A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements; these are referred to as city walls or town walls, although there were walls, such as the Great Wall of China, Walls of Benin, Hadrian's Wall, Anastasian Wall, the Cyclopean Wall Rajgir and the metaphorical Atlantic Wall, which extended far beyond the borders of a city and were used to enclose regions or mark territorial boundaries. In mountainous terrain, defensive walls such as letzis were used in combination with castles to seal valleys from potential attack. Beyond their defensive utility, many walls had important symbolic functions – representing the status and independence of the communities they embraced. Existing ancient walls are always masonry structures, although brick and timber-built variants are known. Depending on the topography of the area surrounding the city or the settlement the wall is intended to protect, elements of the terrain such as rivers or coastlines may be incorporated in order to make the wall more effective.
Walls may only be crossed by entering the appropriate city gate and are supplemented with towers. The practice of building these massive walls, though having its origins in prehistory, was refined during the rise of city-states, energetic wall-building continued into the medieval period and beyond in certain parts of Europe. Simpler defensive walls of earth or stone, thrown up around hillforts, early castles and the like, tend to be referred to as ramparts or banks. From early history to modern times, walls have been a near necessity for every city. Uruk in ancient Sumer is one of the world's oldest known walled cities. Before that, the proto-city of Jericho in the West Bank in Palestine had a wall surrounding it as early as the 8th millennium BC; the Assyrians deployed large labour forces to build new palaces and defensive walls. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the Indus floodplain. Many of these settlements had planned streets.
The stone and mud brick houses of Kot Diji were clustered behind massive stone flood dykes and defensive walls, for neighboring communities quarreled about the control of prime agricultural land. Mundigak in present-day south-east Afghanistan has defensive walls and square bastions of sun dried bricks. Babylon was one of the most famous cities of the ancient world as a result of the building program of Nebuchadnezzar, who expanded the walls and built the Ishtar Gate. Exceptions were few, but neither ancient Sparta nor ancient Rome had walls for a long time, choosing to rely on their militaries for defense instead; these fortifications were simple constructions of wood and earth, which were replaced by mixed constructions of stones piled on top of each other without mortar. In Central Europe, the Celts built large fortified settlements which the Romans called oppida, whose walls seem influenced by those built in the Mediterranean; the fortifications were continuously improved. In ancient Greece, large stone walls had been built in Mycenaean Greece, such as the ancient site of Mycenae.
In classical era Greece, the city of Athens built a long set of parallel stone walls called the Long Walls that reached their guarded seaport at Piraeus. Large rammed earth walls were built in ancient China since the Shang Dynasty, as the capital at ancient Ao had enormous walls built in this fashion. Although stone walls were built in China during the Warring States, mass conversion to stone architecture did not begin in earnest until the Tang Dynasty. Sections of the Great Wall had been built prior to the Qin Dynasty and subsequently connected and fortified during the Qin dynasty, although its present form was an engineering feat and remodeling of the Ming Dynasty; the large walls of Pingyao serve as one example. The walls of the Forbidden City in Beijing were established in the early 15th century by the Yongle Emperor; the Romans fortified their cities with mortar-bound stone walls. Among these are the extant Aurelian Walls of Rome and the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, together with partial remains elsewhere.
These are city gates, like the Porta Nigra in Trier or Newport Arch in Lincoln. Apart from these, the early Middle Ages saw the creation of some towns built around castles; these cities were only protected by simple stone walls and more by a combination of both walls and ditches. From the 12th century AD hundreds of settlements of all sizes were founded all across Europe, which often obtained the right of fortification soon afterwards; the founding of urban centers was an important means of territorial expansion and many cities in central and eastern Europe, were founded for this purpose during the period of Eastern settlement. These cities are easy to recognise due to their regular layout and large market spaces; the fortifications of these settlements were continuously improved to reflect the current level of military development. During the Renaissance era, the Venetians raised great walls around cities threatened by the Ottoman Empire. Examples include the walled cities of Nicosia and Famagusta in Cyprus and the fortifications of Candia and Chania in Crete, which still stand.
