Medieval Castles Facts

Medieval Castles Facts
Medieval castles were built during the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East as a structure to provide protection for nobility from invaders. Not to be confused with palaces, castles were fortified structures that began to be built in the 9th and 10th centuries, and continued to be built for roughly 900 years. In the late 1100s the structures began to include towers and slits for arrows to be shot through. As the centuries wore on, new weapons evolved and the use of gunpowder made it possible to break the stone walls. Castles began to be less desirable as they were no longer desired for use a residences. Despite their use for military purposes disappearing there are many castles around the world that are in use today for a variety of purposes.
Interesting Medieval Castles Facts:
The word 'castle' is derived from the Latin word 'castrum' meaning 'Fortified place'.
Originally castles were built of wood and earth but stone was later used as it provided more protection from invaders.
Often there were obstacles put in place to defend the medieval castles from potential invaders. These obstacles could include moats, spikes, curtain walls, and lookouts were placed in strategic positions so that invaders could be spotted and the castle occupants warned.
Life in a castle was unlikely as glamorous as people today believe. They were often stinky and very busy places.
The moat of a castle was often filled with the sewage from the people living behind its walls. It smelled horrible but the smell was not much of a deterrent. Invaders would wade into the disgusting water to try and reach the castle.
Sometimes sharp spikes were set in place in the moats so that invaders that were not turned away by the sewage would still be fought off (or killed) by the spikes.
Medieval castles often had gatehouses that provided access to the castle for its inhabitants but also provided protection against invaders. These gatehouses made it possible to stop unwanted visitors from gaining entry.
The drawbridge was invented late in the Medieval-castle era. Simple drawbridges consisted of a log that was removed when not needed. More complex designs used a counterweight to draw the bridge up or let it down.
The Lord and Lady of a Medieval castle lived in quarters referred to as 'solar chambers'.
Early Medieval castles often had small windows which made the interior dark. In the 1200s larger windows began to be included to allow for more light.
It wasn't until the middle of the Medieval times that fireplaces were invented. Up until then castles were very cold.
Medieval people were not as concerned with privacy as we are today and toilets were often just long benches.
The tower of a castle was referred to as a 'donjon'.
There are more than 10,000 medieval castles still in existence today in Europe and in Asia.
Some of the most famous medieval castles include the Tower of London (England), Ch√Ęteau Gaillard des Andelys (France), Castel del Monte (Italy), Alcazar de Segovia (Spain), Kasteel de Haar (Netherlands), Veliki Tabor (Croatia), Edinburgh Castle (Scotland), Burg Eltz (Germany), and Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle (Romania).

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