Mont Saint-Michel castle looks impregnable and is surrounded by the sea.
It is one of the most popular sights in France, after Paris. Built in 709, the castle still looks fantastic!
Plan of the mount by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc In the 11th century, William of Volpiano, the Italian architect who had built Fécamp Abbey in Normandy, was chosen by Richard II, Duke of Normandy, to be the building contractor.
He designed the Romanesque church of the abbey, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount. Many underground crypts and chapels had to be built to compensate for this weight; these formed the basis for the supportive upward structure that can be seen today.
Today Mont Saint-Michel is seen as a building of Romanesque architecture.
Robert de Thorigny, a great supporter of Henry II of England (who was also Duke of Normandy), reinforced the structure of the buildings and built the main façade of the church in the 12th century.
In 1204, Guy of Thouars, regent for the Duchess of Brittany, as vassal of the King of France, undertook a siege of the Mount.
After having set fire to the village and having massacred the population, he was obliged to beat a retreat under the powerful walls of the abbey.
Unfortunately, the fire which he himself lit extended to the buildings, and the roofs fell prey to the flames.
Horrified by the cruelty and the exactions of his Breton ally, Philip Augustus offered Abbot Jordan a grant for the construction of a new Gothic architectural set which included the addition of the refectory and cloister.
Charles VI is credited with adding major fortifications to the abbey-mount, building towers, successive courtyards, and strengthening the ramparts.
Recognized as the largest castle in the world by surface area, the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (as it is often referred as) boasts the most complete and illustrative example of the ‘Gothic’ brick complex which was fashioned in the unique style of the Teutonic Order.
This imposing structure was built in 1274 when the monastic state in Prussia, founded by the Teutonic Knights, the ‘Catholic religious order of Germany’, was at its apex.
This classic medieval styled castle is located in the northern Poland’s Pomeranian region, along the Nogat River, in the ‘Vistula River delta’ near ‘Baltic Sea’.
The castle was built in a form of an ‘Ordensburg Fortress’ and was named as ‘Marienburg’ (Mary’s Castle) after the ‘Virgin Mary’ who was the patron saint of the Order.
The town surrounding the castle was also named as ‘Marienburg’.
This magnificent castle’s outermost wall encloses 52 acres (21 ha) of the area which is four times larger than the area enclosed by ‘Windsor Castle.
History In Brief:
The castle was built by the ‘Teutonic Orders’ after the conquest of old ‘Prussia’ in order to strengthen their stronghold over the ‘Pomeranian’ region.
The castle was expanded several times to accommodate the growing numbers of Knights and soon it became the largest fortified Gothic structure in Europe.
The strategic importance of the ‘Malbork Castle’ surged during the Teutonic Knights’ invasion on Gdansk and Pomerania in 1308 and it housed nearly 3,000 Teutonic warriors during that period.
Lindisfarne Castle is a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, much altered by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. The island is accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway.
The castle is located in what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. Not only did the English and Scots fight, but the area was frequently attacked by Vikings. The castle was built in 1550, around the time that Lindisfarne Priory went out of use, and stones from the priory were used as building material. It is very small by the usual standards, and was more of a fort.
The castle sits on the highest point of the island, a whinstone hill called Beblowe.
Lindisfarne’s position in the North Sea made it vulnerable to attack from Scots and Norsemen, and by Tudor times it was clear there was a need for a stronger fortification, although obviously, by this time, the Norsemen were no longer a danger. This resulted in the creation of the fort on Beblowe Crag between 1570 and 1572 which forms the basis of the present castle.
After Henry VIII suppressed the priory, his troops used the remains as a naval store. In 1542 Henry VIII ordered the Earl of Rutland to fortify the site against possible Scottish invasion.
Elizabeth I then had work carried out on the fort, strengthening it and providing gun platforms for the new developments in artillery technology.
These works in 1570 and 1571 cost £1191. When James I came to power in England, he combined the Scottish and English thrones, and the need for the castle declined. At this time the castle was still garrisoned from Berwick and protected the small Lindisfarne Harbour.
In the eighteenth century the castle was occupied briefly by Jacobite rebels, but was quickly recaptured by soldiers from Berwick who imprisoned the rebels; they dug their way out and hid for nine days close to nearby Bamburgh Castle before making good their escape.