At its simplest, a defensive wall consists of its gates. For the most part, the top of the walls were accessible, with the outside of the walls ha
A city gate is a gate which is, or was, set within a city wall. City gates were traditionally built to provide a point of controlled access to and departure from a walled city for people, vehicles and animals. Depending on their historical context they filled functions relating to defense, health, trade and representation, were correspondingly staffed by military or municipal authorities; the city gate was commonly used to display diverse kinds of public information such as announcements and toll schedules, standards of local measures, legal texts. It could be fortified, ornamented with heraldic shields, sculpture or inscriptions, or used as a location for warning or intimidation, for example by displaying the heads of beheaded criminals or public enemies. City gates, in one form or another, can be found across the world in cities dating back to ancient times to around the 19th century. Many cities would close their gates after a certain curfew each night, for example a bigger one like Prague or a smaller one like Flensburg, in the north of Germany.
With increased stability and freedom, many walled cities removed such fortifications as city gates, although many still survive. Many surviving gates have been restored, rebuilt or new ones created to add to the appearance of a city, such as Bab Bou Jalous in Fes. With increased levels of traffic, city gates have come under threat in the past for impeding the flow of traffic, such as Temple Bar in London, removed in the 19th century. Egypt: Gates of Cairo Morocco: Bab Agnaou of Marrakech China Zhengyangmen and Deshengmen in Beijing Gate of China in Nanjing city gate of Jianshui Cyprus: Famagusta Gate in Nicosia India Gateway of India in Mumbai Walled city of Jaipur in Jaipur Walled city and gates of Aurangabad in Aurangabad Walled city of Kota in Kota Teen Darwaza in Bhadra Fort, Ahmedabad Mesopotamia: Ishtar Gate, Babylon Iran Qur'an gate Nowbar gate. Israel: Gates in Jerusalem's Old City Walls Japan: Rashomon Gate, Kyoto Macau: Portas do Cerco - border gate for Macau with neighbouring Zhuhai Pakistan: Walled City of Lahore South Korea: Seoul's city gates, including: Namdaemun and Dongdaemun Taiwan: North gate of Taipei Yemen: Bab al Yemen of Sana'a Austria: Wienertor: in Hainburg an der Donau Belgium: Brusselpoort: in Mechelen Waterpoort in Antwerp Halle Gate in Brussels Bosnia and Herzegovina: Višegradska kapija Višegrad gate, gate in Sarajevo Croatia: Walls of Dubrovnik Czech Republic: Powder Gate, Prague Písek Gate, Prague Zelená brána, Pardubice Brána Matky Boží, Jihlava Svatá brána, Kadaň Vysoká brána, Rakovník Pražská brána, Rakovník Denmark: Vesterport, Faaborg England: Bargate Southampton London's Roman and Medieval gates of the London Wall: Ludgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Aldgate Westgate, Canterbury Eastgate, Northgate,Watergate and Bridgegate.
