The architectural appearance of the Middle Ages is hard to imagine without a feudal castle. He is — an integral part of the lifestyle of a medieval lord. The first is — to strengthen, where they could hide from the attacks themselves lords and placed under the protection of their vassals. There is life, subordinate harsh laws of his time. However, the castle — not only housing and fortification, and center of secular culture: castles were jousting tournaments, jugglers, and were organized competitions of singers; here created material culture, satisfies the tastes and needs of the feudal lord.
Once there was a lot of castles to have survived one. Most are in ruins: some ravaged by wars, while others have long abandoned by their masters and run. Often the stones from ruined castles were used by local residents for the new construction. Some ancient buildings rebuilt many times in the new taste, and in their current form can hardly be guessed features harsh strongholds of the Middle Ages.
Locks began to emerge in the IX century, the initiative in their construction is attributed to the Normans. In the XI-XIII centuries construction was mainly the higher nobility, the XIII century middle and lower nobility. Later castles usually belonged to one family and were the family nest. By law, the tribal territory is indivisible and the castle was inherited by the eldest in the family. These estates were called "primogeniture" (from the word major — senior high).
A simple lock is typically a two-story tower: the top floor of the lord lived in the lower provisions were warehouses, stables, cattle kept. Tower — the keep
— Tracing a moat and rampart, and the moat to throw a bridge that was removed during the siege. Wooden castles easily burned. In order to protect the castle from fire during the siege, and killed cattle hides covered tower: so it was more difficult to burn. Wooden structures burn easily, but recover quickly — in a few days, sometimes — in one night. Some might find the lord on its border overnight built castle. In England, these castles were called illegitimate and subject to destruction.
For the construction of needed royal permission — regalia. The king gave the right to involve the construction of the surrounding residents.
For the construction of the opportunity to choose remote places — rocky cliffs, the bend of the river and islands. Planning determines the location of castles on the cliffs or hills had an irregular plan — depending on the topography of the soil. Out of the blue they were usually built on a rectangular plan.
Locks can be built jointly by the local people, who were promised protection in the castle in case of danger. The construction is also invited to the farm building. Architects — the Crusaders erected castles and fortresses in the Crusader states. Plans Palestinian Crusader castles influenced the addition of castle building throughout Europe. For the first time in Syria, the Franks used the device of defensive structures in which the fortification girded less high line of strengthening — the second fence. This method increased the defenses of the fortress. By the end of the XII century the formation of military architecture in general is completed.
By tradition, the castle courtyard shared in two inner wall on one side of which were located locking facilities for vassals, and with another — a dungeon where a feudal lord could hide from the enemy and of treason. Donjon often had a separate bakery, well designed, and the long siege of the cache in the basement.
Imperial and princely castles XII-XIII centuries were built very simply and modestly decorated: at the time were more concerned about the safety and security of locks than the comfort and luxurious design. Ease of housing sacrificed defense: the rooms were cramped, the windows because of the thickness of the walls were like loopholes and most overlook the patio. Special comfort in castles XI-XIII centuries were not; such as Henry II in his palace located only knight’s hall and a bedroom. Military expediency and is subject to the appearance of the castle — a feudal lord sought to give his stronghold awesome view. For the construction of a conventional used the rough natural stone, and only in rare cases, masons ashlar building carved or decorated. Such harsh nature were almost all the locks until the XVI century.
The interiors sought to make isolated from each other, between them create complex transitions and backdoors. Confused plan was to safeguard against surprise attacks and conspiracies.
The main tower was divided wood, later — stone (to avoid the fire) overlaps into two or three zaly.V hall celebrations held feasts and festivals with dancing round dance to the songs of the ladies. Here in the evening by the fireplace listening to wandering singers. Interior space in the locks was not much: a bedroom, an armory, a chapel. A separate room meant for women’s crafts — are the windows spun ladies.
The nobility in the Middle Ages was quite poor: tools that give agriculture, barely enough to pay the merchants for dresses, weapons and armor, and money was needed and for food, wine, feasting. That is why part of chivalry and had to correct their financial situation robbery and banditry on the roads. What caught the robbers had expected death knights are rarely restrained. For protection from angry citizens and the merchants they had to have a well-fortified castles, where you can hide and wait until the anger subside. Many of the city’s medieval chronicles tell of the assault and ruin the citizens of the robber nests.
The main source of income for the knight was still feudal — plot of land that could be obtained by entering into a relationship with the lord according to regulate medieval feudal law. This personal contract between lord and vassal was called homage (hommage).
Commitments vassal against the lord can be expressed in the medieval formula "advice and assistance": Vassal did not have to speak or do anything else that could have material or moral damage to the lord, the vassal was supposed to help the lord of the material and personal service as well as being a guarantor for him and even held hostage in wartime. Vassal is obliged to go to war at the call of the lord (the term of the campaign is usually limited to up to 40 days), I had to keep the garrison and defend your castle on the orders of the lord. In peacetime, the vassal was in the court or council.
Often these obligations are not complied with, and between lord and vassal, even arose war. Despite the fact that the feudal customs forbade the sudden attack on a neighbor, the feudal lords tried to capture the opponent’s guard castle with all the equipment. Wars were common in the Middle Ages, they legalized feudal constitution and customs (so battle — one of the main themes of medieval art).
