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How to: 3 erfolgreiche Wege eine Burg zu verteidigen | Terra X

Apr 22, 2022
Castles, these monumental buildings from the Middle Ages, are the centers of power and power is often disputed. Therefore, castles have to withstand many attacks. but how does it work? Here are 3 ways to defend a castle. The most important decision in terms of defense is made before the opening ceremony. Where does the ruler build his castle? As with today's real estate, the construction principle was already applied in the Middle Ages: location, location, location! The decision of where to build a castle is the result of careful and often lengthy consideration. It must be easy to care for, but above all it must be easy to defend.
how to 3 erfolgreiche wege eine burg zu verteidigen terra x
Hills, mountain spurs, or rocks are particularly popular because they make it difficult for attackers to reach the castle. More than half of German castles are hilltop castles. In addition to being harder to reach, hilltop castles also indicate the power of the castle lords. Visible from afar, they command respect from travelers and enemies alike, and dominate the surrounding landscape. Where there are no natural elevations, other protective measures are needed. Castle lords dug moats around so-called lowland castles to keep attackers away from the walls. Some castle lords are lucky and can use an entire lake as a natural moat.
how to 3 erfolgreiche wege eine burg zu verteidigen terra x

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Sometimes, however, the choice of the place for the construction of the castle is unusual. The ruins of the highest castle in Germany are located in the Allgäu: Burg Falkenstein, 1277 meters above sea level. Almost impossible to supply. But difficult to reach and easy to defend. Predjama Castle in Slovenia is also impressive: the walls are simply built in front of a cave, and a fortified castle is built with relatively little effort. On the rocks of Neu-Falkenstein in Solothurn, Switzerland, the castle is divided into different levels. A sophisticated defense concept. If parts of the castle are conquered, the residents can retreat to the center of the castle.
how to 3 erfolgreiche wege eine burg zu verteidigen terra x
Although the location of some castles raises doubts, in many cases the defensive aspect is a decisive factor in the choice of the construction site. But that's only part of the defense strategy. Even in early castles, so-called moths, a small team can keep attackers at bay. Even in later stone castles, the walls offer protection, allowing the garrison to keep the enemy at bay with bows or crossbows. The elevated position gives the men a good overview of the attackers' actions. And they can react accordingly quickly. Another advantage: if the castle crew is well trained, knows both the castle and the surrounding area very well, only a few people are needed for defense.
how to 3 erfolgreiche wege eine burg zu verteidigen terra x
This saves space in the castle and costs for the owner. Of course, the defense is not only about the garrison, because even the most powerful walls have potential weak points, one of them: the castle gate. To protect the entrance area, the master builders are developing all kinds of sophisticated devices. There are often throw holes above the entrances, from which stones are thrown at attackers. Loopholes for archers and later for firearms are even more effective. Here we have such a nice detail related to the castle, we are in the porter's room and behind me there are two loopholes that cover the pedestrian access to the main castle.
They are set in wood and are certainly suitable for arquebuses, that is, pistols. This iron clasp is still very nice here, which can really close the flap. Here was a small peephole that could be opened. The problem with this notch, of course, was that if you had left it open, someone like that could have snuck in and shot. The elaborate defensive measures are intended to make the castles increasingly secure. On the wall and also indoors. The drawbridge that appeared in the High Middle Ages is the first obstacle for uninvited guests. The attackers fall into the trap when they are imprisoned in the front door by two portcullises.
Stones and feces rain down from the so-called "murder hole" on them. However, if the gatehouse is passed, they often follow narrow, nested inner courtyards, which are easy to defend. In an emergency, not only the soldiers fight for their lives, but also the blacksmith with his hammer and the peasants with their scythes and forks. The final battle for the keep rarely occurs. This is where the castle's residents can retreat and demolish the wooden stairs to the high entrance behind them. Melee combat awaits on the narrow stairway of the keep, with advantages for defenders fighting from above. It is true that attackers can easily set fire.
But conquering the fortress is worth it. Living castle residents are worth more than dead, because some hostages get a decent ransom. And only a few want to destroy a castle anyway. But the fight rarely goes that far. Even in the Middle Ages, deterrence is the best form of defense. However, if there is an attack and the castle is under siege, there is still another way to defend your castle. Castle sieges often last for months or even years. For the defenders, a sufficient supply of food is crucial. The most pressing problem for hilltop castles is the water supply.
You need about 5 liters a day for each Burgess inmate. At Trifels Castle, workers have to drill the shaft almost 80 meters through the hard rock. That takes years. In many castles, the builders move the well as far down the valley as possible so they don't have to dig as deep. The height difference to the main castle is simply bricked up. This is how the tower of the Trifel fountain from the Staufer period was created, which is still visible today... ...accessed via a bridge from the main castle. But the food supply must also be well planned. In times of peace, a castle largely produces its own food.
Farmers in the area are required to deliver grain and livestock to the lord of the castle. Cereals made up about 70 percent of all food in the Middle Ages, just like bread or porridge. Herb and vegetable gardens provide additional food and medicine. The medicine of the Middle Ages shows an amazing range. It ranges from highly effective recipes to concoctions that do more harm than good. Beer is brewed with hops and wine is made from grapes. People in the Middle Ages drank more wine and beer than water because the water was often contaminated and carried disease. The menu remains seasonal and regional.
Vegetables cover the vitamin requirement and are an integral part of every meal. Meat and fish are rarely on the table. Except for the high lords. An aristocratic gentleman eats approximately 80 kilograms of meat every year. A farmer, at most, a quarter. The “expiration date” of food is one of the biggest problems in a siege. The main remedy is the chimney. The meat is hung in the fume hood and smoked in daily cooking. Even after smoking, the meat and sausages remain on the roof and thus out of the reach of rats. Salt, which is stored in niches next to the stove, is also used for preservation.
Stays dry and doesn't clump. The castles have simple cooling facilities for eggs and milk. Thick, cool walls keep perishable supplies cool. Important especially during sieges. If a castle was really under siege, then of course it was a matter of stocking up on provisions beforehand. This included storing meat, storing fish, salting it, storing grain somewhere. Dried Fruits, Vegetables. But in the end it always depended on the duration of the siege, whether there were enough provisions and, above all, whether there was enough water. And many places were given because at some point the famine was so great that these castles could not be maintained.
With good preparation, castles can hold out against besiegers for a long time. Particularly persistent: the castle of Rheinfels on St. Goar... ...and the castle of Montségur in the Pyrenees held out for almost a year. The castle of Thurant on the Moselle and the castle of Gaillard in Normandy lasted even two years. Torment for both the besiegers and the besieged. If you are interested in how to conquer such a castle, you will find the link on the "i" above. But what would be the strategy to defend your castle? Let us know in the comments below and if you liked the video please leave a subscription.

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