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Simonswald Castle

Simonswald Castle


     In middle of Simonswald is a castle, built in 1574. In 1820 it got sold by Baroness of Hinterfad to few rich citizens of Simonswald. The castle (from the Latin castellum), is a fort. The term is most often applied to a small self-contained fortress, usually of the Middle Ages. A French castle is called a ch?teau-fort; in French a simple chateau stands for a grand country house in the middle of an estate. As the size of local communities grew, it became necessary to provide larger fortifications, that would provide a strong perimeter defense Castles suitable for a Baron and lower grade housing within these walls to accommodate key population. Castles were also developed to defend key part of the countryside such as a mountain pass or river estuary and often exploited the natural geography to support the defensive walls through exploitation of cliffs, rivers, hills and the like. By their very nature they were very permanent structures and many survive through to the modern day; they are now mostly considered monuments or however notable architectural examples.

     The Normans introduced two types of castle. The one was adopted where they found a natural rock stronghold which only needed adaptation, to produce a citadel; the other was a high rectangular tower of masonry, the latter type belongs rather to the more settled conditions of the 12th century when haste was not a necessity.

     The next development was the extension of the principle of successive lines of defence to form what is called the concentric castle, in which each ward was placed wholly within another which enveloped it; places thus built on a flat side became for the first time more formidable than strongholds perched upon rocks and hills, where the more exposed parts indeed possessed many successive lines of defence, but at other points, for want of room, it was impossible to build more than one or, at most, two walls. In these cases, the fall of the inner ward by surprise, force, entailed the fall of the whole castle. The adoption of the concentric system precluded any such mischance, and thus, even though siege engines improved during the 13th and 14th centuries, the defence, by the massive strength of the concentric castle in some cases, by natural inaccessibility of position in others, maintained itself superior to the attack during the latter middle ages. Its final fall was due to the introduction of gunpowder as a propellant. In the 14th century the change begins, in the 15th it is fully developed, in the 16th the feudal system has become an anachronism.

     The general adoption of cannon placed in the hands of the central power a force which ruined the baronial fortifications in a few days of firing. The possessors of cannon were usually private individuals of the middle classes, from whom the prince hired the mat?riel and the technical workmen, so for example, Franz von Sickingen's stronghold of Landstuhl, formerly impregnable on its heights, was ruined in One (1) day by the artillery of Philip of Hessen.

     Castles were built not only as a defensive measure from hostile enemies, but as an offensive weapon. During the Middle Ages, in particular the High Middle Ages (the height of castle building in Europe), lords and kings often built castles for offensive reasons: territorial expansion and control of a region. A castle was a stronghold from which a lord or baron could control surrounding territory.

     During the Investiture Controversy in Germany during the 11th century, and the resulting decline of the German kingdom, castle building exploded as local warlords staked claims to minor kingdoms from behind newly-built castles. It is for this reason that so many castles were built throughout Germany: they were an offensive weapon that any warlord with ambitions could employ to control and conquer regional territory.

     Various rulers or governments bestow or recognise the title of baron. In the British peerage system, barons rank lowest, coming after viscounts. A female of baronial rank has the honorific baroness. A baron may hold a barony (plural baronies).

     The word baron derives from an Old French word baro ('man' in the sense of 'vassal'):

     In the republics of continental Europe, the title of "Baron" retains a purely social prestige, with no particular political privileges. In Tonga, as opposed to the situations in Europe and in Japan, barons continue to hold and exercise significant political power.

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