Feudal war has been almost constant, but at the same time small war. Large feudal battle, which was attended by many knights, too, were not always bloody. Knight at the time was quite difficult not only to kill, but even hurt, because he was very well protected. For example, in 1119 there was a battle between the French and the British, which was attended by 900 knights, and the battle was fierce. Results are as follows: all three were killed and captured 140 people. Taking prisoners was profitable — for them it was possible to obtain a large ransom. It is for ransom a knight trying to capture the other.
Knight’s chain mail protected with a hood, comes to the knees, with cuts in front and rear for easy riding. In addition, metal warrior wore stockings and gloves. In the XI century, a knight was a mobile fortress that is difficult to hit. If it is knocked off his horse, then without help he could get to his feet. Armament was so heavy that the knight lay formation as long as it did not take prisoners. Therefore, the main task in the battle — to knock the opponent out of the saddle, not kill him.
From the XIV century, with the invention of firearms, armor changed armor, metal plates which reliably protect the knight from the blows. At the head he wears a helmet, on which slide kick. Shield Knight served not only a defensive function but also decorative, symbolic. The billboard depicted a knight emblem and motto. The main colors of the coat of arms dictated the color of clothing that after the Crusades became particularly diverse and even pretentious.
Arms was a spear in the XIV century reaches 4.5 metra.Rytsari clergy, were part of the monastic orders, they are usually used clubs. But the main weapon, of course, was the sword. It consisted of a steel blade, hilt and thickening at the end of the hilt. Inside this thickening usually invest any relic. Ephesus by the sword separated metal bar — so the sword stuck in the ground, looked like a cross
— Symbol of the Crucifixion, and the knight could pray in front of him. "Sword — the noblest weapon", Cruciform shape resembles the Crucifixion, the ball at the end of the handle — the world, the two handles and the edge symbolize the three knight vocation: to protect the Church, to fight for king and protect his people — so thought in the Middle Ages. With swords legends linked, they were given names, passed from father to son, with swords swore medieval warriors. Sword played a major role in the ritual of initiation into the Knights.
Converted Carolingian proverb says: "Someone 12 years old is at school, not sitting on horseback, suitable only for priests". Indeed, the boys from noble families after 7 years were taken from women, to educate them. Most often, children vassals lived in the castle and raised with children seniors. Before being knighted, the young man had to go all the way squire — servants of the knight and assistant in campaigns. During the ceremony the young man wore spurs, weighing out the old knight or slap him upside the head (as mentioned "only a slap in life that you can get without returning"). Over time, this masculine, almost pagan rite takes on a complex religious symbolism and knighting becomes a sacrament, along with the sacrament of baptism or marriage. Now, before the dedication was supposed solitary vigil and prayer, dedication to God weapon and perepoyasy-tion sword made a priest or other person spiritual dignity. After knighted usually undergo the procedure homage. Choosing a patron, newly created in the accepted family clan structure of feudal society.
The ideological world of the court and the nobility of the Middle Ages was imbued with noble ideals of chivalry, valor and great deeds on the battlefield. It was an aesthetic ideal, woven from the lofty sentiments and colorful fantasies under the influence of chivalry with descriptions noble deeds of the Knights of ancient and recent past. The life of a medieval knight was an imitation of the Knights of the Round Table or the ancient hero. In the view of the people living in the XIV-XV centuries, the nobility and valor were peculiar and ancient people, but only the knights of the Middle Ages made the feat of their craft. The life of Alexander the Great, according to the chivalry era heyday, was in keeping with the ideal representations of the Middle Ages. The desire for glory and honor at the time was inextricably linked with the worship of heroes and a passionate desire to win the praise of posterity.
Death in combat itself is already regarded as a feat. What could be more desirable for a knight than obvious miracles of courage and heroism, to rest under a tombstone in the glory and the example of descendants. Natural, weighed down by Christian ideas fear of death is softened by the noble idea of self-sacrifice: "Funny thing … war (…) If you see that you fight for a just cause and fights around the native blood, if you can hold back the tears!"
The life of a soldier in battle proceeded, knights happy to get involved in a love adventure, embarked on a journey, dangerous journeys and trips — but would not stay in a castle. Close often gloomy rooms of the castle have imposed wearisome boredom on its inhabitants, and the diversity of activities and entertainment that could disperse it almost did not exist.
Games Chess was the favorite, and at the end of the XIV century all the joy of playing cards appeared. All the inhabitants of the castle of entertainment usually falls in the spring — early summer: knighting, weddings, tournaments. Therefore favorite holiday was Easter and Whit Monday. In the spring of noble young people to choose "May King"
— An ancient ritual, a leading history since the days of paganism. The competition in the power (the fight, throwing stones, tug), hunting and tournaments were not only the main entertainment of feudal lords during peacetime, but also training of military skills: after a battle with a wounded boar or bear was just as dangerous as a battle against a skilled opponent. Chasing deer developed horsemanship. In bird hunting with falcons, bow and arrow as a weapon was considered a peasant. On the hunt, and often took the ladies to not get bored. Over time hunting in castles has become a ritual, a falconer and gamekeeper positions were considered honorable and desirable.