The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 4 – Types and Architectural Features

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Italy’s Castel del Monte was built in the 1240s by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. You may not know it, but it originally had a curtain wall. Yet, it’s a unique enough castle to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Finally, we get to the castle architecture. Over the 900 some years castles were built during the Middle Ages, they took on many forms with many different features. Most castles were made from wood since it was cheap, readily available, and an easy building material. However, a wooden castle was totally helpless against flaming arrows because we all know how wood catches fire, breaks, and decays over time. However, if a noble could afford it, he’d have his castle constructed from stone despite the high expense and maintenance. But stone was significantly less flammable and breakable with siege weapons and the elements. Early castles mostly consisted of simple fortifications and design. But as the medieval period went on, they became more complex with more towers, stronger gatehouses, and sturdier walls.

Castle Types

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Restormel Castle in England is an example of a shell keep which was a circular stone keep, are type of castle design. Though once a luxurious residence of the Duke of Cornwall, it was in ruins by the 16th century.

Adulterine Castle- a castle built without a liege lord’s or king’s approval.

Concentric Castle- a castle with 2 or more concentric curtain walls, such that the inner curtain wall is higher than the outer and can be defended from it. Often had round towers.

Courtyard Castle- a castle type consisting of a stone curtain wall surrounding a courtyard with buildings built inside it, normally against the curtain wall.

Knight’s Castle- a castle owned by a knight.

Motte and Bailey- an early form of castle where a large mound of dirt was built up. A wooden fortification was placed on top, which were shaped like a timber fence forming a circle like a crown.

Rectangular Keep- a stone castle with a square or rectangular keep with a second-floor entrance. The castle on Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a classic example.
Shell-Keep- castle style consisting of a circular or oval wall surrounding its inner portion. Usually stores and accommodates wooden buildings inside the hollow walls.

Stone Keep Castle- the classic medieval castle with a stone keep and a thick stone wall, which can be rectangular or circular in shape.

Tower House- a small castle consisting mainly or entirely of a single tower.

Architectural Features

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Built in the 12th century, the Château de Pierrefonds almost seems straight out of a fairy tale. Despite its 19th century restoration, it retains most of its defensive military architecture.

Aisle- space between an arcade and outer wall.

Ambulatory- aisle around an apse.

Apse- a circular or polygonal end of a tower or chapel.

Baluster- a small column.

Balustrade- a railing, as along a path or stairway.

Bar Hole- Horizontal bar for timber bar used as a door-bolt.

Barrel Vault- a cylindrical roof of stone or wood.

Base Cruck- a form of wood framed construction where the roof is supported by curved logs rising from the walls and not by aisle posts set on floor.

Bay- an internal division marked by roof principals or vaulting peers.

Blind Arcade- a line of arches on the face of a solid wall for decoration.

Bonnet- a freestanding fortification.

Boss or Keystone- a central stone in an arch or vault.

Bressumer- a beam to support a projection.

Cap House- a small chamber at the top of a spiral staircase in a tower or turret, leading to an open wall walk on the roof.

Cavalier- a raised structure containing a battery, usually sited above a bastion’s center to give better trajectory.

Cesspit- a wall opening where waste from one or more toilets were collected.

Colonnade- a range of evenly spaced columns.

Course- a level layer of stones or bricks.

Crossbar or Transom- a horizontal window division.

Cupola- a hemispherical armored roof.

Crow or Corbie Steps- a step-gabled end to a roof.

Diaphragm- a wall running up to the roof ridge.

Dog Leg- a right angle in a passageway.

Dormer- a vertically placed window in a sloping roof. Like you see on the top floors of a Cape Cod house.

Entresol or Mezzanine- a low story between 2 high ones.

Fireplace- a walled hearth used for heating a room. Most castles in the later Middle Ages had one in almost every room once they took off.

Gable- a wall covering the end of a roof ridge.

Garret- a building’s top story within a roof.

Groined- a roof with sharp edges at intersection of cross vaults.

Groin- junction of 2 curved surfaces in a vault.

Hood- an arched covering.

Impost- a wall bracket to support arch.

Jambs- side posts of an arch, door, or window.

Joists- wall-to-wall timber beans to support floor boards.

Lancet- a long, narrow window with a pointed head.

Label- a projecting weather molding above a roof or window to deflect rainwater.

