It’s reassuring to think of your home as your castle, but maybe not the sort that Dan Snow is investigating in his new show Battle Castle on the Discovery Channel. For one thing, there’s a bit too much battling going on.
With wonderfully visceral location filming, Dan brings to life the epic conflicts that centre on castles throughout Europe, and with it helps answer questions of power and the changing historic landscape.
Dan picks his way through the historic strongholds of Krak Des Cheavliers in Syria, Chateau Gaillard in France, England’s Dover Castle, Conwy Castle in Wales, Malbork Castle in Poland, and Malaga Castle in Spain.
Each location highlights turning points in history, and the technology of military engineering, the success of which defined power structures for generations.
Castles are a focal point of power and authority, being centres of administration, and their imposing grandeur is still apparent today -imagine how they would have looked to your common-or-garden peasant. And consider the problems faced by attackers as they attempted to design weapons to undermine the image of impregnability.
As well as the footage, it’s easy to be swept away by Dan’s enthusiasm for epic battles.
Watch the movie and click to find out more about the show.