Unraveling The Medieval Castle From The Outside To The Inside

2012 words - 8 pages

“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever (Hengeveld web).” This verse from 2 Samuel 7:16 puts in perspective the extravagant castles that have been built over time do not even compare to the kingdom that has been built by God. The brilliant minds of the people who designed and built these earthly fortresses were considered striking, but God’s kingdom will conquer all one day. The royalty who once lived in them will fall, and God will reign over all people. Castles portrayed brilliant and purposeful architecture which aided in defending the kingdom and establishing power.
The whole castle revolved around the nobles and their children who were the center of all life inside of this empowering stronghold. Boys would rise up to power taking after their fathers, and girls married into other families to maintain peace between kingdoms. However, the family traveled away from their home often, bringing their servants with them. At times, only a few soldiers and the gatekeeper inhabited the castle. When the family was present, so many people occupied the castle that some would have to live in neighboring villages and towns (Dixon 28).
Although a castle established power for the lord, he was not as powerful as his fortress implied. This era ran on the feudal system which positioned the king hierarchy owning all land. The lords proved their loyalty to the king who granted land in return. The lord would build a castle on the land to prove that he owned the property (McDonald web).
The main reason a lord would build a castle was to create a place fortified against the enemy by allowing people to run behind the walls for protection. They would often establish power for a lord or king as it showed his wealth and mass of military defenses. Castles also protected possessions stolen from a conquered land (Dixon 16).
In order to start building, the lord would need to get permission from the authoritative king to build a castle on the property. Refusal to ask for consent would result in dire consequences. Sometimes the king would come in and either destroy the castle or weaken it, causing the fort to fall if attacked. In certain circumstances, the castle was not touched due to the lack of a king in some lands (McDonald web).
The first step in building a castle was finding land worthy enough to support it. Architects looked for land with the best natural defenses to cut down on the cost of building additional defenses (Encyclopedia Britannica web). Construction also required flat land, containing a mound at the center in order to allow archers to see far out and be stationed at multiple levels. Additionally, the land was required to be symmetrical, providing even areas of defense. The land around the castle was used for farming. Fertile land was necessary to grow the most luscious crops (Dixon 16). They also kept in mind the need for natural resources. Horse-drawn carriages...

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