the hill, facing southwest and southeast are artillery batteries dating from about 1730. These were critical in the defense of the town during the rebellion, the invaders not having the means to overpower them. The watch tower, constructed in 1680 on an older foundation, also had a crucial role in the siege, able to signal to Lotta what was going on. What is called 'The Castle' is actually a secondary school built in 1912 in French Gothic style by Baron Plesh'mar-vodo, Lord Smardogg, a noted philanthropist of his day. It is now the 'Eton' of Estalia, and has taken over part of New Town, as well as the SE Battery and a large area of the hill. Smardogg was considered in the early 20th Century to be the most sophisticated town in Estalia.

The War of the Holy Success. [details to come]

The Agnes Hotel.

One of the series of up-scale hotels in the Castello Chain established by the Italian immigrant Marcello Ponzini in the late 19th Century (after living in Glasgow for ten years, which explains his preference for Scottish women's names for his hotels). He started as a bistro cook and ended up as one of the great entrepreneurs of Estalia. There are a dozen or so of these castle-like hotels in various locations in the country, some of them built around older tower-houses, some built (like this one) new. They generally contain an inn or public bar, a bedroom/hotel wing, one or more dining rooms, and a tower that holds the more prestigious and expensive facilities. The Public House is called the 'Head of Ponzini' and has access to a Turkish bath on the floor above at the southern end of the loggia near the restaurant (the other dining room, the Great Hall in the tower, being for residents only).

The plan here only shows the ground and first floors. There is a third floor to the hotel wing, and the tower itself is five stories tall. Ponzini himself lived in the topmost part of the tower in his later years.