Medieval Castles-Real Look in Middle Ages

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Medieval castles and coat of arms. Real look of the medieval castles and forts in Europe during Medieval times (Middle ages).

Castles are usually affected by a later building styles.

The following video brings reconstruction of the real look of the medieval castles.

All castles are located in Central Europe: Czech, Moravia and Silesia.

Coat of Arms attached to each castle.

Some castles belonged to a local nobility. Castles with white lion on the red background were royal castles or these castles belonged to a queens.

Reconstruction of the Medieval Castles

Medieval swordsMedieval weapons

Medieval Execution

Medieval execution methods and medieval executioners. History of execution. Capital punishment in medieval times. Hanging, burning at stake, impalement, sawing, breaking wheel and other methods of the capital punishment.

Execution is defined as to put to death as punishment. Imposing a “Death penalty” or “death sentence”. Execution of criminals, religious and political opponents was used to punish crime and to suppress religious or political dissent. Medieval execution methods were often barbaric, designed to inflict the most agonising pain and some executions methods were designed to prolong the execution as long as possible.

Medieval execution was a clear message to all potential criminals, law breakers, rebels and enemies that law is simple and final and disobedience will not be tolerated.

Decapitation (beheading)
Beheading was a very fast and merciful execution method if performed well. Decapitation was relatively honorable death often offered as some kind of mercy. Nobles were beheaded by sword, others were executed by an axe.

If the headsman’s axe or sword was sharp and his aim was precise, decapitation was quick and was presumed to be a relatively painless form of death. If the instrument was blunt or the executioner clumsy, however, multiple strokes might be required to sever the head. The person to be executed was therefore advised to give a gold coin to the headsman to ensure that he did his job with care.

Heads of convicts were often placed on a stakes and esposed on a frequently visited places to warn others.

There are numerous description of failed beheading executions in historical chronicles.

Decapitation by guillotine was a common mechanically-assisted form of execution, invented shortly before the French Revolution and used in France till 1970s.

Notable beheadings in history: In 1627-27 Czech highborn nobles were beheaded in Prague for protestant rebellion against catholic Habsburgs. Many of them got a combined death. For example Jan Jesenius lost his tongue just before he lost the head.

Beheading execution

Beheading-execution of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England was beheaded in 1526 on order of her husband, Henry VIII. She was charged of adultery, incest and treason.

Sawing
The Saw was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, mainly because the tools required were found in most houses and no complex devices were required. It was a cheap way to torture and kill a victim who was often accused of: witchery, adultery, murder, blasphemy or even theft.
The victim was tied to an inverted position. This had several “benefits”: first, it assured sufficient blood diverted to the brain, second, it slowed down the loss of blood and third, it humiliated the victim.

Sawing execution

Sawing execution

Depending on the victim and torturer, this torture could last several hours. When a confession was required, the victim was frequently forced to watch someone else be subject to this method. If he didn’t confess, he’d be slowly cut in half.

During the Inquisition, this method became even more popular as the inquisitors traveled from village to village often without any torture devices at their disposal.

Boiling
Execution by boiling was used for poisoners, counterfeiters, swindlers and coin forgers during the middle ages.

Execution by boiling

Execution by boiling

In England in the 1500s this was the legal method of punishment. The victim was immersed in boiling water, oil or tar until dead. Imagine the fear the prisoner felt when they were taken to this deadly big pot to suffer their horrible fate.

Burning at stake
Burning at the stake was a very common way to execute blasphemers, heretics, thieves and witches. It was used throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.

Burning at the stake

Burning at the stake

If the fire was big enough, death occurred first by asphyxia rather than damage done by the flames. However, this was a known fact and the victims were usually burned in a smaller fire so they would “suffer until the end”. When the fire was small, death occurred because of loss of blood or a heatstroke which could take even hours.

Families of victims often paid executioner to strangle victim before burning started. Pouch with gunpowder could be attached to victim neck in later times to make his death faster.

Famous people burned: Jacques de Molay (1314), Jan Hus (1415), Joan of Arc (1431), Giordano Bruno (1600).

