When we hear the words “castle door” thoughts of romance, fantasy and adventure come to our minds, that is because of all the stories, novels and films we have seen or read through the years. These edifications are always shown surrounded of that aura of mystery which is favorable to those thoughts, but beyond that aura they had a very serious purpose in the ancient ages.
The castles appeared in the ninth and tenth centuries, were military structures and intended to serve as a fortified residence of the ruling noble or lord of that zone, their main purpose were defensive but they also were used as operation´s base and as a symbol of power of the regent.
The castles were seriously fortified with a series of features and defensive structures like curtain walls, moats, gatehouses, arrow slits (also called balistraria or arrow loop), battlements, just to mention some of them.
The gates, giving strength to weakness
Among all those structures and features, one weak part of the defensive system of any castle is the gate, for that reason the nobles or lords in charge of a castle have been very ingenious to provide extra-defense to that part of the castle that allows access to the interior and therefore to the noble who live in it.
In order to strengthen the gates, these were built with several security measures, they were made thick, as much as it was possible, they could have arrow slits, gatehouses, portaillises, flanking towers, down bridges, etc. that’s the reason of so many structures and systems protecting them, and sometimes there were several gates together, one behind the other. All of the above contribute to make gates a fascinant element of any castle.
Top three castle doors
The Kanazawa Castle, it is located in Japan, this castle has three gates that you need to visit if you travel to Japan, they are:
- Ishikawa Gate, it was built in 1788 and it is one of the few original structures of the castle unlike most of the castle´s buildings which were restored recently, this gate is well known because it is near a famous garden
- Kahoku Gate, it was restored in 2010 and used to be the castle´s main gate.
- Hashizume Gate, it was restored in 2015 and is the most elegant of the gates.
- The Prague Castle, located in Prague, Czech Republic was founded in 870. It has a gate worth to be seen.
- The Matthias Gate was built in 1614 and owes its name to Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor. It is a gate between the first and second courtyard
Hochosterwitz Castle, located in Austria, between the years 1570 and 1586 fourteen gates were built along a path that surrounds the castle in order to protect it, each one of those gates has its own dangerous defense mechanism. The gates are:
Fähnrichtor, Wächtertor, Nautor, Engelstor, Lion Gate, Manntor, Khevenhüllertor, Landschaftstor, Reisertor, Waffentor, Mauertor, Bridge Gate, Church door and Kulmentor.