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Harlech Castle

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Harleck Castle - A medieval castle in Wales, located on top of a picturesque cliff. This is one of the most prominent architectural sites of Great Britain, included in the famous ensemble "Iron Ring". It is included in 1000 popular attractions of the world according to our site.

Many consider this castle the most interesting and esthetic in Britain from the point of view of architecture. Despite the fact that it is surrounded by massive and impregnable walls, it is like the embodiment of power and grace rises above the waters of the Irish Sea. During his reign, Edward I built several such castles in Wales and Harleck is the last of them.

Compared to other castles of the ensemble, it is not so big, but unusually protected. On the one hand it is protected by a deep moat, on the other - by the sea. It is also reliably protected by hinged gates and a network of underground tracks. On one of these paths you can go down to the sea. With the help of this secret loophole, the inhabitants of the castle could receive provisions during the siege. The highest part of the castle is the slender watch towers. They offer beautiful views of the surroundings and the outlines of the Snowdonia Nature Reserve in the distance.

During the 17th-century revolution, Harleck was the last refuge of the royalists, and with his fall the victory of parliament triumphed. Today, the walls of this medieval fortress hold jousting tournaments and other spectacular events. You can get there either by personal car or by bus on the A496 via Barmouth.

Photo and description

Harlech is an ancient city on the west coast of Wales with a population of less than 2,000 people, most of whom speak Welsh. The city is famous primarily for its castle. The first documented mention of Harlech is found precisely in connection with the construction of the castle here.

Harlech Castle was built by King Edward I and, along with the castles of Carnarvon, Convey, Bomaris and ten more, was part of the “iron ring”, which was to encircle Wales and strengthen royal power. All these castles were built under the guidance of the same architect, military engineer - craftsman James from St. George. Construction in Harlech lasted seven years, and upon completion, master James was appointed commandant of the castle - he held this high post for more than three years. Like most of these castles, Harlech was built on the coast, so that in the event of a siege from land, sea supply would be maintained. But over the past hundreds of years, the coastline at this place has changed, and now the castle stands about 800 meters from the sea.

The castle was built according to a concentric plan. External walls are lower and thinner than massive internal walls. The courtyard is a quadrangle in plan, in the corners of which there are round towers. The cliffs surrounding the castle make an attack on the castle possible only from the eastern side, therefore well-fortified gates are located in the eastern wall. They are guarded by two impressive semicircular towers, several doors, gratings, loopholes, etc.

Throughout its history, the castle has been besieged many times. The last hostilities took place during the Civil War, when the troops of the royalists, who were entrenched in the castle, repelled the attacks of the parliamentary forces.

Harlech is mentioned in many Celtic legends and tales, in particular in the legend of Branven.

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