Showing posts with label Castles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Castles. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2019


We just learned about the short wall on top of a castle called a Parapet.

Another part of a castle is the Crenel.

Sometimes people would have gaps in the parapet wall, so that they could attack their enemies with arrows or even throw rocks on them.

The gap or low spaces on the parapet walls are called the crenel.

(from: wikipedia - battlement)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Balmoral Castle

Monday, April 22, 2019


We just learned about the Wall Walk.

Another part of a castle is the Parapet.

On the roof of the castle, or on the wall walk, the parapet is a short wall that is built so that people can see over it, but also hide behind it.

(from: wikipedia - parapet)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Alcázar of Segovia

Monday, April 15, 2019

Wall Walk

We just learned about the Zwinger.

Another part of a castle is a Wall Walk.

On top of the castle wall sometimes there is a pathway, with a small wall next to it.
People could walk on the wall, but still be protected by the small wall.
They could also look out to see who was coming, or shoot arrows or throw things down on any attackers.

(from: wikipedia - chemin de ronde)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Neuschwanstein Castle

Monday, April 8, 2019


We just learned about the Enceinte.

Another part of a castle is a Zwinger.

Some castles would have an outside wall and then an inside wall.
The place in between the two walls is called the zwinger.

This was made so that if attackers broke through the outside wall, the people defending the castle would be able to attack them easily in a small space before they could break into the main castle space.

(from: wikipedia - zwinger)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Baja California Sur

Monday, April 1, 2019


We just learned about the Bailey.

Another part of a castle is the Enceinte.

This is wall and towers that go around a courtyard area to protect it from outside attackers.

(from: wikipedia - enceinte)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Colima

Monday, March 25, 2019


We just learned about the Motte.

Another part of a castle is the Bailey.

A bailey is a big courtyard with a wall around it, that is next to the motte.

The motte was up higher, so people could be up on the bailey and look down into the bailey to make sure everything was going ok.

(from: wikipedia - motte and bailey)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Campeche

Monday, March 18, 2019


We just learned about Castles and Palaces.

Castles have all sorts of different things that they use for defense or attack.

One thing some castles have is called a Motte.

A motte is like a large hill made out of dirt, with the top part being flattened out.
Usually there was also a ditch around the bottom of the motte, and a castle was built on top of the flat hill.

(from: wikipedia - castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nayarit

Monday, March 11, 2019

Castles and Palaces

We just learned about the Frankenstein Castle.

So far we've learned about a lot of castles and palaces, but what's the difference between a castle and a palace?

The word castle comes from the a word meaning "fortified place".
The word palace comes from the hill named "Palatine Hill" in Rome, where the Roman Emperor's lived.

A castle is a place that is fortified, which means it usually has big walls, or a moat, or other ways of protecting the people who live there form being attacked.
It's also the home of a royal person like a lord or noble.

A palace is a big fancy building, and usually the home of someone royal like a king, or bishop, but they are not usually fortified because people are always coming to visit.

Another building name was "fortress" which is kind of like a castle but usually not a home for a royal person.

(from: wikipedia - castle)

(from: wikipedia - palace)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tlaxcala

Monday, March 4, 2019

Frankenstein Castle

We just learned about the Cairo Citadel.

Another famous castle is Frankenstein Castle built around 1252 AD near Darmstadt Germany.

In German, the word stein means "stone" and the Franks were a group of people who lived in Germany.
So Frankenstein castle means "stone of the Franks".

In the year 1818, a writer named Mary Shelley wrote the famous book about Frankenstein's Monster, and many people think that she visited the castle and got ideas for her book from the area.

Near the castle there are many scary stories about ghosts, witches and fairies living in the forest.
There is one special water fountain that stories say witches use to stay young, and there is another place with rocks that are so magnetic compasses do not work there.
Another story is that a man lived there long ago who studied chemicals and human bodies and was almost like the Doctor who made Frankenstein.

All of these stories together bring a lot of people to this castle to visit and see if any of the stories are true, but most people believe they are just stories used to scare little kids.

Either way, it really is called Frankenstein castle!

(from: wikipedia - frankenstein castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Aguascalientes

Monday, February 25, 2019

Cairo Citadel

We just learned about the Castillo de Colomares.

Another famous castle is the Cairo Citadel, built in 1176 in Cairo, Egypt.

It was built by Salah al-Din (Saladin) during the wars known as the Crusades.

The wall and castle were built in the cities of Cairo and Fustat, and near the Nile so that they could try and control that part of the country from invaders.

To get water to the Citadel, they built a 280 foot well in the castle, called the Well of Joseph, that is still there today.

This well has a spiral staircase of 300 stairs going all the way down to the well.

