August 29, 2012

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning "Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty") is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport.

Name: Bunratty Castle
Location: Bunratty village

County: Clare 
Country: Ireland

Material: Brick 
Built: 1475

Restored    1954
Condition: restored and opened to the public 

The first dwellings to occupy the site, in 970 were part of a Viking trading camp. In 1250, Norman lord Robert de Muscegros built here the first defensive fortifications, i.e., the earthen embankment with the installed powerful wooden tower. The first stone castle was built later, when the lot was acquired by Thomas De Clare. At this time Bunratty town had grown to a population of 1,000.

August 26, 2012

Hohenzollern Castle

Majestic castle Hohenzollern, proudly stands on top of a mountain at an altitude of Hohenzollern 855 meters and is located near the settlements and Bisingen Hechingen, in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Castle is considered the preserve of the Hohenzollern dynasty,  the dynasty, which towered over the Middle Ages and rule Prussia and Brandenburg until the end of World War II.  
Author A. Kniesel , License
The current castle has undergone three stages of construction. First medieval castle fortress is mentioned in 1267, but it is assumed that it was built earlier, in XI century. In 1423 the castle was besieged by the troops of the imperial cities of Swabia. May 15, 1423, the castle was taken and destroyed. From the first castle remained only written record. 

August 25, 2012

Dover Castle

Dover Castle is one of the most powerful of castles of Western Europe. Many centuries, it is the guardian of the shortest sea route from England to the Continent. Its location on the shore of the Strait of Pas-de-Calais, between Britain and France gave Dover castle of great strategic importance. For a long time he was considered the "key to England" due to its strategic position on the island.

Attribution: Ron Strutt, License
Castle began to exist immediately before the beginning of our era. Moat protecting the castle, was dug up in the prehistoric Iron Age. After the arrival of the British Isles by the Romans in the 1st century AD on the site 
of the present town of Dover was founded a fortified settlement. Dover began to develop as a Roman port. To do this, in 50 AD, two lighthouses were built: one here and one in the Western Heights. Lighthouse, located on the territory of the castle, has been preserved to this day. In the Anglo-Saxon period, the lighthouse was attached to the church, and he began to serve the bell tower.

August 23, 2012

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (also known as the Order Castle Marienburg) Order Castle Marienburg served as the residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order from 1309 to 1456 years. It is the largest Middle Ages brick castle in the world, one of the standards of the brick Gothic, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Name:     Castle Marienburg
Country:  Poland  
Location: Pomeranian Voivodeship, Malbork 
Architectural style: Gothic

Material: Brick 

Start of construction: 1274 

Condition: restored and opened to the public 
In 1274, castle in honor of the Virgin Mary was built on the bank of Nogat River (mouth of the Vistula River) by the Teutonic Knights. In 1309, the Grand Master of the Order moved to the castle from Venice. In the 14th century, the castle was rebuilt and extended many times. Inside the castle walls was an area of 210 thousand square meters, and the number of inhabitants of the castle in the best years was close to three thousand.

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle.

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is a former Ruthenian-Lithuanian castle and a later three-part Polish fortress erected in the castle site, located in the historic city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, in the historic region of Podolia in the western part of the country.It was first mentioned in 1374 in a document from the Prince George Koriatovicha who owned at the time of Podolia. Archaeological research indicates that there was a castle in the tenth and thirteenth centuries  The fortress consisted of Kamianets-Podilskyi's Old Town fortified by King Casimir IV Jagiellon, the Old Castle rebuilt by Kings Sigismund I the Old and Stephen Bathory, and the New Castle founded by Kings Sigismund III Vasa and Wladyslaw IV Vasa, and until the 1793 Second Partition of Poland it was one of the strongest fortresses in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.
The castle was built on top of a peninsula carved out by the winding Smotrych River, forming a natural defense system for the castle and Kamianets-Podilskyi's Old Town neighborhood; a bridge over the river forms the only entrance to the castle. The castle's name is attributed to the root word kamin', from the Slavic word for stone.

Name:    Kamianets-Podilskyi                           castle 
Country: Ukraine 
Location: Khmelnytskyi Region,  
Architectural style: Gothic,
Material: Brick 

Start of construction: pre-13th century 

Condition: restored and opened to the public 
Initially, the fortress was built to protect the bridge connecting the medieval town with the mainland. Its location on a strategic transport crossroad in Podolia and made the castle a prime target for foreign invaders, however, who rebuilt the castle to suit their own needs, adding to its multicultural architectural diversity. In spite of the many architectural and engineering changes to the original castle structure, the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle still forms a coherent architectural design, being one of the few medieval constructions in Ukraine that is relatively well preserved. It is the most recognized landmark of the city, serving as an important regional and national tourist attraction.
Author: Andy Shal

Lutsk castle is one of the most powerful fortresses of Volyn Region.

Lutsk High Castle, also known as Lubart's Castle,  is the main historic monument of the capital of Volyn. is the main historic monument of the capital of Volyn region, Ukraine. It began its life in the mid-14th century as the fortified seat of Gediminas' son Liubartas (Lubart), the last ruler of united Galicia-Volhynia. It is the most prominent landmark of Lutsk. Another city castle, built by the Czartoryski family starting from the 14th century, is now a ruin.
Author Modulo, License
Name:   Lutsk Castle or  
              Lubart's Castle 

Country: Ukraine 

Location: Volyn region, Lutsk

Architectural style: Gothic,

Renaissance Material: Brick 

Start of construction: 1350

Condition: restored and opened to the public 
The Kievan town of Luchesk had a wooden wall as early as 1075, when Boleslaw the Brave laid siege to it for six months. Yury Dolgoruky failed to take Lutsk after a six-weeks siege in 1149. In 1255, the walls of Lutsk were stormed by Jochi's grandson Kuremsa.
The current castle, towering over the Styr River, was built mostly in the 1340s, although some parts of the earlier walls were used. It repelled sieges by numerous potentates, including Casimir the Great (1349), Jogaila (1431), and Sigismund Kestutaitis (1436).