Buried alive
Unrepentant murderers were buried alive in medieval Italy. Women who murdered their children or husbands were buried alive in central and eastern Europe.
People accused of vampyrism were buried alive and their body was penetrated by a stick through the grave.

Buried alive execution

Buried alive execution

The death is caused by suffocation but also often by infarct from panic, fear and shock.

Flaying
Flaying was a very painful method that consists of “skinning” a person alive. In one version of the Flaying Torture, the victim’s arms were tied to a pole above his head while his feet were tied below. His body was now completely exposed and the torturer, with the help of a small knife, peeled off the victim’s skin slowly. In most cases, the torturer peeled off his facial skin first, slowly working his way down to the victim’s feet. Most victims died before the torturer even reached their waist.

Flaying

Flaying execution.

According a legend William Wallace skinned out Hugh de Cressingham, the English treasurer after Battle of Stirling.
Pierre Basile was flayed alive and all defenders of the chateau hanged on 6 April 1199, by order of the mercenary leader Mercadier, for shooting and killing King Richard I of England with a crossbow at the siege of Chalus in March 1199.

Hanging
Hanging was probably the most common medieval execution method.
In every town, and almost in every village, there was a permanent gibbet, which, owing to the custom of leaving the bodies to hang till they crumbled into dust, was very rarely without having some corpses or skeletons attached to it. According to prescribed rule, the gallows were placed in an important part in the political as well as the criminal history of that city.
The hanging can cause death by breaking of the neck what is very fast but it usualy cause much slower and more painful death caused by closure of veins and arteries. Death can came in a few seconds but also after several minutes.
There were various types of the hanging execution. Execution by rope, by hook or hanging in a cage. The rope was placed around the neck. The hook was stabbed under ribs. Victims were usually after toruturing placed into cages and hanged on a visible place. This is the slowest death, convicts suffered by several wounds and they were target of insects, rats and birds. Cage hanging could bring death even after several days.
Executed people were removed sometimes immediately after execution, but often the bodies were left there permanently, till the total disintegration. Such bodies served as warning and as info the laws is working in the area.

Hanging execution

Hanging on hook

Notable people hanged: John Ogilvie (1615, England), Juraj Janosik (Slovak Robin Hood and national hero-on the picture above), legend says he voluntarily pulled the hook under his ribs. Cossacks of Taras Bulba were hanged on hooks by Poles.

Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered
Hanged, drawn and quartered was the punishment for traitors, i.e. men who committed treason, i.e. the violation by a subject of his allegiance to his sovereign or to the state. This form of execution was used in England from the 13th century until 1790.

William Wallace execution

William Wallace execution

William Wallace was executed by this terrible method in 1305.

1605-Conspirators of Gunpowder Plot against English King James were also executed by method.

Breaking Wheel
The Wheel torture was a very painful form of capital punishment. Death could be prolonged to a day or more.
Reserved for hated criminals, murderers and robbers, The Wheel always killed its victim, but did so very slowly.
The Wheel originated in Greece and quickly spread to Germany, France, Russia, England and Sweden. The device consists of a large wooden wheel with many spokes. The victim’s limbs were tied to the spokes and the wheel itself was slowly revolved. Through the openings between the spokes, the torturer usually hit the victim with a hammer or iron bar that could easily break the victim’s bones. Once his bones were broken, he was left on the wheel to die, sometimes placed on a tall pole so the birds could feed from the still-living human. It could take up to two or three days for him to die of dehydration.
Softer method combined with mercy was breaking neck first and breaking the other body parts after death of convict.

Breaking wheel

Breaking wheel execution

There were two methods:
Breaking in wheel-convict was placed on wheel, his bones were broken by a hammer and his legs and hands were weave into wheel.
Breaking by wheel-convict was placed on a wooden cross, sometimes with holes under his knuckles and he was smashed by a wheel with iron hoop then.

