How were large castles heated in the Middle Ages?
How were large castles heated in the Middle Ages?
Anonim

A medieval castle is such a large-scale structure, combined with infrastructure into a huge autonomous complex that, in fact, it is like a city-state. However, such a large building was quite difficult to maintain, given the resources and technologies available to mankind at that time.

The issue of maintaining the required temperature regime was especially acute. Therefore, whole heating systems were invented or borrowed from the past, which helped the medieval aristocrats not to die in their own luxurious castles.

In huge castles, fireplaces alone were not enough for heating
In huge castles, fireplaces alone were not enough for heating

If you think about how a temperature suitable for normal existence was maintained in medieval castles, most of us, realizing that there was no trace of gas or electric heating there, usually remember only about the numerous fireplaces that we tried to place in as many number of rooms.

However, they alone could not be enough to heat large areas surrounded by thick stone walls. It was possible to keep warm from these hearths, unless being in the immediate vicinity of them. By the way, this opportunity was also used - in castles, special fireplace rooms were usually equipped, where its inhabitants gathered to spend time in the warmth and have a pleasant conversation.

The fireplace room of the Nesvizh castle
The fireplace room of the Nesvizh castle

Of course, in the cold walls, the inhabitants of the castle tried to spend as much time as possible in the bedrooms, wrapping themselves in warm blankets. In addition, on especially frosty days, the owners generally preferred to receive visitors in their own bedrooms.

In addition, in order to keep warm at night in the beds themselves, heating pads were placed in them, and the head was protected from low temperatures by putting on a night cap. And these measures were fully justified. The average temperature in chateau chambers usually did not exceed 15-17 degrees.

The sleeping cap had a clear practical purpose
The sleeping cap had a clear practical purpose

Another common way to retain and retain heat in the spacious rooms of medieval castles was to hang as many walls as possible with tapestries.

Thus, we can say that the peculiar fashion for this type of images was due not only to the historical context, but also to purely practical considerations. By the way, it was for this purpose that the walls were hung with carpets in the Soviet Union, because the centralized heating system was not established immediately, and not in all areas of a large state.

Tapestries are not only beautiful, but also useful
Tapestries are not only beautiful, but also useful

From the very beginning of the spread of castles in medieval Europe, architects made attempts to equip them with heating systems.

So, the first modifications. which underwent fireplaces to improve heat conduction was laying them with baked clay tiles - they kept the temperature, and somewhat spread it throughout the rooms.

In the 13-14 centuries, buildings were already equipped with fireplaces, which had open pipes and charcoal trays, but before the introduction of central heating in locks, it was still far from warm air.

Large areas of premises required a centralized heating system
Large areas of premises required a centralized heating system

Interestingly, to maintain the required temperature in the castles of the late Middle Ages and later, a system was used, which was first designed in ancient times. We are talking about hypocaust - an invention of the ancient Romans.

She worked as follows: a special stove was laid on the basement level, the task of which is to heat up large stones. They heated the air, and it, in turn, spread through pipes and entered the rooms through holes in the floor. Another distinctive feature of the hypocaust is special dampers that are opened and closed manually, depending on the need to release the air heated from the stones.

Warm air entered the rooms through these holes, warming them
Warm air entered the rooms through these holes, warming them

Subsequently, the hypocaust system was modernized.

So, for example, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First in Russia, the chambers of the palaces were heated by means of completely closed furnaces, in which the stones were heated, and the hood went simultaneously through several pipes, which increased its efficiency.

Over time, hypocaoutes began to be replaced by more versatile tiled hearths in placement, however, until the invention of Roman engineers, hypocausts continued to be used in individual estates until the nineteenth century.

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