Great Architectural Cities

There are great architectural cities the world over, but let’s take a look at some of the more popular, as well as interesting, ones. One modern architectural marvel to behold is the Burj Khalifa, which is 2,723 feet high and one of the reasons that the city of Dubai is a hot spot for modern architecture. The architecture firm that designed the Sears Tower, now the Willis Tower, designed the Burj Khalifa. Other architectural amazement s in Dubai are the Burj Al Arab and definitely The World, which is a man-made archipelago that was designed to look just like a map of the world.

Chicago

Chicago is one of the best cities in the world to check out great architecture and the Willis Tower, and the Cloud Gate are just two of the attractions of the Windy City. Architectural legend Frank Lloyd Wright was from Chicago, and you can see his laboratory as well as his home studio and home in a fascinating tour.

New York City

Obviously, you have to put the Big Apple on the list of great architectural cities to check out. The city has fascinating architecture, and the biggest building in the city is the Freedom Tower. Other things to see are the Empire State Building, Time Square, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center.

Rome

Fir ancient architecture Rome is one of the most interesting cities in the world to visit., So, they took many aspects of their architecture from the Greeks, but that is pretty common, especially in ancient times. The awesome Colosseum has to be the first and foremost thing to see in Rome. It was constructed in 72AD, and its architecture and engineering wereahead of its time. Other things to see in the city include the Vatican, the Baths of Caracalla, the Pantheon, the Aqueducts, and the Temple of Vesta.

Shanghai

If modern architecture is your cup of team than a trip to Shanghai should be high on your list of cities to see since it is well known for just that. The tallest building in Asia is in the city in the Shanghai Tower, which is 121 stories, as well as Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Centre, which are a couple of other of the tallest buildings on the continent. The Shanghai Grand Theater, Oriental Art Centre, and Shanghai Grand Theater are all modern architectural marvels as well.

Paris

Paris has great architecture all around the city and is well known for some of the best French Gothic architecture. The City of Light has no lack of great attractions for the lover of things built, and many of them are the top tourist attractions as well. Just a few of the wonders around the city are Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Pyramid, Arch de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur Basilica, and obviously the Eiffel Tower.

Cairo

Cairo is an amazing architectural city and is has so much more than the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, that is a site to behold and is the biggest of the three pyramids and the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that is intact. Other attractions in Cairo include the International Stadium, Yocubian Building, Cairo Opera House, and the Cairo Tower.

The History of Maiden Castle in Dorset

The History of Maiden Castle in Dorset

In medieval times, castles were built to serve different purposes. There were different structural architecture and landscaping architectures that were adopted during the construction of various castles. These different architectural designs were essential for the establishment of long-lasting castles that were built in Europe and several other continents around the world. The need for building these castles in different parts of the world arose as a result of increased warring tribes and many invaders.

The constructor’s main aim was to ensure that the surrounding areas were fully protected. Therefore the selected grounds where they were to be built were raised so as to ensure a good surveillance of the areas that were protected. These were mostly areas known for a rich supply of bronze and iron. One of the most widely known Iron Age fortifications was the maiden castle in Dorset.

The Maiden Castle in Dorset

Maiden Castle in Dorset

This is the most famous iron-age fortress that was built in Britain. The site is classified as a castle, but physically, it is just a hilltop enclosure that is defended by very high banks and ditches. The castle occupies up to 47 acres and has banks that are up to 80 feet high. The term maiden as used in the description of the castle means a great hill which is rendered a principle fort. The works on the site started more than 3500 BCE. Later as the castle was being used, there was a need to have a bank barrow added. The barrow that was added was 1800 feet and was done approximately 350 BCE after the hill was turned into a fully fledged hill fort.  The decision to make the hill a fully fledged hill fort was reached after the Durotriges tribe saw the need for the move. Being the then most dominant tribe, this was unanimously agreed.

In the 1st century BC, most of the visible ramparts were erected in the area and consists of three concentric rings of ditches and banks. To isolate the invaders, there was a need to isolate the entrances to each of the banks so as to isolate the invaders. In some instances, the invaders managed to enter the banks, but they were met with brutal forces.

The castle was later besieged in 43 AD under the ruling Vespasian. Up to 40,000 sling stones were stolen. In 1937, up to 38 graves of the defenders were discovered around the site. This was at the eastern entrance. Each of the persons who were killed was given a joint of meat and beer so as to take with them after the life. In the 4th century, the rulers erected a small temple that was set within the boundaries of the fort. To date, the foundations of the small temple can be seen at the site.

The maiden castle is open for viewing at reasonable times around the year. Entry is free.

