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A castle is a fortified structure from the Middle Ages that housed and protected people from their enemies. A castle belonged to royalty or nobility. The building was typically made of stone with tall, thick walls due to the kind of warfare of that time.

Castle population[edit | edit source]

The owner of the castle was a king or lord who ruled the local area and owned the land around it. The peasants (also called serfs) lived on the land and were farmers or artisans. They provided goods and services to the castle ruler in exchange for protection. They could also be drafted to be soldiers either to defend the castle or attack the ruler's enemies.

Defense of a castle[edit | edit source]

A typical castle had many protective architectural features. The castle's defenders would patrol the rooftop, watching for the approach of attackers. When an attacking force neared, a drawbridge controlled by guards would be lifted. The surrounding moat filled with water prevented anyone getting close enough to the walls for setting up ladders. Soldiers could shoot arrows at attackers on the ground.

Attacking a castle[edit | edit source]

There were two main ways to attack a castle. One is to lay siege, preventing anyone from going in or coming out so that the people inside would risk starvation. Attacking the castle walls and within required using powerful weapons, such as the catapault, to launch projectiles at or over the walls. Such weapons were used as early as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

In modern times[edit | edit source]

With the passage of centuries, castles are mainly no longer inhabited. Many have fallen into disrepair or even ruin. Because of the historical importance of castles, efforts are made to restore them and maintain them. The expenses are covered by the government or special funds set up for this purpose. They are popular tourist destinations.

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