Impalement
Impalement or impaling was a terrible form of a medieval execution used mostly in Ottoman empire but also in Europe. Vlad III Dracula used impalement for 10000s of his enemies but impalement was used for eample during War of Roses in England and in other countries of the medieval Europe.
Following the multiple campaigns against the invading Ottoman Turks, Vlad Tepes would never show mercy to his prisoners of war. The road to the capital of Wallachia eventually became inundated in a “forest” of 20,000 impaled and decaying corpses, and it is reported that an invading army of Turks turned back after encountering thousands of impaled corpses along the Danube River. Woodblock prints from the era portray his victims impaled from either the frontal or the dorsal aspect, but not vertically.
Impalement, as a method of torture and execution, involves the body of a person being pierced with a long stake. The penetration could be through the sides, through the rectum, through the vagina, or through the mouth. This method leads to a painful death, sometimes taking days. When the impaling instrument was inserted into a lower orifice, it was necessary to secure the victim in the prone position; the stake would then be held in place by one of the executioners, while another would hammer the stake deeper using a sledgehammer. The stake was then planted in the ground, and the impaled victim hoisted up to a vertical position, where the victim would be left to die.

Impalement execution

Impalement execution by Vlad Dracula

In some forms of impalement, the stake would be inserted so as to avoid immediate death and would function as a plug to prevent blood loss. After preparation of the victim, perhaps including public torture and rape, the victim was stripped, and an incision was made in the perineum between the genitals and rectum. A stout pole with a blunt end was inserted. A blunt end would push vital organs to the side, greatly slowing death.

Lucky victim died after a few minutes when his vessels were damaged but it could take even more than 24 hours to die by this terrible execution method.

Impalement was also used for convicts of vampyrism. They were often buried alive and their body was impaled later. The same punishment was used for mothers who killed their own children in central Europe.

Dismemberment by horses
Dismemberment by horses was often used for assassins of kings or also for mother and father killers. 2 or 4 horses were used to pull out the legs and hands and to destroy body of the convict. Dismemberment was carried out in the feckin’ Medieval and Early Modern era by tyin’ a person’s limbs to chains or other restraints, then attachin’ the feckin’ restraints to separate movable entities.
Francois Ravaillac (1610) and Robert-Francois Damiens (1757) were publically executed by this form of the capital punishment for regicide.

Medieval execution by horses

Medieval execution by horses

Viking blood eagle
The Blood Eagle was an unimaginably gruesome form of torture and execution practiced by the Vikings. They caused the bloody eagle to be carved on the back of victim, and they cut away all of the ribs from the spine so they resembled blood-stained wings, and then they ripped out his lungs. The salt was added into wounds for a better effect.

Blood eagle

Viking Blood eagle

Walking around tree was an another viking execution method. Belly of the victim was opened and his intestines were partially tooken out and fixed to the tree. Convict was then pressed to walk around the tree to remove all his intestines out of body and to reach the dead. This was very cruel execution. The convict knew he must walk as fast as possible to pull out his intestines and to break his vessels to end the suffering.
These viking execution methods described in viking sagas are histrically discutable.

Medieval executioner
A skilled torturer would use torture methods, devices and instruments to prolong life as long as possible whilst inflicting agonising pain on a prisoner awaiting execution. The customs of the Medieval period dictated that many prisoners were tortured before they were executed in order to obtain additional information about their crime or their accomplices. Torture was also seen as a preliminary to the punishment of death by execution.
Medieval executioners were an occasional one like military officers, guard members, soldiers or the professional executioners.

Executioners sword

Executioners sword

Professional executioners were usually very well paid men, they were often protected by a warrant. They lived in a city or they travelled around the country to fullfill their contracts.
Executioners were often responsible for torturing during trials, executions and they also cared of animal liquidation.
Executioners were an important and needed members of medieval society, they were well paid, feared, respected but also knocked out of the common life. They lived in a special houses outside of common settlement and they were also buried outside of others.

Failed executions: It was not uncommon that even fast execution changed into a terrible massacre for a convicts. If the execution failed the executioner risked he will get on place of his victim. Some executioners were killed by an angryx crowd after failed execution. In some cases the convicts obtained mercy after the failed execution.

