Fun Facts About Medieval Castles

The Chateaux de Foix, in France, features both square and round towers.
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Medieval Europe left us some amazing structures to explore, and those structures are the castles built to house and protect the nobility. These days, most of us don't worry about invaders from a nearby kingdom storming our homes, but if we did, here are some interesting features of medieval castles we might find useful.

1 Stairs for the Home Team

Spiral staircases in medieval castles were more than ornamental. They were usually designed to run clockwise so that the newel, or central pillar, would obstruct the sword arm of attackers while allowing defenders to fight more freely.

2 Powerful Curves

Originally, medieval castles were built with square towers. Builders eventually discovered that the tower corners were not strong enough to hold up the heavy stone castle walls. Further, the corners proved to be weak points for attackers to focus on with battering rams, which could bring towers down easily. Round towers replaced square, and with no weak points, many still stand today.