Art Friday: Castles

Hohenzollern castle, Germany
The random word this week was Castle and I thought I would use it for my Art Friday as well. Here are some fascinating facts about castles. 

For a long time, the majority of castles were made from wood. Some were kept in functional state for 4 or 5 centuries!

Castles did not have toilets! Waste products were removed in rooms called “garderobes”, with holes that led out of the castle into moats.

Average time of castle construction was 10 years. You would not want to be in a hurry for a new home.

England is currently home of 1500 castle sites, but many more are lost to time. The oldest is Windsor Castle, the home of Queen Elizabeth II.  

Almost every stairs in the medieval castles were tight clockwise spiral stairs. They were created that way to make combat more difficult for right-handed invaders who had to ascent on those stairs and use their weapons.

At first, castles were built for military and government means. As centuries went on, hostilities subsided, and wealth started to flow during Renaissance, nobility and royalty started to create vanity castles that were used to be summer houses, hunting houses and royal houses.

The Black Death left many deaths. For example all the inhabitants of Cainhoe Castle, in England; perished from the Black Death. The castle was found abandoned some time later.

Located in Poland, Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world. The castle was founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Knights who used it as their headquarters to help defeat Polish enemies and rule their own northern Baltic territories. The castle was expanded several time to host the growing number of Knights until their retreat to Königsburg in 1466.

The introduction of gunpowder made castles less secure against attacks. Because of that, the majority of warfare was moved to open fields, leaving castles to be used for other purposes (government centres, prisons, temporary barracks, etc.).

Broadway Tower may be the world's smallest castle (or more accurately a Folly). Located in Worchestershire and built by Lady Coventry decided to build this castle (1798-99) on a whim because she wanted to know if beacons lit on a certain hill could be seen from her house 22 miles away. 

Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634)
Prague castle

Hurstmontceaux Castle, John Chessell Buckler
By Allen Lee
By Wouter Tulp (Illustrator)
Castle by the river by Leonid Afremov


  1. Castles are very fascinating! :)

    1. They are. I watched a fascinating documentary on SBS on the building of a modern castle but using all the techniques from the past - it explained why it takes so long to build a castle.

    2. I watched that :) Dad got it on DVD


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