Gallows Hill

Gallows Hill-Execution site

Execution sites
Places of executions were usually located outside of the medieval towns. These places were called gallows hills. Execution places were source of numerous ghost related stories. Gallows hills were also often visited by medieval moneymakers. Thieves hunted down these places for body part of convicts and also for a magical plants growing around. These “articacts” were highly profitable products used in medivcine and various rituals but people robbing these places were often next victims of the medieval execution shows.

Medieval swordsExecution sword

Roman Legionary Weapons, Armor and Clothing

Roman legions-Roman military equipment. List of legionary weapons, armor and clothing. Roman legionary dictionary and terms.

The first Roman soldiers were similar to Greek warriors with a similar equipment. Roman legions adopted various new weapons and armor in later times and this equipment became a standard of Republican and Imperial Roman army.

List of Roman military equipment

Roman legions

Roman legionary

Roman Legionary Weapons

Gladius-Roman short sword. Legendary gladius had a many variants (Hispaniensis, Mainz, Pompeii) but it was usually used for stabbing.
Spatha-Roman long sword mostly used by cavalry from 2nd century AD, later adopted by infantry and it substituted the popular gladius. This sword was adopted by Germanic tribes (later vikings) and it developed into classical one handed medieval sword.
Pugio-Roman military dagger, sidearm of legionaries.
Pilum-Heavy and long javelin.
Javelin-Short javelin typical for early legions.
Darts-plumbatae were short range throwing wapons carried in 6 pieces and effective up to 30 yeards.
Bow-Sagitarii (Roman archers) were armed by composite bows made of wood, horn and sinew.
Sling-Vegetius, considers the stone shot from a sling to be more dangerous than the arrow and recommends that it be carried by all recruits, given its light weight and the ready supply of stones.

Roman Legionary Armor
Not all troops wore torso armour. Light infantry, especially in the early Republic, wore little or no armour. This was both to allow swifter movement for light troops and also as a matter of cost.
Legionary soldiers of the 1st and 2nd centuries used a variety of armour types. Some wore mail shirts, while others wore scale armour or lorica segmentata or laminated-strip cuirass.

Lorica segmentata-laminar armour (metal strips fashioned into circular bands).
Lorica hamata-mail armour used during the Roman Republic continuing throughout the Roman Empire as a standard-issue armour for the primary heavy infantry legionaries and secondary troops (Auxilia).
Lorica squamata-scale armour used during the Republic and at later periods.
Manica-segmented armour on one or both arms.
Greave-sheet metal protecting the legs, were widely used in the late Republic, and by some troops in the Imperial army.
Scutum-rectangular, semi-cylindrical body shield carried by Roman legionaries.
Parma-predecessor of scutum shield. It was a yard across (or less) and had iron in its frame.
Cetratus-Light Roman shield used by auxiliaries.
Helmets-Roman helmets, galea or cassis, varied greatly in form. One of the earliest types was the Montefortino helmet used by the Republic armies up to the 1st century BC. This was replaced directly by the Coolus helmet, which raised the neck peak to eye level and set a sturdy frontal peak to the brow of the helmet

Roman Legionary Clothing
Tunic
Focale-scarf worn of neck protection.
Balteus (sword belt) used for hanging the sword and pugio.
Braccae-woolen trousers.
Cloak-sagum or paenula with hood.
Caliga-Roman military boots made of leather straps.
Pteruges- skirt of leather or fabric strips that is worn around the waist to protect the upper legs

Sarcina-military pack.

Equipment of Roman Legionaries

Roman swordsRoman armor

Game of Thrones Season 2 Finale

Game of Thrones season 2 finale. GoT S02E10 Valar Morghulis story, pictures and video.

Valar Morghulis was a superb season two finale of Game of Thrones.

Here is Valar Morghulis recap:

The aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater sees the winner reward his followers while Tyrion finds himself in a strange situation. In Winterfell, Maester Luwin has some final advice for Theon. In the Riverlands, Jaqen H’ghar gives Arya a gift, and Dany visits a wondrous place in Qarth. Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow pleases Qhorin with his actions.

