The Domesday Book Castles have a romantic connotation of princesses and princes, but real medieval castles more closely resemble fortresses than fairy tale illustrations. That being said, castles from the middle ages exhibit strength and majesty still evident on the landscape today. Castles were the homes of wealthy nobles and their families while a majority of the population lived in more modest accommodations. The Middle Ages had a complex system of monarchies and feudal lords consistently warring over territory and resources.
The earliest fortifications originated in the Fertile Crescentthe Indus ValleyEgypt, and China where settlements were protected by large walls. Northern Europe was slower than the East to develop defensive structures and it was not until the Bronze Age that hill forts were developed, which then proliferated across Europe in the Iron Age.
These structures differed from their eastern counterparts in that they used earthworks rather than stone as a building material. Roman forts were generally rectangular with rounded corners — a "playing-card shape".
Importantly, while castles had military aspects, they contained a recognisable household structure within their walls, reflecting the multi-functional use of these buildings.
Discussions have typically attributed the rise of the castle to a reaction to attacks by MagyarsMuslims, and Vikings and a need for private defence. Some high concentrations of castles occur in secure places, while some border regions had relatively few castles. To protect against this, and keep other threats at bay, there were several courses of action available: These features are seen in many surviving castle keeps, which were the more sophisticated version of halls.
They allowed the garrison to control the surrounding area,  and formed a centre of administration, providing the lord with a place to hold court. Building a castle sometimes required the permission of the king or other high authority.
In the King of West Francia, Charles the Baldprohibited the construction of castella without his permission and ordered them all to be destroyed.
This is perhaps the earliest reference to castles, though military historian R. Allen Brown points out that the word castella may have applied to any fortification at the time. Switzerland is an extreme case of there being no state control over who built castles, and as a result there were 4, in the country.
Historians have interpreted this as evidence of a sudden increase in the number of castles in Europe around this time; this has been supported by archaeological investigation which has dated the construction of castle sites through the examination of ceramics. The introduction of castles to Denmark was a reaction to attacks from Wendish pirates, and they were usually intended as coastal defences.
Their decoration emulated Romanesque architectureand sometimes incorporated double windows similar to those found in church bell towers.
Donjons, which were the residence of the lord of the castle, evolved to become more spacious. The design emphasis of donjons changed to reflect a shift from functional to decorative requirements, imposing a symbol of lordly power upon the landscape.
This sometimes led to compromising defence for the sake of display. This has been partly attributed to the higher cost of stone-built fortifications, and the obsolescence of timber and earthwork sites, which meant it was preferable to build in more durable stone.
The towers would have protruded from the walls and featured arrowslits on each level to allow archers to target anyone nearing or at the curtain wall.
The larger towers provided space for habitation to make up for the loss of the donjon. Where keeps did exist, they were no longer square but polygonal or cylindrical. They were connected to the castle by removable wooden bridges, so if the towers were captured the rest of the castle was not accessible.
It seemed that the Crusaders had learned much about fortification from their conflicts with the Saracens and exposure to Byzantine architecture. An example of this approach is Kerak.
Although there were no scientific elements to its design, it was almost impregnable, and in Saladin chose to lay siege to the castle and starve out its garrison rather than risk an assault.
The castles they founded to secure their acquisitions were designed mostly by Syrian master-masons. Their design was very similar to that of a Roman fort or Byzantine tetrapyrgia which were square in plan and had square towers at each corner that did not project much beyond the curtain wall.What Was the Role of a Medieval King?
A: Quick Answer. In medieval times, the role of the king was to own land, lead his country and people in times of war and set laws. What Was the Role of a King in the Middle Ages? What Was the Role of the King in Medieval Times? Who Lived in a Castle in Medieval Times?
Credit: Godong Universal .
Not Everyone Lived in Castles During the Middle Ages. Many people think of the Middle Ages as a romantic time when gallant knights rescued lovely damsels in distress and everyone lived in castles. Castles in the Middle Ages - Castles have a romantic connotation of princesses and princes, but real medieval castles more closely resemble fortresses than fairy tale illustrations.
That being said, castles from the middle ages exhibit strength and majesty still evident on the landscape today. Castles in the Middle Ages - Castles have a romantic connotation of princesses and princes, but real medieval castles more closely resemble fortresses than fairy tale illustrations.
That being said, castles from the middle ages exhibit strength and majesty still evident on the landscape today. The medieval period, also called the Middle Ages, lasted from the 5th century CE to the end of the 15th century. During this time, many castles were built in Europe and the Middle East.
They ranged from simple wooden enclosures to vast stone palaces. Castles were important for a lot of reasons. Warlords  in the ninth-century France constructed the first castles —little more than wooden forts surrounding their homes —to protect their families and the local farmers from pilaging Vikings.