Lantern- a small structure with open or window sides on top of a roof or dome to let light or air into the enclosed space below.

Lattice- Lines crossing to form a network whether on a window, fence, or gate.

Lintel- a horizontal stone or beam bridging an opening.

Loggia- a covered arcade or colonnade.

Louvre- a potter vent allowing smoke to escape from the hearth.

Meurtriere- an opening in the roof of a passage where soldiers could shoot into the room below.

Molding- masonry decoration that’s long and narrow as well as casts strong shadows.

Mullion- a vertical division of a window that’s constructed in panels.

Newel- Center post of a spiral staircase.

Nookshaft- a shaft set in a jamb or pier angle.

Pediment- a low-pitched gable over porticos, doors, and windows.

Pilaster- a shallow pier used to buttress a wall.

Piscina- a hand basin with a drain, usually set against or into a wall.

Pointed Arch- a sturdy arch that distributed the force of heavier ceilings and bulky wall. Can support much more weight than previous, simply, spindly pillars.

Rear Arch- an arch on a wall’s inner side.

Relieving Arch- an arch built up in a wall to relieve thrust on another opening.

Rib- a raised molding dividing a vault.

Roofridge- a roof’s summit line.

Soffit- an underside of an arch, hung parapet, or opening.

Spur- a triangular buttress used to strengthen a round tower’s bottom.

Spiral Staircase, Corkscrew, or Turnpike- a winding, circular staircase spiraling up clockwise which allowed added sword room for defenders. Steps were built unevenly to make it difficult for attackers to climb and fight. Said to be among the most economical and convenient method of accessing upper tower floors and easier to defend.

Squint- an observation hole in wall or room.

Traverse- a small bank or wall cutting across a covered way’s line.

Tympanum- a space between a lintel and arch over a doorway.

Vault- stone roofing.

Vaulted Ceiling- a ceiling with sturdy pointed archers and pillars that allowed ceilings to be taller than ever before. Also provided an impression of height, grandeur, and elegance. Can be built in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

Wall-Plate- a horizontal roof-timber on wall-top.
Wall-Stair- staircase built into a wall’s thickness.

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The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 3 – The Keep, Bailey, and Interior

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Built in the 14th century, the French Château de Vincennes boasts one of the tallest medieval fortified medieval structure in its keep. Within Paris, this castle served as the French royal residence during the 15th century. Yet, it’s had a long and colorful history with memorable moments.

Once you get through the walls, it’s on to the castle’s interior. First, we go into the courtyard with the bailey where you’d find plenty of animals grazing, gardens, and buildings. These buildings consisted of stables, workshops, barracks, water suppliers, and storage facilities. You may even see a chapel there. Yet, the central heart of the castle was the keep, which was considered the strongest area and the last place of refuge if outer defenses fell. During times of peacetime, it was the lord’s main residence where he’d conduct his business. He’d hold meetings and entertain guests in the great hall. At banquets, the kitchens would be bustling preparing lavish feasts while everyone was treated to dinner and entertainment. In some castles, the lord and his family would eat and sleep in the hall. Sometimes you might even find a chapel or dungeon, too.

The Courtyard

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Scotland’s Doune Castle was built in the 13th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. Its 14th century reflected current ideas on what a royal castle should be. Yet, we remember this as the castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Its courtyard isn’t particularly big in this aerial shot. Yet, it at least includes a well.

Bailey, Courtyard, Enclosure, or Ward- open space surrounded by a castle’s walls. Walls making up the bailey could be considered part of it. A castle could have several of these like an upper bailey, lower bailey, west bailey, and/or east bailey. Had room for buildings to house the Lord and his immediate followers along with space for animals and storage. During attacks, the local people could enter the bailey for safety.

Bake House- building that would’ve baked fresh bread for everyone living within the castle since bread was a dietary medieval staple.

Barmkin- a yard surrounded by a defensive wall in smaller castles.

Brewery- a building where an ale wife would’ve brewed ale and beer. Mostly because brewing beer was said to sterilize highly polluted water.

Death Hole- the space between the inner and outer curtain walls of a concentric circle that trapped attackers.

Garden- green area located in the bailey near the kitchen. Was split into several sections: fruit trees and bushes, herbs for cooking, herbs for medicine, vegetables, flowers for cooking, and flowers for medicine. There were often stairs leading up to it.