Special moments in GoT Season 2 finale

Dragon Fire

Game of Thrones Finale: Dragons

Game of Thrones Finale: Dragons

Courage / Madness

Game of Thrones Finale: Theon

Game of Thrones Finale: Theon Greyjoy speech

White Walkers

Game of Thrones Finale: White walkers

Game of Thrones Finale: White walkers

Game of Thrones Season 2 trailer

I really like the finale and i hope the GoT Season 3 will be as great as the second one was.

Movie Swords

King Solomon Temple

Solomon Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount (also known as Mount Zion), before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II in 6th century BC.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the temple was constructed under Solomon, king of the Israelites. This would date its construction to the 10th century BCE, although it is possible that an earlier Jebusite sanctuary had stood on the site. During the kingdom of Judah, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and housed the Ark of the Covenant. Rabbinic sources state that the First Temple stood for 410 years and, based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah, place construction in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE (3338 AM), 165 years later than secular estimates.

King Solomon

King Solomon supervising Temple construction

The Bible’s description of Solomon’s Temple (also called The First Temple) suggests that the inside ceiling was was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the Temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet).

King Solomon
King Solomon, the wisest of all men, built the Temple in Jerusalem and reigned over Israel’s golden age.

King Solomon Temple Video

Sword of King Solomon

King Solomon Sword

Sword of King Solomon

Legendary Knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Holy Grail is a classic cool movie by Monty Python. The movie describes troubles of Camelot knights during dark medieval times. If u liked the old classic, we added new product ine of Camelot costumes made by this classic movie.

 

Camelot knight costumes for sale

List of Famous Camelot Knights by Monty Python

King Arthur

King Arthur by Monty Python

King Arthur by Monty Python

Sir Lancelot (he likes blue!)

Sir Lancelot by Monty Python

Sir Lancelot by Monty Python

The Black Knight (nobody will pass!)

Black knight by Monty Python

Black knight by Monty Python

Sir Bedevere (Witch scene)

Sir Bedevere by Monty Python

Sir Bedevere by Monty Python

Sir Galahad (Castle Anthrax)

Sir Galahad by Monty Python

Sir Galahad by Monty Python

Sir Robin

Sir Robin by Monty Python

Sir Robin by Monty Python

Camelot knight costumes for sale

Saint Agnes of Bohemia-Story of Princess

Saint Agnes of Bohemia, true story of a special, unconventional medieval princess who changed the rules and who created a better world for her people. Legends of saints.

 

Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes

Why was Saint Agnes so special?
Agnes was a notable medieval personality who made great contributions in the area of charitable care, diplomacy and in art. She also had good knowledge about the cultural and social life in the world.
Fate of a medieval princess was simple: to marry an impotant man and to bring a poweful ally to her family.
Agnes of Bohemia was a powerful, rich, well educated and beautiful medieval woman who decided to break chains of the medieval marriage game and she decided to find her own way to live.
It was common in medieval times that nobility and even kings were illiterate. Agnes was able to write in a several languages, she was also specialist for diplomacy, art and medical care.

Life of Saint Agnes
Agnes was born in Prague in 1211. Agnes was daughter of Premysl Ottokar I., Czech king and Queen Constance, the sister of King Andrew II of Hungary.
Agnes was a direct descendant of the two Czech saints: Saint Wenceslas, Saint Ludmila and she was also cousin of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Arranged marriages
Agnes was a valuable pawn in the royal marriage game.

Agnes was engaged to Hedwig and Henry’s son Boleslav. After Boleslav died, Agnes returned to Prague at the age of six.

At the age of eight, she was engaged to Henry, son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry was ten years old and had just been crowned Henry VII of Germany, King of the Romans. According to custom, Agnes should have spent her childhood at her future husband’s court, so they could develop a friendship, as well as learn the language and culture of her new country. Emperor Frederick II, King of Sicily, had his court in Palermo, while his son Henry, now the German king, was being brought up in Germany at the archbishop Engelbert’s residence in Cologne.

