Castles of God: Fortified Religious Buildings of the World by Peter Harrison

By Peter Harrison

All through background, nice faiths were subjected to persecution and assault from past the wall - actually partitions, in Peter Harrison's awesome booklet of the nice monastery-fortresses, and church-fortresses, of the world.The fortified spiritual constructions of Christendom, Islam and Tibetan Buddhism are one of the most dramatic structures of the center a while. even though they shared a typical objective in protecting the dwelling religion from the armies of the unbeliever, they're astonishingly assorted from one another. Peter Harrison has spent a life-time in scholarly pursuit of fortified non secular structures courting from 1000 years in the past and extra, within the previous and New Worlds, the Orient, and the Occident, ranging via New Mexico, North Africa and Tibet, although the bulk are to be present in Europe.The wild, frequently adversarial, terrain during which those fortresses have been outfitted speaks of a militant religion, and Peter Harrison's objective is to teach how and why non secular institutions included army structure. He considers this unstudied topic from a uniquely broad viewpoint, ancient, army, and architectural. each kind of non secular construction that acquired fortifications is illustrated, from the common-or-garden parish church buildings of the Anglo-Scottish Borders to the Potala Palace of the Dalai Lama and the Vatican.Particular beneficial properties of this e-book are the author's photos, taken in a number of the wildest and such a lot inaccessible components of the area, and his personal very distinctive plans and illustrations of the various constructions described.SHORTLISTED FOR THE LONGMAN-HISTORY this day e-book OF THE 12 months 2005 AWARD.Dr PETER HARRISON is learn affiliate, Centre for Medieval stories, collage of York.

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Sample text

Well-built of mica-slate with interspersed granite blocks in a limestone mortar it lacks the usual offsets internally that supported the wooden floors of the six storeys. Instead four putlog holes, alternating in position at each floor level, provide for two beams to support the wooden floors, containing openings to allow access to each storey by wooden ladder. Spiralling round are four lintelled openings that light each of the four floors above the entrance floor. The sixth and top storey, now believed to have housed the monastic bell, is lit by four comparatively large openings under the cornice of the conical roof, pointing in the direction of the cardinal points of the compass.

Instead four putlog holes, alternating in position at each floor level, provide for two beams to support the wooden floors, containing openings to allow access to each storey by wooden ladder. Spiralling round are four lintelled openings that light each of the four floors above the entrance floor. The sixth and top storey, now believed to have housed the monastic bell, is lit by four comparatively large openings under the cornice of the conical roof, pointing in the direction of the cardinal points of the compass.

Almost monastic in plan and organisation, they were military establishments serving a number of functions. Acting as recruiting and training centres for the religious orders, they were frequently fortified to aid Anglo-Norman subjugation of the Gaels. With increasing granting of land they became administrative centres for their estates. Unfortunately there are no remains of any significance, with the exception of the preceptory at Kilteel. This is an important fortification as it played a significant role as a border fortress in the later Middle Ages, located as it is in the south-west corner of the Pale, a strategic position between the Irish in Wicklow and the Anglo-Normans in Kildare and Dublin.

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