Inner Ward or Quadrangle- large inner courtyard inside a castle, usually around the keep. A focus to day-to-day residential life within the castle.

Outer Ward- large courtyard outside the inner ward but still held within the curtain wall. Was mostly reserved for livestock for grazing.

Stables- part where the horses and other livestock are kept since they’re the main medieval means of transportation, communication, and battle. Included haylofts and spaces for the grooms to live.

Workshops- separate buildings in the bailey for artisans to make objects for maintaining the building the grounds. Consists of carpenters, farriers, and blacksmiths.

The Keep

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Germany’s Burg Eltz was built in the 12th century and has been own by the same family for over 33 generations. It is one of 3 castles in the country that have never been destroyed. Yet, its keep is quite imposing in the Alps.

Forebuilding- a fortified entrance to the keep. Often held a staircase and a small chapel.

Keep, Donjon, or Great Tower-generally the central main tower built in the inner ward which was the tallest and strongest structure in the castle and gave a commanding view of all fighting positions. Usually served as the ruling lord’s residence since it was the safest place. The top most part served as his and his family’s quarters. The bottom was used for storage. While the middle was used for the great hall. In warfare, it was mostly used as the last line of defense during a siege or attack. Can be square or round and comprise of several floors. Can be attached to walls or free standing. Its walls could be over 17 feet thick to prevent undermining and a built-in staircase.

The Dungeons

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Castle dungeons were the stuff of nightmares. If you were thrown in here for a crime, you can be subject to a dark room in the castle basement with all kinds of horrifying conditions. And yes, you may be subject to torture and possibly execution. If you don’t starve to death or succumb to disease first.

Dungeon- a place to confine political prisoners. Mostly consists of a single small room with a single access from outside like a heavy door. Is generally underground and sometimes a secret passageway would lead to it. Though it could also be in the keep or under a gatehouse. Has plenty of unique torture devices for interrogation like branding irons, collar, torture rack, and others. Other enhanced interrogation techniques include whipping, boiling in water, and starvation etc. Also, employed full-time executioner who also administered torture.

Oubliette- a dark, narrow, underground, vertical tunnel-like dungeon with the only opening consisting of an iron-grilled trap door on the ceiling from the guard room floor where prisoners were left in their solitude for psychological torture. Though other torture methods may be used for interrogation or increase a prisoner’s suffering. Once a victim was thrown in the oubliette, they were considered forgotten by the outside world and left to die. Survival was nearly impossible and there was no way to escape.

The Great Hall

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The Great Hall was the main room in the castle where the lord would conduct his business, hold meetings, and throw feasts. In early castles, the lord, his family, and staff would even eat and sleep there.

Gallery- passage built into the thickness of the walls that runs around the upper part of a keep’s hall. Windows allow light into the hall below and the passage allows for movement around the keep’s upper floors. Also provides a position where hall events can be viewed. If the hall’s captured, defenders could’ve used a gallery to shoot arrows from.

Hall or Great Hall- a major room that’s possibly the heart of the castle which served as the castle’s principal living quarters. Usually a castle’s largest room either built in the keep or a separate building. Generally, consists of an elaborate high vaulted roof and/or a gallery running around on top of it. Served as a throne room, conference center, and dining hall.

Minstrels Gallery- a raised gallery overlooking the great hall intended for the lord’s musicians. Consisted of a narrow balcony with a railing or balustrade.

Truss- a timber frame used to support the roof over the great hall.

The Chapel

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Since Christianity was very important to people in the Middle Ages, most castles included a chapel. These can range from a simple room like this to elaborate buildings.

Aumbry- recess to hold sacred objects, typically in a chapel.

Chancel- the space surrounding the altar.

Chapel- a place of worship usually built within the keep, near the gatehouse, or a separate building in the bailey. Can range from a simple room or an elaborate edifice that can be 2 stories high with the family sitting in the balcony and servants in the nave. May have a resident or visiting priest depending on the resident noble’s peerage rank. Great place for the lord to marry off family members to secure alliances, soldier funerals, and display of piety. Also, a great space safe since harming a priest was widely seen as the ultimate act of barbarity. For only the most fearless of castle attackers would do such a thing. Not to mention, killing anyone in a place of worship was often frowned upon in the Middle Ages.

Choir- part of a cruciform church east of the crossing where you’ll find the singers.

Narthex- a chapel’s principal hall between the nave and the main entrance.

