Eastern European Castles

Medieval history in Eastern Europe is replete with battles amongst members of varying ethnic backgrounds. Geographically, politically, and culturally there was, and remains, a great diversity between various regions. This translates into a variety of medieval castle architecture found throughout Eastern Europe.

After the Roman Empire fell, led to a deterioration of cities, stadiums, temples, towns and other military and civil structure. Germanic tribes moving from one are to another began constructing stone fortifications. Much of Eastern European castle design is a mix of western and Mediterranean styles.

The Balkans were dominated by Ottoman sultans for centuries, and many towns became known as warrior villages. Castle formerly belonging to Christian nobility fell into ruins after the owners fled, and the invading Turks rarely built castles.

Fortified monasteries can be found in the Bulgarian mountains, the most famous being the Rila Monestery. Many places of worship were heavily fortified to protect villagers from invading armies. Country people would seek refuge during raids in churches.

The Slavic peoples also build stone fortifications during the Middle Ages. Castle architecture in these regions usually adopted a more western style. The best examples of medieval castles can be seen in Karlstejn and the Gothic mountain fortress of Pernstejn.