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European castle

European castle (Picture 1)


The castle is a product of the European Middle Ages. The period from 1066 to 1400 AD was the heyday of building castles. European nobles continued to fight for land, food, livestock, and population. Wars broke out. The intensive wars led to the construction of more and more nobles. , The bigger and bigger castles, come to guard their territory. In addition to military defensive purposes, the castle also has political expansion of territory and control of places.

People have been using fortifications and civil engineering since the Stone Age. Before the ninth century AD, there had never been a real castle in Europe. However, due to the resistance to the invasion of the Vikings and the formation of an overly dispersed feudal political power, from the ninth century to the fifteenth century, thousands of castles spread all over Europe. In 1905, the statistics of France, for example, showed that there were more than 10,000 castles in the territory. During the development of the architectural art of the castle, there are mainly two representative styles, Romanesque and Gothic.

The Romanesque castle, which means "the shadow of Rome", was popular in Western Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries. The main feature of Romanesque architecture is its semicircular shape and the cylindrical vault inherited from the ancient Romans. Tubular arches are representative of the architecture of this period. They are generally applied crosswise to pilasters and enclosed arcades, which are both strong and artistic. There are also circular towers, making the towers difficult to damage. Other architectural features include the use of narrow windows, semi-circular arches, low domes, and door frames that are picked out layer by layer for decoration. The entire building uses a large number of columns and vaults of various shapes to achieve a solid, thick, balanced, stable, and saturated aesthetic effect. The narrow windows and the vast interior space form a strong contrast, making the interior of the castle dim and deep. Extremely deep, giving people a sense of mystery and darkness.

Gothic architecture gives a feeling of rising upwards. There are almost no walls in the entire building. Between the main faces of the skeleton is a tall and large window. The internal skeleton of this building is naked and exposed with vertical lines and sharp arrows, making its interior wide and high. And bright; for the Gothic sense of ascendancy, can make people have a peculiar feeling of reverence in the psychology, will cause a kind of soul shock and a sense of piety. This is very conducive to the performance of religious themes, so it is widely used in churches, and the use of Gothic architectural styles in the castle is entirely due to its exquisiteness. The exquisiteness of the Gothic castle lies in its luxurious interior decoration, which is mainly reflected in these two points-glass inlaid windows and sculptures. Glass inlaid windows are a hallmark feature of Gothic architecture. When the sun shines through the mosaic window, the colorful light creates a strange beauty on the bizarre mottled walls.

During the period of feudal society, local nobles provided legal order and protection to protect residents from looters such as Vikings. The purpose of the nobles building the castle was to protect and provide a safe base controlled by military force. In fact, it is generally believed that the function of the castle is to be used for defense, which is an inconsistent view, because the original purpose of construction is to be used as an offensive tool. Its function is to serve as a base for professional soldiers, especially knights, and to control the surrounding countryside. When the king's central power declined due to various reasons, the network formed by the castles and the military forces they supported provided relative stability in politics.

From the ninth century AD, local strongmen began to occupy various regions of Europe with castles. Most of these early castles were simple in design and construction, but slowly developed into solid stone buildings. Most of them belonged to the king or the king's subject. Although the nobles argued that they were threatened by the barbarians to build the castle, in fact they used it to establish control of the place. This often happens because there is no strategic defensive terrain in Europe, and there is no strong centralized government at that time. The Poitiers region of France is the best example of castles all over Europe. Before the Vikings invaded in the ninth century, there were only three castles; by the eleventh century, the number had increased to thirty-nine. This development model can be found in other parts of Europe, because castles can be built quickly. Before the advent of artillery, the defenders of the castle had a greater advantage than the siege.

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