Chester The gates of the York city walls Estonia: Tallinn Gate in Pärnu France: Porte de Joigny and Porte de Sens in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne Porte de la Craffe in Nancy Porte des Allemands in Metz Porte Saint-Denis and Porte Saint-Martin in Paris Porte Mars in Reims Porte Cailhau in Bordeaux Porte de la Grosse-Horloge in La Rochelle Porte Mordelaise in Rennes Germany: Fünfgratturm in Augsburg Rotes Tor in Augsburg Vogeltor in Augsburg Wertachbrucker Tor in Augsburg Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin Eigelsteintor, Ulrepforte, Severinstor in Cologne Nordertor and Rotes Tor in Flensburg Martinstor and Schwabentor in Freiburg im Breisgau Holstentor, in Lübeck Isartor, Sendlinger Tor and Propylaea in Munich East Gate, in Regensburg Steintor, in Rostock Old Gate, in Speyer Porta Nigra, in Trier Greece: Lion Gate in Mycenae, 13th century B. C.. Ireland: Saint Laurence Gate, Drogheda Sheep Gate, Trim St. James's Gate, Dublin gates of Dublin Italy: Porta Galliera, Bologna Porta Saragozza, Bologna Porta Paola, Ferrara Pusterla di Sant'Ambrogio, in Milan Porta Nuova, in Milan Porta Nuova, in Milan Porta Ticinese, in Milan Porta Ticinese, in Milan Porta Capuana, Naples Porta San Gennaro, Naples Port'Alba, Naples Porta Nolana, Naples Porta Felice, in Palermo Porta Nuova, in Palermo Porta San Giovanni, in Rome Porta del Popolo, in Rome Porta Maggiore, in Rome Porta Pinciana, in Rome Porta Tiburtina, in Rome Porta San Sebastiano, in Rome Porta San Paolo, in Rome Porta Camollia, Siena Porta Palatina, in Turin Lithuania: Gate of Dawn, in Vilnius Malta: City Gate and Victoria Gate, Valletta Mdina Gate and Greeks Gate, Mdina Notre Dame Gate, Birgu St. Helen's Gate, Cospicua Netherlands: Amsterdamse Poort, a city gate of Haarlem Waterpoort, Sneek Vischpoort, Elburg Vischpoort, Harderwijk Koppelpoort, Amersfoort Zijlpoort, Leiden Poland: Brama Floriańska, Kraków Żuraw, Gdańsk Brama Zielona, Gdańsk Brama Wyżynna, Gdańsk Brama Mariacka, Gdańsk Brama Krakowska, Lublin Brama Mostowa, Toruń Brama Klasztorna, Toruń Brama Opatowska, Sandomierz Brama Młyńska, Stargard Brama Pyrzycka, Stargard Brama Garncarska, Malbork Brama Lidzbarska, Bartoszyce Nowa Brama, Słupsk Brama Świecka, Chojna Brama Wolińska, Goleniów Brama Odrzańska, Brzeg Brama Portowa, Szczecin Brama Górna, Olsztyn Brama Szczebrzeska, Zamość Portugal: Arco da Porta Nova, Braga Portas da Cidade, Ponta Delgada Portão dos Varadouros a.k.a.
City Gate, Funchal Romania: Catherine's Gate, Brașov Russia Voskresensky Gate
Shuri Castle is a Ryukyuan gusuku in Shuri, Okinawa. Between 1429 and 1879, it was the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom, before becoming neglected. In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was completely destroyed. After the war, the castle was re-purposed as a university campus. Beginning in 1992, the central citadel and walls were reconstructed on the original site based on historical records and memory; the date of construction is uncertain, but it was in use as a castle during the Sanzan period. It is thought that it was built during the Gusuku period, like many other castles of Okinawa; when King Shō Hashi unified the three principalities of Okinawa and established the Ryukyu Kingdom, he used Shuri Castle as a residence. At the same time, Shuri flourished as the capital and continued to do so during the Second Shō Dynasty. For 450 years from 1429, it was the royal administrative center of the Ryukyu Kingdom, it was the focal point of foreign trade, as well as the political and cultural heart of the Ryukyu Islands.
According to records, Shuri Castle was burned down several times, rebuilt each time. During the reign of Shō Nei, samurai forces from the Japanese feudal domain of Satsuma seized Shuri Castle on 6 May 1609; the Japanese withdrew soon afterwards, returning King Shō Nei to his throne two years and the castle and city to the Ryukyuans, though the kingdom was now a vassal state under Satsuma's suzerainty and would remain so for 250 years. The American Commodore Perry, when he came to Okinawa in the 1850s, forced his way into Shuri Castle on two separate occasions, but was denied an audience with the king both times; the Kingdom was annexed by Japan in 1879, the king was removed and the castle was used as a barracks by the Imperial Japanese Army. The Japanese garrison withdrew in 1896, but not before having created a series of tunnels and caverns below it. In 1908, Shuri City bought the castle from the Japanese government, however they did not have funding to renovate it. In 1923, thanks to Japanese architect Ito Chuta, the Seiden survived demolition after being re-designated a prefectural Shinto shrine known as Okinawa Shrine.