Nave- the principal chapel hall, extending from the narthex to the chancel.

Living Quarters

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In most medieval castles, high ranking nobles rarely slept alone since many had servants there with them. Yet, they can nonetheless be colorful tableaus as you see in this one.

Apartment- a room belonging to a castle household resident like a lord’s widowed mother.

Bottlery or Buttery- a room for storing and serving beverages like wine land other expensive provisions like a castle wine cellar. Located between the great hall and the kitchen. The person who presided over this room was called the butler.

Bower- attractive private apartment intended for the Lady. Usually in a room behind the dais of the great hall but later a higher level in the keep.

Camera- a private room used for both living and sleeping that’s set apart from the more public areas of a house.

Cistern- a castle’s water source, which collected rainwater from roofs. Can be located within the keep or bailey. Some castles had rudimentary plumbing that channeled water from cisterns to sinks.

Great Chamber- the bedroom for the lord and lady located on the keep’s upper floor.

Kitchens- where food is made. In early castles, they were separate from the keep in kitchen towers due to fire risk. But moved to the keep when brick construction became more common. A castle kitchen’s size was often proportionate to castle’s intended grandeur and importance. The most elaborate kitchens were all set to cook and prepare game and fish when hunting on the grounds.

Larder- a cool area where perishable food is stored prior to use. Was usually close to the kitchen. Staffed by a larderer who was responsible for meat and fish. Often had ice to keep the food chilled along with meat hooks.

Latrine or Privy- rooms with holes in the seats used as toilets. Wastes dropped below into the bailey, the outer wall’s base, the moat, or cesspools within the tower. Usually far away from the chambers and often had double doors to reduce the smell. But as time went on, a private privy was built for people occupying important rooms. To keep out a noxious stink, privy windows had no glass, which made it freezing in the winter months. Can be fitted with a wooden or stone bench with as many as 4-6 holes in it. Hat a chute which led to a cesspit or moat. Supplemented by chamber pots.

Oratory- a private chapel with an altar used by the lord’s family for private prayer. Can also be a small cell attached to a larger chapel.

Pantry- a storage area for food, beverages, gold, and other items. Usually located in the keep’s lower levels.

Screens- wooden partitions at the kitchen end of a hall, protecting passage leading to the buttery, pantry, and kitchen.

Solar- originally a room above ground level, but commonly applied to the great chamber or a private room off the great hall. Was traditionally seen as the sleeping and private quarters of the Lord’s family. But later became their private living room. Usually above the great hall.

Wardrobe- a room used to store the lord and his family’s clothes and personal articles.

Well- a castle’s primary water source that proved important during a siege even if they had little food. Can be situated in the courtyard or keep. Or at least located near the kitchen either within the bailey or keep. Outside wells were usually protected from the elements by a wooden covering or iron grating. Yet, it was possibly the castle’s weakest point. Since invaders could poison the water supply if left unattended, which virtually guaranteed defeat.

Specialty Areas

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No castle could ever be without its own armory. But where it was could depend on the castle. On some it can be in the keep. In others, in the gatehouse or bailey.

Arcade or Cloister- a covered passageway with arches along one or both sides. Can also be a row of arches supported on columns, which could be free standing or attached to a wall (like a blind arcade).

Armory- a room which stored weapons, armor, and other defenses to use in war or attacks. Typically located in the keep’s upper levels.

Barracks- a building or group of buildings used to accommodate soldiers.

Blockhouse- a small square fortification, usually of timber bond overlapping arrangement of bricks in courses.

Dovecote- a building used to house pigeons and doves. Generally contained pigeon holes for birds to nest.

Guardroom- room used by on-duty guards. Can also store weapons. However, the guards wouldn’t sleep there since they’d be barracked in the gatehouse, a tower, or under the keep.

Ice House- building to store ice. Was usually built underground with a conical or rounded bottom to hold melted ice and a drain for water.

Kennel- place to keep animals, particularly hunting dogs.

Knight’s Hall- a large room or chamber within a castle where knights gathered for meetings, meals, and planning their next activities.

Knights’ Quarters- living area for resident castle knights.

Mess Hall- dining area for soldiers and servants. May include its own kitchen.

Secret Passage- secret routes in the castle that served a variety of purposes. Some were designed to pen up a distance from the castle so inhabitants could escape during an attack or get supplies in and out during a siege. Secret passages also led to secret chambers where people can hide, supplies could be kept, or a water well was dug.

