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What's inside a citadel?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Netardapope, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Netardapope

    Netardapope Sage

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    So here's the gist of it. My main characters ran into one of the largest religious centers in all of the land (also one of the largest cities) which was ruled by a prince-bishop. I'm aware that a citadel is the fortified center of a major city, and I had an easy time describing the exterior. But there's the matter of what kind of things I'd find inside.

    Ideally, the prince-bishop lives within the citadel, along with a slew of members of the clergy and minor nobility. There would be many servants, a large courtyard, and a massive keep.

    I don't know what of things would be inside the courtyard or the keep aside from the occasional windows and furniture and paintings. Any help would be welcomed!

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  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    What wouldn't you find!?
    The furnishings would depend on the setting but there would be kitchens, a strong room [at least one of each].
    Places to sleep, places for people to spend their off-duty time and small meeting rooms as well as a formal meeting room would be there as would store rooms/cellars and maybe a dungeon with cells and a place to "persuade" people to talk. A Blacksmith and an armoury would probably be there along with other places to get repairs made and things built.
    A livery [with room for wagons and horses] and a farrier...
    A church [or equivalent] and numerous chapels/places to worship would be there, bigger and more if the place is supposed to be a centre for religion. There could be rooms full of scribes making copies of religious or legal documents.
    There could even be tailors/dressmakers if looking good was important...
    The list is endless.
     
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  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Cup of Joe has it right. There was room in the citadel of Acre for some hundreds of people.

    A citadel was primarily a place to retreat to in time of war. I don't recall any descriptions of a citadel in peace time. I imagine it would have had a caretaker crew, but I doubt it would have had regular residents.
     
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  4. Just to expand on what CupOfJoe said about your idea, the focus of this city seems to be religion, so the heart of this place really should be a cathedral or high temple that the citizens are committed to protecting at all costs. Such a cathedral would probably be a bastion in itself, to protect its innermost treasures, such as a sacred high altar, holy relics, or tomb(s) of holy people.

    A good idea for designing the layout of your citadel would likely be to write its timeline. How was it built? Who founded it? Why was it founded here? What was built first? What was most precious to its early citizens? For what reason did subsequent citizens immigrate to this city? How far had it expanded before a threat arose that made it necessary to build a wall around the main citadel?

    When this choice was made, were there only limited supplies of stone available? Did some tough choices need to be made about what was protected and what wasn't? If so, what did the people choose to protect and what did they choose to sacrifice?

    One other thing to keep in mind is that sometimes citadels are places of status, where the rabble aren't allowed to enter. Your citadel might be a place where the lower classes are, by convention, forbidden to enter. This is an important aspect of the city's overall character that you should consider.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Cathedrals and temples were not normally military bastions, at least not in medieval Europe. But that's a great idea. Have a society in which the main center of worship is also the citadel of last defense. Staff it with warrior priests. I like it!
     
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  6. Warrior priests: awesome.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    This clicked for me because I have been thinking about making my orcs monotheistic with a convert-or-die mentality. But now I'm in danger of thread hijacking. I'll post separately if I develop this.
     
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  8. R.H. Smith

    R.H. Smith Minstrel

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    Hey Netardapope,

    I think it would depend on what type of system your society has...is it feudalistic? Slavery? The reason i bring this up is that most nobles would probably have people that would handle something like setting up the interior of the citadel. Seeing as your society is very religious, i would expect there to be many candles and such for prayers, paintings and statues and stuff of your deities, regal looking furniture fit for high priests, etc. I would go about it and get into the mindset of the person in charge of building the interior of the citadel, using factors such as class and level, and have at it! you might surprise yourself :)
     
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