In 1925, it became a national treasure. Despite its decline, historian George H. Kerr described the castle as "one of the most magnificent castle sites to be found anywhere in the world, for it commands the countryside below for miles around and looks toward distant sea horizons on every side." During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army had set up its headquarters in the castle underground, by early 1945, had established complex lines of defense and communications in the regions around Shuri, across the southern part of the island as a whole. Beginning on May 25, 1945, as the final part of the Okinawa campaign, the American battleship USS Mississippi shelled it for three days. On May 27, it burned. Due to this, the 32nd Japanese Army retreated southward and the United States Marines secured Shuri Castle. On 29 May, Maj. Gen. Pedro del Valle—commanding the 1st Marine Division—ordered Captain Julian D Dusenbury of Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines to capture the castle, which represented both strategic and psychological blows for the Japanese and was a milestone in the campaign.
After the war, the University of the Ryukyus was established in 1950 on the castle site, where it remained until 1975. In 1958, Shureimon was reconstructed and, starting from 1992, the 20th anniversary of reversion, the main buildings and surrounding walls of the central castle were reconstructed. At present, the entire area around the castle has been established as "Shuri Castle Park". In 2000, along with other gusuku and related sites, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike Japanese castles, Shuri Castle was influenced by Chinese architecture, with functional and decorative elements similar to that seen in the Forbidden City; the gates and various buildings were painted in red with lacquer and eaves colorfully decorated, roof tiles made of Goryeo and red Ryukyuan tiles, the decoration of each part using the king's dragon. Given that Nanden and Bandokoro were both used for reception and entertainment of the Satsuma clan, a Japanese style design was used here only. Ryukyuan elements dominate.
Like other gusuku, the castle was built using Ryukyuan limestone, being surrounded by an outer shell, built during the Second Shō Dynasty from the second half of the 15th century to the first half of the 16th century. Okushoin-en is the only surviving garden in a gusuku in the Ryukyu Islands, which made use of the limestone bedrock and arranged using local cycads; the current renovation is designed with a focus on the castle's role as a cultural or administrative/political center, rather than one for military purposes. The buildings that have been restored as original wooden buildings are only in the main citadel. Seiden was rebuilt using wood from Taiwan and elsewhere after rituals blessing the removal of large trees from mountains in the Yanbaru region of Okinawa took place. Other buildings, such as Nanden or Hokuden were only restored as facades, with interiors made using modern materials such as steel and concrete. Old walls remain in part, were excavated and incorporated during the construction of the new castle wall, forming the only surviving external remains of the original Shuri Castle.
Due to its central role in Ryukyuan political and religious life, Shuri is composed of and surrounded by various sites of historical interest. The Shuri Castle complex itself can be divided into three main zones, namely a central administrative area, an eastern living and ceremonial space (behind the
A cloister is a covered walk, open gallery, or open arcade running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth. The attachment of a cloister to a cathedral or church against a warm southern flank indicates that it is part of a monastic foundation, "forming a continuous and solid architectural barrier... that separates the world of the monks from that of the serfs and workmen, whose lives and works went forward outside and around the cloister."Cloistered life is another name for the monastic life of a monk or nun. The English term enclosure is used in contemporary Catholic church law translations to mean cloistered, some form of the Latin parent word "claustrum" is used as a metonymic name for monastery in languages such as German; the early medieval cloister had several antecedents, the peristyle court of the Greco-Roman domus, the atrium and its expanded version that served as forecourt to early Christian basilicas, certain semi-galleried courts attached to the flanks of early Syrian churches.
Walter Horn suggests that the earliest coenobitic communities, which were established in Egypt by Saint Pachomius, did not result in cloister construction, as there were no lay serfs attached to the community of monks, thus no separation within the walled community was required. In the time of Charlemagne the requirements of a separate monastic community within an extended and scattered manorial estate created this "monastery within a monastery" in the form of the locked cloister, an architectural solution allowing the monks to perform their sacred tasks apart from the distractions of laymen and servants. Horn offers as early examples Abbot Gundeland's "Altenmünster" of Lorsch abbey, as revealed in the excavations by Frederich Behn. Another early cloister, that of the abbey of Saint-Riquier, took a triangular shape, with chapels at the corners, in conscious representation of the Trinity. A square cloister sited against the flank of the abbey church was built at Inden and the abbey of St. Wandrille at Fontenelle.