Later on they built a bunch of water wheels that helped bring the water up to the citadel and then the water would go on things called acqueduct which were like ramps that helped bring water from one place to another.

(from: wikipedia - cairo citadel)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Quintana Roo

Monday, February 18, 2019

Castillo de Colomares

We just learned about the Chillon Castle.

Another famous castle is Castillo de Colomares, in Benalmádena, Spain in 1987 by an American doctor named Dr Esteban Martín Martín.

This is actually a monument, not really a castle.
It was built to honor the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

At a size of 1,500 square meters it is the largest monument to Christopher Columbus, but it also has a tiny church inside that is only 1.96 square meters.

It was made in a way to try and look like some of the different building and castle styles from when Columbus made his journey.
There are also parts of the monument shaped like a boat, for the trip he made across the ocean.

(from: wikipedia - castillo de colomares)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Zacatecas

Monday, February 11, 2019

Chillon Castle

We just learned about the Kilkenny Castle.

Another famous castle is the Chillon Castle, built in Veytaux Switzerland in 1005 AD.

It is built on a small island, right on the edge of Lake Geneva.

When it was first made, it was built to defend some of the valleys and roads in the area, but later on was used as a prison for some famous people.

The prince's castle in the Disney movie The Little Mermaid was made to look like this castle.

(from: wikipedia - chillon castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Durango

Monday, February 4, 2019

Kilkenny Castle

We just learned about Conwy Castle.

Another famous castle is Kilkenny Castle, built in 1195 AD in Kilkenny Ireland.

This castle was built right on the River Nore, and also right next to some very important roads.

Many royal people lived in this castle for a long time.

(from: wikipedia - kilkenny castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Morelos

Monday, January 28, 2019

Conwy Castle

We just learned about the Château de Chambord.

Another ancient castle is Conwy Castle in Wales, built around 1283.

This castle was used as by king Richard II for a while during a war, and survived many battles.

It is built right up against the shore of the River Conwy, and there was an old secret entrance that went down to the water where people could sneak in and out or get food and other supplies.

It has eight large towers, two main areas called the inner and outer wards, and two small areas for protection called barbicans.

A barbican is like a wall or gateway with small towers that was used to help defend the castle.

(from: wikipedia - conwy castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Queretaro

Monday, January 21, 2019

Château de Chambord

We just learned about the Royal Palace of Madrid.

Another famous palace is the Château de Chambord, built in 1547 in Chambord, France.

It was built as a hunting lodge for King Francis I, but he hardly ever stayed there.

There are four main towers around the outside, and a keep on the inside with four more towers.
The walls have many more towers going up, so looking at it from the side you can see eleven towers!
It is surrounded by a moat.
There is a very fancy double spiral staircase inside, that has one set of spiral stairs going up, and then another set going down, and they don't run into each other!

During the French Revolution in 1792, people did not like the rich or famous anymore, so they sold off all of the furniture inside, and tore down the wall panels and the flooring.

It was later used as a hospital, as storage for paintings from the Louvre during the war.
During World War II an American bomber airplane crash landed right on the lawn in front of the palace!

In the 1950s people worked to clean it up, and it is now a museum and place for people to go visit.

(from: wikipedia - château de chambord)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Yucatan

Monday, January 14, 2019

Royal Palace of Madrid

We just learned about the castle Castillo do Coca.

Another famous castle is the Royal Palace of Madrid, in Madrid Spain, built in 1735.

This palace is the home of the King and Queen of Spain.
It has 3,418 rooms, and is over a million square feet!

There are famous paintings in the palace by artists like Caravaggio and Goya, and a set of very fancy violins called Stradavarius.

Outside the palace are two large plazas called the Plaza de la Armería, and Plaza de Oriente, where there are large gardens and statues of kings.

On two other sides are the Campo del Moro Gardens, and the Sabatini Gardens.
These are larger gardens with wide open walking areas or pools.

There is also a Royal Library, Royal Pharmacy, and Royal Armory where you can go see all of the old swords and armor from the past.

(from: wikipedia - royal palace of madrid)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Tabasco

Monday, January 7, 2019

Castillo de Coca

We just learned about the Alhambra.

Another famous castle is Castillo de Coca, built in 1493 in Coca, Segovia, Spain.

This castle is special because it has a type of brick work called Mudejar.

There were people living in Spain that were from another country with very different styles.
Mudejar means "allowed to stay", and it was used for people that were from another country but were allowed to stay in Spain.
While they stayed there, some of the types of castles they made back home were made in Spain just like the Castillo de Coca.

The castle has a moat and a keep, and an outside wall around the main castle.
Inside the central keep is a 82 foot tower, and walkways around the top of the walls with all sorts of defenses for the people inside to use if they were being attacked from below.

(from: wikipedia - castillo de coca)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: San Luis Potosi