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European and Persian Castles

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Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: European and Persian Castles
    Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 06:14

I think it is a sample of an European style castle:

But there also many castles especially old ones in Europe that I think have Persian style of architecture, like this one thousand years old Norman castle in Wales:


Chepstow Castle in Wales


Rudkhan Castle in Iran (Seljuk Period)

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  Quote Kuu-ukko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 06:17
But European castle towers were originally square-shaped, weren't they? The Europeans changed them to round towers when they realised that square towers were less protective against battering rams. I think it goes like this.........

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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 06:38

The first picture is a later palace-castle, probably 19th century, or a greatly reconstructed older one. The second one is an older castle, meant for defence. We're talking two buildings with 800 years between them with different purposes. Both are European, and had no Persian influence. If you're interested, take a look at old Roman fortifications - they had also the typical round towers.

For example, the Roman walls in Lugo:



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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 09:57

Ok it is an old castle in England:


Colchester Castle

It is a reconstructed Roman castle:


Falakol Aflak Castle in Iran (Sassanid Period)

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  Quote Frederick Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 11:20

First of all, I wouldn't call Neuschwanstein "an European style castle". It is a romantic fantasy of the XIXth century, as you probably know, built as a scenario for Wagner's operas by his greatest fan, King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

As for Europe's pre-renaissance castles, given its role as a fortification or line of defense instead of residence, they were mostly of arab architecture. Some Roman fortifications in Northern Europe were in fact mosly square shaped, both walls and towers. In the south, it was arabic influence that imposed round towers, although most castles kept a main tower inside the castle that was square shapped. That fashion eventually caught on after the first crusades, with several military architects (mostly from Knightly Orders such as Templar and Hospitallary) returning to Europe with new conceptions of castle building. This mixture of new arab influence with roman tradition lasted till the modern ages, when castle building split into two genres: border fortifications, with star shaped walls and multiface towers (pentagonal, hexagonal, etc..); and palace strongholds, built more as temporary residences on bordery regions than defensive structures. So it's quite normal that some European castles have similarities with north african and middle eastern fortresses.  

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 12:22
medieval stone-castles did not appear before the Crusades...
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 12:46

But Arabs castles were certainly square shaped too.

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&q=arab+cas tle


Arab Castle near Palmyra, Syria


Marib Castle in Yemen

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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 14:20

Originally posted by Temujin

medieval stone-castles did not appear before the Crusades...

Wasn't the Tower of London built shortly after 1066? If so, I wonder if it was the first medieval stone castle in Europe. Or was it originally not the stone structure it is now? I ask because the first crusade didn't take place until 1095, after construction had started or was completed on the Tower..............or did I just miss the joke? LOL

Its possible that the similarities between the Persian and European stone castles stems from the fact they were both built with the same purpose - defense - shared purpose, shared solutions sorta thingie.

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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2005 at 14:31

City Walls of Rome.

 

The technique to build round towers is not something inheritly Persian, and since the greatest engineers of the ancient time themselves left remains, I think the Europeans didn't have to go all the way to Persia to find inspiration if they needed that.

Its possible that the similarities between] the Persian and European stone castles stems from the fact they were both built with the same purpose - defense - shared purpose, shared solutions sorta thingie.

That's what I think. I'm no expert or even amateur on the subject though, that's why I've just been giving suggestions.



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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2005 at 12:00
but before the Crusades all the Europeans had were mots (don't know if it also goes by that name in the English world) that were just wooden castles on hilltops, descendants of the Celtic hill forts. Roman technology was discontinued after its fall. medieval siege weapons and fortifications were inspired by eastern models.
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  Quote Degredado Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2005 at 13:26

Does anyone know the influences of the Norman wooden castles? That might explain alot.

Anyhoo, I read this book once in which the author stated that modern castles were first developed by Belisarius after his campaign against the Vandals. I wonder if it's true...

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  Quote Sikander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2005 at 13:46

   Well, that discontinuity between roman and european architecture is not entirely true. That stuff about "European castles being nothing more than just moats and timber" may be correct if you just consider England or the northern Europe, but in the South, people kept building in stone. If you go so Spain and Portugal you'll find a lot on stone castles that are older than the Crusades, and I don't think they are all moorish...

  Anyway, and as far as I know, round shaped towers became more predominant in Europe after the first Crusade. That had logical reasons: round towers don't have "dead angles" from which they can be attacked.

   But keep in mind that Moors too used square towers. Just look at some pictures from Lisbon and you'll see there a magnificent arab castle with many, many square towers!

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2005 at 14:11
Well, the first european castles and fortification were rather boxy. A legacy from the romans (very innovative though 2000 years' ago).

The white tower of London is representative of those times.



After this, we built them round, not because of rams but of catapults. The surface of contact was smaller and therefore the building was more resistants. Example in Angers.



On very insteresting place about this is Carcassonne, because we can see the two trends in one


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  Quote TJK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2005 at 16:31

Malbork castle



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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 13:57
is this the marienburg? I know it is famous for being build of red brick stones...
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 14:35
Malbork is the castle of the order of the teutonic knights.
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  Quote Perseas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 15:31

Bourgi Castle

Another view

Venetian creation, blazon of Nafplio. The Venetians firm its fortification in 1473. Greeks regain it from the Turks in 18th June 1822, from where they wil assist the siege of Nafplio. Bourtzi serves as a fortress until 1865. It then transformed into residence of the hangmen who executed the convicts in Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970 served as a hotel.

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  Quote Perseas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 15:45

Iraklio

Castle of Irakleion - Crete

Chania

Castle in Chania - Crete better known as fragokastello. Venetian Castle built to defend Chania from pirates.

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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2005 at 15:50
Originally posted by Temujin

is this the marienburg? I know it is famous for being build of red brick stones...


Yes it is Marienburg.

Quite a few castles in the old Teutonic areas are made with red brick though, and also someone in old Sweden, which was built with the help of German brickmakers. edit yes, here, Tavastehus in Hme/Tavastehus, Finland:



Edited by Styrbiorn
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