Krak des Chevaliers (Syria), the best preserved of the concentric crusader castles
Dating back to the early 12th century, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Europe.
Krak des Chevaliers from the southwest
Plan of Belvoir Castle (Israel)
Built in 1385, Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England, is surrounded by a water-filled moat.
Krak des Chevaliers overlooking the surrounding area.
Star-shaped plan of the citadel of Lille (France), designed by Vauban
The Norman White Tower, the keep of the Tower of London, exemplifies all uses of a castle including city defence, a residence, and a place of refuge in times of crisis.
Position of the Krak des Chevaliers within the County of Tripoli.
Plan of Beaumaris Castle (Wales)
Windsor Castle in England was founded as a fortification during the Norman Conquest and today is one of the principal official residences of Queen Elizabeth II.
Artist's rendering of Krak des Chevaliers as seen from the northeast. From Guillaume Rey, Étude sur les monuments de l'architecture militaire des croisés en Syrie et dans l'île de Chypre (1871).
Castle of Margat (Syria), 1062–
Baba Vida medieval castle build on the banks of the Danube in Vidin, Bulgaria
Cutaway section of the Krak from south to north
Belvoir Castle (Israel), 1150
São Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal, with a bridge over a moat
The area between the inner and outer walls is narrow and was not used for accommodation.
Münzenberg Castle (Hesse), 1162
The wooden palisades on top of mottes were often later replaced with stone, as in this example at Château de Gisors in France.
The east end of the castle's barrel-vaulted chapel
Kidwelly Castle, south-west Wales, 13th century
A courtyard of the 14th-century Raseborg Castle in Finland
The south face of the inner ward with its steep glacis
Rhuddlan Castle, north of Wales, 1277
The 14th-century keep of Château de Vincennes near Paris towers above the castle's curtain wall. The wall exhibits features common to castle architecture: a gatehouse, corner towers, and machicolations.
Smoke coming from the castle in August 2013, during the Syrian Civil War
Harlech Castle, west of Wales, 1282–
Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey, North Wales, with curtain walls between the lower outer towers, and higher inner curtain walls between the higher inner towers.
Plan of Krak des Chevaliers from Guillaume Rey Étude sur les monuments de l'architecture militaire des croisés en Syrie et dans l'île de Chypre (1871). North is on the right.
Beaumaris Castle, on the island of Anglesey at the north-west of Wales, 1295
A 13th-century gatehouse in the château de Châteaubriant, France. It connects the upper ward to the lower one.
The inner court seen from the south
The Byzantine castle of Korykos from the sea c.11th cent. AD. It featured fully concentric features a century before the first examples of concentric fortifications were seen in the West
Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland is surrounded by a moat.
Hall of the knights, 2009
Caerphilly Castle, south of Wales, 13th century
Daorson, Bosnia, built around a prehistoric central fortified settlement or acropolis (existed there cca. 17/16th c. to the end of the Bronze Age, cca. 9/8th c. BCE), surrounded by cyclopean walls (similar to Mycenae) dated to the 4th c. BCE.
The west end of the chapel
Borġ in-Nadur fort in Malta, built during the Tarxien phase and used until the Bronze Age.
Sit tibi copia, sit sapientia, formaque detur; Inquinat omnia sola superbia, si comitetur.
You may have bounty, you may have wisdom, you may be granted beauty; pride alone defiles all [these things] if it accompanies [them].
The Bayeux Tapestry contains one of the earliest representations of a castle. It depicts attackers of the Château de Dinan in France using fire, a major threat to wooden castles.
Remains of medieval frescoes in the castle's chapel
Built in 1138, Castle Rising in Norfolk, England is an example of an elaborate donjon.
Albarrana tower in Paderne Castle, Portugal
The gatehouse to the inner ward of Beeston Castle in Cheshire, England, was built in the 1220s, and has an entrance between two D-shaped towers.
Krak des Chevaliers in Syria is a concentric castle built with both rectangular and rounded towers. It is one of the best-preserved Crusader castles.
The design of Edward I's Harlech Castle (built in the 1280s) in North Wales was influenced by his experience of the Crusades.
The northern walls of the Gran Castello in Gozo, Malta, were built in the 15th century.
Corvin Castle in Transylvania (built between 1446 and 1480) was one of the biggest in Eastern Europe at that time.
Castle De Haar, Utrecht, Netherlands.
The angled bastion, as used in Copertino Castle in Italy, was developed around 1500. First used in Italy, it allowed the evolution of artillery forts that eventually took over the military role of castles.
Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century historicist (neoromanesque) castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, inspired by the romanticism of the time.
Castello Dei Baroni, a country residence in Wardija, Malta, designed with castle-like features.
A 19th-century depiction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc of the construction of the large tower at Coucy Castle in France, with scaffolding and masons at work. The putlog holes mark the position of the scaffolding in earlier stages of construction. The tower was blown up in 1917.
Experimental archeology castle building at Guédelon Castle site in France (2015).
God Speed! by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900: a late Victorian view of a lady giving a favour to a knight about to do battle.
Highland castles such as Château de Montségur in southern France have become the popular idea of where castles should be found because they are photogenic, where in reality castles were built in a variety of places due to a range of considerations.
Srebrenik Fortress in Srebrenik, Bosnia: inaccessibility of location with only a narrow bridge traversing deep canyon provides excellent protection.
Almourol Castle in Portugal, which stands on a small islet in the Tejo River.
Tavastia Castle in Hämeenlinna, Finland, one of the northernmost castles in Europe. The exact date of construction of the castle is unclear, as far as it is known to have been built in the late 13th century, but the first mention of it in contemporary documents is from 1308. It was built close to Lake Vanajavesi.
An early 13th-century drawing by Matthew Paris showing contemporary warfare, including the use of castles (here Lincoln Castle), crossbowmen and mounted knights.
A reconstructed trebuchet at Château des Baux in Bouches-du-Rhône in the south of France.

A concentric castle is a castle with two or more concentric curtain walls, such that the outer wall is lower than the inner and can be defended from it.

- Concentric castle

The layout was square (at Belvoir and Beaumaris) where the terrain permitted, or an irregular polygon (at Krak and Margat) where curtain walls of a spur castle followed the contours of a hill.

- Concentric castle

The Hospitallers began rebuilding the castle in the 1140s and were finished by 1170 when an earthquake damaged the castle.

- Krak des Chevaliers

After a second phase of building was undertaken in the 13th century, Krak des Chevaliers became a concentric castle.

- Krak des Chevaliers

These changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, and inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts.

- Castle

The orders were responsible for the foundation of sites such as Krak des Chevaliers, Margat, and Belvoir.

- Castle
Krak des Chevaliers (Syria), the best preserved of the concentric crusader castles

1 related topic with Alpha


Aerial photograph of Margat, taken in the 1930s


0 links

Aerial photograph of Margat, taken in the 1930s

Margat, also known as Marqab (قلعة المرقب), is a castle near Baniyas, Syria, which was a Crusader fortress and one of the major strongholds of the Knights Hospitaller.

In 1188, Saladin marched on Margat having left Krak des Chevaliers in search of easier prey.

Like the Krak des Chevaliers, Margat is a large spur castle with many typical elements of a concentric castle.