Agnes was also sent to the court of Leopold VI of Babenberg as a future wife of his son.

Otakar also planned for her to marry Henry III of England. Even this marriage has been cancelled.

Works of Agnes of Bohemia
Agnes refused to play any more part in a politically arranged marriage game. She decided to devote her life to her people, to her country and to religious works. She got a great support from her family, from Pope Gregory IX and from Saint Clare of Assisi (French saint).

She became a member of the Franciscan Poor Clares, a religious order founded by Saint Clare of Assisi (with whom she corresponded for over two decades but never met in person). On land donated by her brother, Wenceslaus I, she founded the Hospital of St. Francis (ca. 1232-33) and two convents where the Franciscan friars and Clare nuns who worked at the hospital resided. This religious complex was one of the first Gothic buildings in Prague. Taking the vow of poverty, she cooked for and took care of the lepers and paupers personally, even after becoming the Mother Superior of the Prague Clares in 1234.

Saint Agnes convent Prague

Saint Agnes convent Prague

Agnes also found a Military Knight order: the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star so she is the only woman founder of the military order in history.

Men in life of Agnes

Agnes was a little lucky. She had two powerful men who always respected her wishes and decisions and who were always on her side.

Premysl Ottokar I, father of Agnes, king of Czech

Premysl Ottokar I

Premysl Ottokar I

Vaclav I (Wenceslas I), brother of Agnes, next king of Czech
Vaclav was famous king knight who enjoyed battles, wars and medieval tournaments. It was common he came to Agnes to consult his strategy and important political decisions. This fact was pretty unconvential in medieval times because opinion of a woman, even princess has no importance in those dark ages. It was different in case of this woman.

Wenceslas I

Wenceslas I

Saint Agnes-Symbol of Czech Velvet Revolution in 1989
Although she was venerated soon after her death, Agnes was not beatified or canonized for over 700 years.
Agnes was one of the symbols of the Velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia (November 1989) were the communist regime has been peacefully overthrown.
Lets imagine that Czechoslovakia was surrounded by iron curtain when Pope John Paul II formally canonized Blessed Agnes. It was nearly impossible for Czechoslovaks to get over the iron wall however the commies allowed 10 000 people to visit the Vatican to celebrate the canonization of Agnes. It was a small miracle for many people and an impulse to get freedom.

Saint Agnes 1989

Saint Agnes canonization in Rome in 1989

Saint Agnes legend
Saint Agnes remais were lost during Hussite wars in 15th century. A well known legend says that Czech state will prosper at the time her body remains will be found.

Legacy of Saint Agnes of Bohemia
Czechs are one of the less religious nation in Europe but Saint Agnes is a very important person for them.
Saint Agnes is a symbol of strong will because she was able to break her fate.
Saint Agnes is a symbol of uncorrupted power and influence used for good of her people.
No matter Agnes lived 800 years ago, she is still inspiration for many people.
Agnes was a beautiful princess but she was definitely not a classical babe, she was a miraculous person who was able to make the dark medieval world a better a place.
Do you know a better princess?
I doubt:).

 

Pictures of Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes by Rhoden

Saint Agnes by Rhoden

 

Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes of Bohemia-with Czech Royal lion

 

Saint Agnes Statue in Prague

Saint Agnes Statue in Prague

Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes of Bohemia, Premyslid princess

 

Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes on 50 Czech crowns (CZ currency)

 

Religious Jewelry

Expendables II Coming Back with Chuck Norris

Expendables II 2012 coming back with Chuck Norris. Expendables II movie info, trailer, release date and new cast.

Good news for all Expendables fans:).

Expendables returning with Chuck in worldwide premiere on August 16th.

Expendables II

Expendables II-Chuck Norris

Expendables II story
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

Old Expendables cast: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Dolf Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Charisma Carpenter.

New Expendables guys: Chuck Norris a Liam Hemsworth.

I really enjoyed the Expendables so i hope the upcoming movie will be as funny as the first part was.

 

Expendables II Trailer

Expendables weapons

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