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Medieval castles have become famous in history, both in fiction and nonfiction books, movies, and stories that were passed down through generations. A true medieval castle served several different functional elements. The first and foremost use of a castle was to house the king, or the lord, of a village or other settlement. It provided a visual sense of power. Often in these villages, the common people lived in modest homes and were subject to the commands of the king or lord in every area of life. To provoke an image of fear, power, and influence, these castle homes were often built as very complex structures that reached towards the sky. They were also places where kings could entertain their guests, and have their guests dine in the main banquet hall in elaborate feasts. More practically, however, the castle's many rooms also served as the main government offices for that village and was where all official business was conducted. Moreover, they were built very strong, with many means of protection. This was so that the king and the fighters could defend themselves from enemy attacks, or plan attacks on neighboring villages from a relatively safe location. In later times, castles were built merely as a place from which a city could be defended, and served no other purposes. The most famous medieval castles were constructed between 1000-1500 C.E.,
The first known castles were built by the Hittites around the 13th Century, B.C.E. They consisted mainly of thick stone walls and were square. In the 5th Century B.C.E., castles in the area of Britain were first constructed, and were much more advanced, thanks to the arrival of the Iron Age. The first traditional medieval castles were built in the 9th Century, by the Carolingian Empire during a time when their villages were being raided by the Vikings. With the arrival of Feudalism, land was split among counts, dukes, kings and other noblemen. To mark and defend their land, they built massive fortresses and residences that we now know as medieval castles. One of the most famous, and earliest, stone and iron castles, was built at Doue-la-Fontaine, France, in 950. In 1079, the great Tower of London was constructed, as was Colchester Castle. These great stone towers not only provided protection for money and important documents, but also gave soldiers great vantage points from which to view incoming enemy attacks.
These castles began being constructed with curtain walls, or giant stone walls, that surrounded the tower fortresses. These walls and towers were often built with small, crossed-shape openings, from which soldiers could fire their bows and arrows at enemies. Other defense mechanisms, including moats, man-made hills, drawbridges, and more surrounding walls over eight feet thick, protected the king and lords inside. These safe, outside defenses, could allow for the king and queen and other noblemen to remain comfortably inside, with massive bedrooms, banquet halls, and reading rooms, ensuring their safety even in times of war.
- Medieval Castle 7 x 10 Download $9.95
- Medieval Castle 10 x 13 Download $17.95
- Medieval Castle 7 x 10 Printed Kit $11.95
- Medieval Castle 10 x 13 Printed Kit $19.95
- Medieval Castle 13 x 16 Printed Kit $24.95