At Fulda, a new cloister was sited to the liturgical west of the church "in the Roman manner" familiar from the forecourt of Old St. Peter's Basilica because it would be closer to the relics. Coomans, Thomas. "Life Inside the Cloister. Understanding Monastic Architecture: Tradition, Adaptive Reuse". Leuven University Press. ISBN 9789462701434. Horn, Walter. "On the Origins of the Medieval Cloister". Gesta. 2: 13–52. Doi:10.2307/766633. JSTOR 766633; the Code of Canon Law, cf canons 667 ff. New Advent Encyclopaedia III ff. on "Nuns, properly so called "Cloister" in the New Advent encyclopaedia New Advent Encyclopaedia on "Religious Life Photos and information on cloisters in France and Spain
A stable is a building in which livestock horses, are kept. It most means a building, divided into separate stalls for individual animals. There are many different types of stables in use today; the term "stable" is used to describe a group of animals kept by one owner, regardless of housing or location. The exterior design of a stable can vary based on climate, building materials, historical period and cultural styles of architecture. A wide range of building materials can be used, including masonry and steel. Stables range in size, from a small building housing one or two animals to facilities at agricultural shows or race tracks that can house hundreds of animals; the stable is historically the second-oldest building type on the farm. The world’s oldest horse stables were discovered in the ancient city of Pi-Ramesses in Qantir, in Ancient Egypt, were established by Ramesses II; these stables covered 182,986 square feet, had floors sloped for drainage, could contain about 480 horses. Free-standing stables began to be built from the 16th century.
They were well built and placed near the house because these animals were valued and maintained. They were once vital to an indicator of their owners' position in the community. Few examples survive of complete interiors from the mid-19th century or earlier. Traditionally, stables in Great Britain had a hayloft on their first floor and a pitching door at the front. Doors and windows were symmetrically arranged, their interiors were divided into stalls and included a large stall for a foaling mare or sick horse. The floors were featured drainage channels. Outside steps to the first floor were common for farm hands to live in the building. For horses, stables are part of a larger complex which includes trainers and farriers. "Stable" is used metaphorically to refer to a group of people – sportspeople – trained, supervised or managed by the same person or organisation. For example, art galleries refer to the artists they represent as their stable of artists; the headquarters of a unit of cavalry, not their horses' accommodation, would be known as "a stable".
Media related to stables at Wikimedia Commons. Horse care: Barns and stables Glossary of equestrian terms Livery stable Nativity of Jesus Pen
Curtain wall (fortification)
A curtain wall is a defensive wall between two towers of a castle, fortress, or town. In medieval castles, the area surrounded by a curtain wall, with or without towers, is known as the bailey; the outermost walls with their integrated bastions and wall towers together make up the enceinte or main defensive line enclosing the site. In earlier designs of castle and town, the curtain walls were built to a considerable height and were fronted by a ditch or moat to make assault difficult. With the introduction of trace italienne fortifications, the height of the curtain walls was reduced, beyond the ditch, additional outworks such as ravelins and tenailles were added to protect the curtain walls from direct cannonading. Evidence for curtain walls or a series of walls surrounding a town or fortress can be found in the historical sources from Assyria and Egypt; some notable examples are ancient Buhen. Bawn Enceinte Curry, Anne. Arms and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War, Boydell & Brewer, p. 134, ISBN 9780851157559 Friar, The Sutton Companion to Castles, Stroud: Sutton Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7509-3994-2 Whitelaw, A. ed.
The Popular Encyclopedia.
A hillfort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages; some were used in the post-Roman period. The fortification follows the contours of a hill, consisting of one or more lines of earthworks, with stockades or defensive walls, external ditches. Hillforts developed in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age the start of the first millennium BC, were used in many Celtic areas of central and western Europe until the Roman conquest; the terms "hill fort", "hill-fort" and "hillfort" are all used in the archaeological literature. They all refer to an elevated site with one or more ramparts made of earth, stone and/or wood, with an external ditch. Many small early hillforts were abandoned, with the larger ones being redeveloped at a date; some hillforts contain houses. Similar but smaller and less defendable earthworks are found on the sides of hills; these may have been animal pens.