Construction of a Castle in the middle Ages

Construction of a Castle in the middle Ages

Castles are no doubt magnificent structures that are not only beautiful to live in but learning their history and how they came to be is quite an adventure. King Edward once mentioned how he almost bankrupted the treasury while building his castles in Wales so for a fact; it is not cheap to construct one. Constructing castles especially in the middle ages was not only a challenge but the maintenance wasn’t easy which saw a lot of the castles constructed abandoned and used by the military such as the popular Edinburgh castle before it was restored into the magnificent structure that you know now.

The first step was getting an architect to come up with the design and location of the castle. This would take quite a while since it was the most important stage before laying the foundation. Next was finding adequate workers which could go up to 3000 workers who included quarrymen, diggers, carpenters, and masons. Assembling such large numbers of people was not easy considering that the means of communication wasn’t yet developed, but they found a way to.

Castles are, by definition, fortified buildings occupied by royalty. The keyword being fortified which means that literally, nothing should be able to bring it down and for that it would require land that is strong and can be manipulated when constructing the foundation. However, most castles are constructed on a rock or hill which makes the construction even harder and you can easily spend up to 10 years working on the base only.

Project GueledonProject Gueledon is the most recent castle to be constructed a project that was initiated by Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin in 1997. It was expected to take up to 25 years to be completed but thanks to modern technology and adequate manpower, it was completed in 2006. Given this comparison, you can only imagine how long the work would have taken in the middle ages where there were no cars or technologies to boost the progress.

The most common building materials were rocks, stones, sand, and oak. Materials were moved by horse-drawn carts to the construction site where there were workers who would work on the materials to make them usable. At the site there were also workers who were in charge of making mortar (used as concrete for sticking the rocks together). This was made using water, sand, and lime while the stone workers did the actual construction.

There were a lot of problems in the construction process that further elongated the process such as war where the rival sides would try as much as possible to frustrate progress by stopping the delivery of materials to the site and killing the workers which caused a shortage of manpower. The decorators would then come in the final stages of the construction to beautify the castle as needed.

After the completion of the castle, the first to move in was the military and their forces as they needed to secure the castle before the royals move in. These days many of the castles in the world are used as tourist attractions that earn governments a lot of money which is why a lot of them first get refurbished before the doors open.

The History of Windsor Castle

The History of Windsor Castle

The Winsor Castle is among the most popular castles in the world.  It is the English royal residence, and ever since it was built, it was associated with advanced architecture and wealth. It is the castle with the longest England royal family occupants in the history of Europe. Windsor is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in England.

The castle is in the district of Maidenhead and Windsor, in Berkshire, an England County. Windsor Castle occupies five hectares of land on a small hill above River Thames south banks. Romans and Celts who protected the area with forts used the location in the past.

William I nicknamed William the conqueror developed the Windsor Castle site. He started building a mound using woods in the year 1070, and the castle was complete after sixteen years. Later, Henry, I became attached to the castle and domesticated his quarters in the castle. He then envisioned the castle becoming the English crown royal home.

Upgrades Made to the Windsor Castle

In the 12th century, Henry II reconstructed the castle from its small and simple architectural design to a magnificent castle. He replaced the original building with a stone round tower and an outside stone curtain wall to the east, north, and south. Later in the 13th century, Henry III completed the wall and changed the castle into a luxurious palace. He constructed the royal chapel currently known as the Albert Memorial.

Furthermore, Edward III redesigned it from being a military fortification to a glorious palace. He made it the most expensive building in Europe as he spent £50,000, more than any English King did spend on a building. The king had a plan to construct a castle that had areas for both official and private use. He built the gatehouse and royal apartments on the northern part of the Quadrangle.

Moreover, the only addition made in the 15th century by Henry VIII was to construct a narrow range on the State Apartments west side, and the gate that has his name. When Elizabeth I stayed at the Windsor Castle, she created an intensive repair program. Elizabeth built a gallery that overlooked the North Terrace. It was later combined with the Royal Library in the 19th century. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, made the palace the heart of the diplomatic entertainment and British crown.

Additionally, the castle was turned into a prison during the English Civil War. It was also the Parliamentary forces military headquarters. In 1660, Charles II reclaimed and rebuilt the castle as a grandest baroque State Apartment. Later on, George III and George IV started the gothic transformation of the palace. They used a significant amount of wealth to redecorate both the interior and the exterior of the castle in a more artistic style.

During World War II, the castle housed the entire royal family. After many years of restoration, the Windsor castle was destroyed by fire in 1992. The fire destroyed the state dining room, grand reception room, private chapel, ceilings, and the Crimson Drawing Room. The rebuilding of the castle started immediately, and some parts were offered to the public.