The Domesday Book The narrow definition of what life was like during medieval times that comes from the entertainment industry is short sighted because it does not account for the fact that the middle ages was an extremely lengthy period in the history of civilization. From the fall of Rome to the birth of the Renaissance period spans some years and the changes in culture and what civilization looked like during those centuries was dramatic. One of the cultural icons that we associate with the medieval period of history is the castle.
Though they were built to last, and used more stone in their construction than most Japanese buildings, castles were still constructed primarily of wood, and many were destroyed over the years. This was especially true during the Sengoku 'Warring States' periodwhen many of these castles were first built.
However, many were rebuilt, either later in the Sengoku period, in the Edo period which followed, or more recently, as national heritage sites or museums.
Today, there are around fifty castles extant, or partially extant, in Japan; it is estimated that once there were five thousand. Hiroshima Castleon the opposite end of the spectrum, was destroyed in the atomic bombing, and was rebuilt in as a museum. Himeji Castle - the best example of a Japanese Castle Japanese Castles - History Originally conceived of purely as fortresses, their primary purpose being military defence, Japanese castles were originally placed in strategic locations, along trade routes, roads and rivers.
Though castles continued to be built with these considerations in mind, for centuries fortresses were also built to serve as centers of governance.
By the Sengoku period, they had come to serve as the homes of daimyo feudal lordsand served to impress and intimidate rivals not only with their defences, but with their size and elegant interiors, architecture and decorations.
A short distance away from the capital of Kyoto, which had long been a target of violence, Azuchi's carefully chosen location allowed it a great degree of control over the transportation and communication routes of Oda's enemies. Though most later castles were built atop mountains or hills, these were built from the mountains.
Trees and other foliage were cleared, and the stone and dirt of the mountain itself was carved into rough fortifications. Ditches were dug, to present obstacles to attackers, as well as to allow boulders to be rolled down at attackers.
Moats were created by diverting mountain streams. Buildings were made primarily of wattle and daub, using thatched roofs, or, occasionally, wooden shingles. Small ports in the walls or planks could be used to deploy bows or fire guns from. The main weakness of this style was its general instability.
Thatch caught fire even more easily than wood, and weather and soil erosion prevented structures from being particularly large or heavy. Eventually, stone bases began to be used, encasing the hilltop in a layer of fine pebbles, and then a layer of larger rocks over that, with no mortar.
Though fairly basic in construction and appearance, these wooden and earthwork structures were designed to impress just as much as to function effectively against attack. Chinese and Korean architecture strongly influenced the design of Japanese buildings, including fortifications, in this period.
The remains or ruins of some of these fortresses, decidedly different from what would come later, can still be seen in certain parts of Kyushu and Tohoku today.
Japanese Castles - Heian Period The Heian period saw a shift from the need to defend the entire state from invaders to that of lords defending individual mansions or territories from one another. The primary defensive concern in the archipelago was no longer native tribes or foreign invaders, but rather internal conflicts within Japan, between rival samurai clans or other increasingly large and powerful factions, and as a result, defensive strategies and attitudes were forced to change and adapt.
As factions emerged and loyalties shifted, clans and factions which had been allies in the service of the Imperial Court became enemies, and defensive networks were broken, or altered through the shifting of alliances.Useful Information.
Scotts Castle Holidays was formed in and remains the oldest established holiday lettings agency specialising in marketing and letting castles and large houses in Scotland.
Amanda: I can honestly tell you I was not always "sooo" beautiful. I was a plumpish child but I was born into a GREAT looking family.
So since I was very young, my mother, my sisters and I where always doing the local shows in Pretoria-North [South Africa], where I grew up.
Nov 08, · This is definitely a cool place The structure, integrity and design of the castles is super cool, if you can appreciate something like that.
For its modest size, the Baltic Republic of Latvia offers a surprisingly wide array of castle architecture, spanning from early 13 th century up to the beginning of the 20th.. Shown here is an alphabetically arraigned cross-section, by no means extensive, in photographs made by the author.
Medieval Castles - The Changing Look of Medieval Castles Over the Centuries The Changing Look of Medieval Castles Over the Centuries. Written by Tim Nash History - Middle Ages It was the 10th and 11th centuries that brought tremendous change to Europe as the Catholic Church began to establish order to society and the union of .
T here is something about castles that inspires awe and at the same time touches a gentler, more romantic side in each of us.
And if you want to visit and tour some of the best castles in the world, then Europe should be your destination as this continent certainly has more than its share.