They are most common during periods: Urnfield culture and Atlantic Bronze Age Bronze Age Hallstatt culture late Bronze Age to early Iron Age La Tène culture late Iron AgePrehistoric Europe saw a growing population. It has been estimated that in about 5000 BC during the Neolithic between 2 million and 5 million lived in Europe. Outside Greece and Italy, which were more densely populated, the vast majority of settlements in the Iron Age were small, with no more than 50 inhabitants. Hillforts were the exception, were the home of up to 1,000 people. With the emergence of oppida in the Late Iron Age, settlements could reach as large as 10,000 inhabitants; as the population increased so did the complexity of prehistoric societies. Around 1100 BC hillforts in the following centuries spread through Europe, they served a range of purposes and were variously tribal centres, defended places, foci of ritual activity, places of production. During the Hallstatt C period, hillforts became the dominant settlement type in the west of Hungary.
Julius Caesar described the large late Iron Age hillforts he encountered during his campaigns in Gaul as oppida. By this time the larger ones had become more like cities than fortresses and many were assimilated as Roman towns. Hillforts were occupied by conquering armies, but on other occasions the forts were destroyed, the local people forcibly evicted, the forts left derelict. For example, Solsbury Hill was sacked and deserted during the Belgic invasions of southern Britain in the 1st century BC. Abandoned forts were sometimes reoccupied and refortified under renewed threat of foreign invasion, such as the Dukes' Wars in Lithuania, the successive invasions of Britain by Romans and Vikings. Excavations at hillforts in the first half of the 20th century focussed on the defenses, based on the assumption that hillforts were developed for military purposes; the exception to this trend began in the 1930s with a series of excavations undertaken by Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle, Dorset. From 1960 onwards, archaeologists shifted their attention to the interior of hillforts, re-examining their function.
Post-processual archaeologists regard hillforts as symbols of wealth and power. Michael Avery has stated the traditional view of hillforts by saying, "The ultimate defensive weapon of European prehistory was the hillfort of the first millennium B. C.". Beyond the simple definition of hillfort, there is a wide variation in types and periods from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. Here are some considerations of general appearance and topology, which can be assessed without archaeological excavation: Location Hilltop Contour: the classic hillfort. Examples: Brent Knoll, Mount Ipf. Inland Promontory: an inland defensive position on a ridge or spur with steep slopes on 2 or 3 sides, artificial ramparts on the level approaches. Example: Lambert's Castle. Interfluvial: a promontory above the confluence of two rivers, or in the bend of a meander. Examples: Kelheim, Miholjanec. Lowland: an inland location without special defensive advantages, but surrounded by artificial ramparts. Examples: Maiden Castle, Old Oswestry, Stonea Camp.
Sea Cliff: a semi-circular crescent of ramparts backing on to a straight sea cliff. Examples: Daw's Castle, Dinas Dinlle, Dún Aengus. Sea Promontory: a linear earthwork across a narrow neck of land leading to a peninsula with steep cliffs to the sea on three sides. Examples: Huelgoat. Sloping Enclosure or Hill-slope enclosure: smaller earthwork on sloping hillsides. Examples: Goosehill Camp, Plainsfield Camp, Trendle Ring. Area > 20 ha: large enclosures, too diffuse to defend used for domesticated animals. Example: Bindon Hill. 1–20 ha: defended areas large enough to support permanent tribal settlement. Example: Scratchbury Camp < 1 ha: small enclosures, more to be individual farmsteads or animal pens. Example: Trendle Ring. Ramparts and ditches Univallate: a single circuit of ramparts for enclosure and defence. Example: Solsbury Hill. Bivallate: a double circuit of defensive earthworks. Example: Battlesbury Camp. Multivallate: more than one layer of defensive earthworks, outer works might not be complet