Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts

Monday, August 20, 2018

Himeji Castle

We just learned about the Citadel of Aleppo.

Another famous castle is Himeji Castle in Japan, built around 1300 AD.

It is the largest castle in Japan, and because of its white color is sometimes called the "White Egret Castle" or "White Heron Castle" because it looks like a bird flying away.

The castle is over 5,000 feet long, and the area around the castle takes up over 500 acres.
Inside the castle area, the main building has 6 floors and a basement. It looks like 5 floors because from outside the top two look like the same floor.
The floors go from big at the bottom, over 5,000 square feet to small at the top, only about 1,000 square feet.

On the first floor there are over 300 tatami mats, which are special made floor spaces, and lots of weapons.
Each wall has weapon racks for holding spears and guns, and once had about 280 guns and 90 spears.

There are arrow slits through all the floors to shoot arrows at attackers, and the upper floors had places that people could come out and throw things at attackers below.
Outside there are three moats, and a big maze of pathways that go around and around the castle, up hills and in small spaces.
This was to make it so even if an army did attack, the castle would see them coming a long way out and be able to stop them with the moats.

(from: wikipedia - himeji castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Yukon

Monday, August 13, 2018

Citadel of Aleppo

We just learned about the Prague Castle.

Another ancient castle is the Citadel of Aleppo in Syria.

It is one of the oldest and largest castles in the world, built over 2000 years ago, around 300 AD.
The hill where this castle was is so old that people say Abraham from the Bible had his sheep up on this hill.
The conqueror Alexander the Great took over this castle, as did the Roman Empire, the Mongols from China, the Ottoman Empire and the French and Syrian people.

The Citadel is about 1,500 feet long and 1,000 feet wide, and over 150 feet tall.
It used to be covered with shiny blocks of limestone, and some of those blocks are still there.
There is a moat around it that is 72 feet deep and 98 feet wide, made over 800 years ago.

This castle was very hard to take over, because people coming in would have to take over six turns on a ramp that had machicolations above them where people could drop rocks or hot oil on them from above.
There are also secret passageways all over the citadel, and even underground passages going over 400 feet below the building.

(from: wikipedia - citadel of aleppo)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nunavut

Monday, August 6, 2018

Prague Castle

We just learned about Kronborg Castle.

Another ancient castle is Prague Castle, built around 870 AD in Prague.

This is the largest ancient castle in the world, taking up about 750,000 square feet.
It was the home for the kings of the land of Bohemia, the Roman emperors, and presidents of the country of Czechoslovakia.
The Bohemian crown jewels are in this castle inside a hidden room.

In 1618, a war started because of something called "defenestration" which means throwing someone out the window.
Some angry mobs came around and tried to throw some rulers out of a window 70 feet high, but the people lived, and other people fought back and started a war.

The castle complex is made up of many buildings, like 4 churches, 4 palaces, 9 gardens, several schools and houses, fountains, statues and even a vineyard for growing grapes to be made into wine.

(from: wikipedia - prague castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Northwest Territories

Monday, July 30, 2018

Kronborg Castle

We just learned about the ancient castle of Mehrangarh.

Another famous castle is Kronborg Castle, built in the 1420s in Denmark.

This castle is right by a straight of water called the Øresund, that is one of the only ways to get to the Baltic Sea from the ocean.
Long ago people took ships through there to go trade with countries like Sweden, Finland or Poland.
The king of Denmark put a castle there so that he could charge people money to go through the Øresund, or else he would use his army in the castle to attack them.

There are many famous things in the castle, like a room full of tapestries, which are big carpets that are like story books with words and pictures.
Long ago there was a legend of a great warrior in Denmark called Holger Danske, who sleeps in the castle until he is needed again. There is a big statue of him in the castle, showing him sleeping.

(from: wikipedia - kronborg)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Prince Edward Island

Monday, July 23, 2018


We just learned about the Blarney Castle.

Another famous castle is Mehrangarh, also called Mehran Fort, built around 1460 AD in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.

This castle is built up over 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur, and there are large walls around it.
It was a military fort that survived many battles, and there are marks on the walls from many cannonballs that were fired at the fort.

Inside the walls are several palaces with very fancy carvings and courtyards, and there is a winding road that leads to the fort from the city.
Some of the palaces are the Moti Mahal Pearl Palace, Phool Mahal Flower Palace, Sheesha Mahal Mirror Palace, and the Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana.
There are also museums with old palanquins which were seats for kings to sit on and be carried on by people, and howdahs, which were seats for kings to sit on and be carried by elephants.

The castle has seven gates that were built for seven battles that the ruler at the time called Maharaja Man Singh had won.

(from: wikipedia - mehrangarh)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Newfoundland and Labrador

Monday, July 16, 2018

Blarney Castle

We just learned about the Bran Castle.

Another famous castle is Blarney Castle in Blarney Ireland, built in 1210 AD, and then rebuilt in 1446 by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty after it had been destroyed.

This castle is probably most famous for being the home of the "Blarney Stone", which is a rock made out of limestone built into the castle by a machicolation

A machicolation is a hole in the floor by the top of the castle where people could drop things like big rocks down on people trying to invade the castle.

The Blarney stone is at one of these machicolations, so there is a gap between where the top walkway of the castle is, and where the Blarney Stone is.

There are many legends about where the Blarney Stone came from, with some saying it was a gift from an old goddess, and some saying it was a part of a very important stone used in ceremonies to crown the king of Sctoland.