The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 2 – Towers and Gates

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England’s Windsor Castle was built after William the Conqueror’s invasion in the 11th century. Since then, it’s been a residence for the royal family to this day. Even if modern British monarchs just use this place for a weekend getaway. And yes, you’d almost mistake this gatehouse as the castle itself.

So we’re off to a great start. Some of the other distinguishing castle features are towers and the gates. When you look at any castle picture, you might come across an imposing entrance with the impressive gatehouse containing a drawbridge and that sliding iron wrought door of spikes. Yet, since an unsecure entrance made a castle uniquely vulnerable, the gateway was usually the first structure built in stone. A gatehouse contained a series of defenses to make a direct assault more difficult than battering down a simple gate. Yet, you’d probably wouldn’t know this in movies where vast armies storm the castle with no problem. In reality, trying to storm a castle head was a stupid way to lose an army. Another prominent castle feature are the towers, which were used for look outs and shooting arrows along with storage and imprisonment. They could be built in various locations like the walls and the gatehouse as well as come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Though early towers were mostly square shape which were said to be quite easy to topple through burrowing at the foundations. While round towers were not.

The Main Entrance

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The Welsh Harlech Castle was built by English King Edward I Longshanks in the 1280s. It was involved in several wars and was used as a residence and military headquarters by Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr in the early 1400s. Later, it was held by the Lancastrians during the 1460s until the Yorkist forces took it during the Wars of the Roses. And served as a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War in the 1640s. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.” Nonetheless, seeing this imposing gatehouse, you wouldn’t want to storm this castle.

Barbican- a stone outpost protecting the castle’s gate usually built in front of the main entrance. Construed in the form of a tower or gateway where guards could stand watch. Some may include a narrow passage allowing for a limited number of attackers forced into a confined area for defenders to shoot at them like fish in a barrel through murder holes from the ceiling. Early barbicans were built from earthworks and wooden palisades designed to add complexity to the entrance’s layout and confuse attackers. Usually acted as the outermost defense of a castle. Due to limited space, was only defended by a small number of men.

Breastwork- a heavy parapet slung between 2 gate towers. A defensive work usually situated over the portcullis.

Drawbridge- wooden bridge in front of the main gate to span the moat or ditch. In early castles, it was moved horizontally to the ground by hand or destroyed and replaced. In later castles, it was built so it can raise up in a hinged fashion thanks to pulleys, ropes, chains, and winches. Can be raised or withdrawn making crossing impossible and prevent siege weaponry being pushed toward the castle’s walls and gates.

Gatehouse- a complex of towers, bridges, and barriers built to protect the castle’s main entrance. Often had a guard house and living quarters. Usually consisted of 2 very large stone towers joined above the main gate guarded by a bridge, gates, portcullis, or a combination. But can range from a simple structure to a 2-3 story building with an impressive façade to impress royal visitors. Above the entrance were rooms to house the constable and some men to defend the building who were stationed on the first floor. While the top floor contained murder holes and storage space for weapons. Traditionally the most vulnerable part of the castle, it became one of the most secure and with an excellent defensive position. Contains a passage with all kinds of obstacles, traps, and murder holes in the vaulted ceilings. So perhaps you want to think twice before storming a castle. Usually the first part of the castle to be completed. Though a larger and circular wall castle could have more than one.

Murder Holes- holes left in the floor on a gatehouse’s upper level, used to thrust pole weapons down, or shoot down flaming arrows at attackers trapped between the inner and outer gates. Also used for dropping heavy rocks, hot tar, boiling water, and other nasty things.

Neck or Death Trap- a narrow walled passage between a barbican and the castle walls which trapped invading enemies.

Portcullis- a heavy, sliding metal or wood grate with sharp spikes that was vertically dropped just inside the castle’s main gate through ropes and pulleys. Designed to block passage and make using rams against the main gate less effective. Think about that before trying to break down a door with a battering ram. Can also be dropped on an enemy and injure multiple people. Was always in a state of readiness and the guards can drop it from its suspended position at any time. Some gatehouses could had more than one, depending on the castle’s size and number of entrances.

Turning Bridge- drawbridge pivoted in the middle and worked like a see-saw. Had a counterweight attached to the end near the gateway.

Wicket- a person-sized door set into the main gate door.

