Some science behind the scenes

Sacred geography - citadel

A citadel is a fortress protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle or palace.  As a part of the sacred landscape it is often a combination of a  whole host of other symbolic features – the island, the wall, the levels and layers, the palace and so on.    Symbolically it is closer to a pyramid than to a city.

In the physical landscape, the citadel was often a fortification with bastions and was the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but often forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy. It was positioned to be the last line of defence should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. A citadel was also a term of the third part of a medieval castle, with higher walls than the rest. It was to be the last line of defence before the keep itself.

In various countries, the citadels gained a specific name such as "Kremlin" in Russia or "Alcazaba" in the Iberian Peninsula. In European cities, the term "Citadel" and "City Castle" are often used interchangeably. The Haitian citadel is the largest citadel in the Western Hemisphere, and is called Citadelle Laferrière or simply the 'Citadel' in English.



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