Nobody really knows for sure where it came from, but there is a legend that if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will get the gift of speaking Blarney, which means to be funny and smart and get people to believe whatever you say.

To kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to have someone hold on to you, and you lay on your back leaning way out over the hole and then kiss the stone!
It used to be very dangerous to try this, but now they have some safety rails up to help people not fall.
Kissing the Blarney Stone is so famous that Sherlock Holmes wrote a mystery story about a man who fell off the castle while trying to kiss it!

(from: wikipedia - blarney castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: New Brunswick

Monday, July 9, 2018

Bran Castle

We just learned about the Malbork Castle.

Another famous castle is Bran Castle, built in 1300s in Romania.

This castle is sometimes called "Dracula's Castle" because the famous ruler Vlad Țepeș stayed in this castle a few times.

The book Dracula by Bram Stoker is just a made up story, but the writer Bram Stoker used the real person Vlad Țepeș (also known as Vlad the Impaler) as part of his book and made up a story about him being the vampire Dracula.

Vlad was a real person and Dracula was a fake story, but since Vlad stayed in Bran Castle they like to tell stories about this castle!

(from: wikipedia - bran castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nova Scotia

Monday, July 2, 2018

Malbork Castle

We just learned about Edinburgh Castle.

Another famous castle is Malbork Castle, built around 1300 AD in Malbork, Poland.

This is the largest castle in the world, with a land area of over 52 acres!

Long ago the castle was one of the palaces where the royal family would stay.
Because of all the wars Poland was involved in, the castle has been owned by a few different countries.

During World War II there was a lot of damage on the castle.
After Poland took the castle back they have fixed it up, and it is now a museum for people to come visit.

(from: wikipedia - malbork castle)

(from: wikipedia - malbork castle)

(from: wikipedia - malbork castle)

(from: wikipedia - malbork castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saskatchewan

Monday, June 25, 2018

Edinburgh Castle

We just learned about the castle Cité de Carcassonne.

Another famous castle is Edinburgh Castle, built around 1100 AD in Scotland.

This castle is believed to be one of the most attacked ever in the world, with over 26 battles where people tried to take over the castle.
It is built on top of an extinct volcano, called Castle Rock.
There are other buildings in the castle area, like a chapel, barracks and even a royal palace.

(from: wikipedia - edinburgh castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Manitoba

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cité de Carcassonne

We just learned about the Leeds Castle.

Another famous castle is the Cité de Carcassonne, built around 300 AD in Carcassonne, Aude, France.

This castle is actually a fortress with a wall that goes around a whole city.
The wall is almost two miles long, and there are 52 towers going around it, with a moat and a drawbridge at the gate.

The first parts of the wall and castle were built around 300 AD, and more walls and towers were built up through the years.

(from: wikipedia - carcassonne)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Alberta

Monday, June 11, 2018

Leeds Castle

We just learned about the Veste Coburg castle.

Another famous castle is Leeds Castle, built in 1086 in Kent, England.

Many famous kings and queens have lived there or stayed there, like Edward I, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Eleanor of Castile and Anne of Bohemia.

There is a sundial in this castle that has a matching one in Belvoir, Virginia, America.
In the garden there is a maze made out of 2,400 trees.

(from: wikipedia - leeds castle)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: British Columbia

Monday, June 4, 2018

Veste Coburg

We just learned about the Castel del Monte.

Another famous castle is the Veste Coburg built in Coburg Germany around 1000 AD.

This castle was built up on a hill, and was added onto over and over again through the years as it became a more important place.

In the 1506 a man named Martin Luther had some different ideas about the way people should go to church and study their Bible.
This made some people very upset and they wanted to put him in jail, so he went into hiding at this castle for a while, and worked on writing the Bible in the German language, which had never been done before.

This castle stayed strong for some very big battles, and one time the people inside lasted for five months while people outside tried to fight them.

It is one of the biggest castles in Germany, at over 375,000 square feet of space inside!

(from: wikipedia - veste coburg)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Quebec

Monday, May 28, 2018

Castel del Monte

We just learned about the Schwerin Castle.

Another famous castle is Castel del Monte in Andria Apulia Italy, built in 1240 by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, .

This castle is very different because it is octagon shaped, with eight sides and eight towers.
Some people believe there used to be a large curtain wall going around the outside of the castle.
The castle wall is 82 feet high, and the sides of the octagon are 54 feet wide.

It is a little different that there is no moat and no drawbridge.
There are only 2 entrances, one fancy one in the front, and a simple one in the back for servants.
It is very famous in Italy, and is on the one cent Italian Euro coin.

(from: wikipedia - castel del monte, apulia)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ontario

Monday, May 21, 2018

Schwerin Castle

We just learned about the Caerlaverock Castle.

Another famous castle is Schwerin Castle in Schwerin Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Germany, built in 973 AD. Germany.

As different rulers came and went in Germany, this castle was taken over by different people and used for things like military forts, schools, museums or palaces for royal people.

It is now where the state's parliament meets and works.

The castle has over 650 rooms, and is on an island the middle of Lake Schwerin.

There is a legend of a good ghost named Petermännchen living in the castle, that sneaks around and unlocks doors at night, and will also scare away thieves or intruders.
Stories say that if soldiers guarding the castle fall asleep at night, the ghost will make noises to wake them up!

(from: wikipedia - schwerin palace)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Canadian Provinces