Thursday, January 23, 2020
Crusader Castles: A Medieval Culmination :: miscellaneous
Crusader Castles: A Medieval Culmination King Edward I of England made a number of military campaigns during his reign, in two of which he captured modern-day Wales. In order to hold his gains he built a series of castles, which are said to still be some of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s greatest strongholds. But, over 3500 kilometres away a period of fascinating castle building took place prior to EdwardÃ¢â¬â¢s as a result of the crusades. These constructions were designed by absorbing the constructive wisdom of the crusaders and those they came into contact with. The crusader castles were built faster, larger, and stronger, to create what are without a doubt, the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s greatest strongholds. The crusaders designed their castles to provide the essentials needed for survival while developing design techniques capable of turning a castle into a stronghold that were mimicked throughout the medieval world. Once their castles were designed the crusaders displayed a construction ability and ingenuity that turned the designs into r eality, taking any material they could obtain and use it to create anything they needed. So successful was their construction that attacking forces of incredibly larger numbers were needed to capture only a select few of the castles over a hundred year period, and often the circumstances of capture were not a fault of design but an unfortunate twist of fate. Through design, construction, and history, a picture emerges of a pioneering period of military construction that was never matched. The design of a castle is most certainly the greatest factor in its defensive capabilities, and many of the innovations credited to the development of the castle finds itself in the history of the crusades. The most significant development is the concentric castle; this is the concept in which the inner walls are able to fire over the outer walls, either because of close proximity or size. In this manner the maximum amount of firepower can be directed at any one point. Belvoir (See Fig. 1 in appendix) is not only a perfect concentric castle but is also the first datable one (circa 1168). The outer wall was built with flanking towers and towers enforcing the centre of each wall span, with the exception of the gatehouse wall. This wall encloses an area of 130 x 100 meters1, making it one of the largest enclosure castles, it also encloses two further walls, the first of which has only one tower because of its close proximity to the outer wall, the inner wall is built with flanking towers to support the middle bailey.