Wing-Wall- a motte’s wall downslope to protect stairway.

Yett- a portcullis of lattice wrought iron bars used for defensive purposes.

The Towers

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Originally built in the early 1100s, the Alcazar of Segovia started out as a fortress, but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery college, and a military academy. Today it’s a military archives building, museum, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet, you have to admit how its towers give the place a unique look.

Bastion Tower- tower projecting from a wall face that functions as a bastion.

Bastle House- a small tower house with a living room over a cowshed.

Corner or Archer Tower- tower located on curtain wall corners used for firing arrows from slits.

Drum Tower- a large, round, low, squat tower built into a wall, usually connecting stretches of curtain wall.

Flanking or Mural Tower- tower located on the castle walls that provided effective flanking fire.

Gate Tower- tower constructed at the main entrance. May be part of the gate house.

Tower- fortification used to provide stability and additional defensive capabilities to the curtain wall. Used for firing upon enemies, lookout, storage, and keeping prisoners. Provided access to lookout points, wall walks, and sleeping points. Can be constructed in various shapes, sizes, and at various locations.

Sanitary Towers- a tower in the inner or outer walls used as a toilet. The wastes would drop into a cesspool in a pit.

Wall Tower- tower on wall that archers used for showering arrows on invading armies.

Watchtower or Look Out- a freestanding structure used to alert the castle in an enemy attack, spot returning soldiers and visitors in the distance, check whether the coast was clear before anyone left the castle, and send messages to distant people using recognized symbols. Had to be so high that areas around the castle could be watched for an impending attack or siege. Usually had a 360-degree view as well as employed a guard or watchman to see for many miles around.

Turrets

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Belgium’s 14th century Cleydael Castle seems straight out of a fairy tale on the water. However, the turrets on that one tower are quite unique.

Bartizan or Crow’s Nest- a small turret at the corner of a tower or wall. Usually at the top but not always. Usually located at one of the highest points of the castle and used as a lookout.

Belvedere- a raised turret or pavilion.

Squinch Arch- arched support for an angle turret that doesn’t reach the ground.

Turret- a small tower rising above and resting on the walls or the edge of the castle’s main towers, usually used as a lookout point. Allowed defenders to provide sheltering fire to the adjacent wall in attacks. Can contain a staircase if higher than the main tower or an extension of a tower room.

The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 1 – Around the Walls

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This is Bodiam Castle in Sussex, England. Built in 1385 to defend against French invasion during the Hundred Years War, it doesn’t have a keep. But its walls and moat are impressive.

Whether you’re into Disney movies, Middle Earth, or Game of Thrones, we all seem enchanted with medieval castles. However, while we imagine them as a fairy tale palace, they were medieval house fortresses for European nobility. Though you’ll also find castles in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries as the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in individual lords and nobles dividing the territory. To control the area surrounding them, these guys built castles as both offensive and defensive structures. Castles provided a base to launch raids and protect from enemies. Though castle studies often emphasize their military origins and see castles as “a fortified private residence,” they also served as centers of administration and power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes. Rural features were often near features integral to life and community like mills, fertile land, or a water source. Though most medieval castles in Europe today are made from stone, many were made from wood, especially in the early Middle Ages. Due to lacking arrow slits and towers, early castles often exploited natural defenses and relied on a central keep. But as a scientific approach to castle defense emerged, leading to tower proliferation and emphasizing flanking fire. Taking inspiration from Roman forts and technology from the Crusades, you’ll find some concentric castles. Nevertheless, since all things much come to an end, castles began to decline began to decline with the introduction of gunpowder which made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. Though these structures still captured the imagination enough to make aristocrats want to build castle like houses, but without the key defenses.

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This is Herstmonceux Catstle in England’s East Sussex. Built in the 15th century, it’s one of the most significant brick buildings in England. Though more like a palace than a fortress, its walls and moat are nonetheless impressive. By the way, from 1957-1988, it was home to the Greenwich Royal Observatory. Today it’s used by the Bader International Center of Queen’s University in Canada.

The first part of this series will focus on the outermost components like the walls and what’s outside them. As the first line of defense, such structures would have to make invasions and sieges incredibly difficult for the enemy. Before a castle was built, you’d often construct an artificial hill called a motte and a ditch filled with water called a moat. A castle’s walls had to be high enough to make scaling with ladders impossible. And they had to be thick enough to withstand bombardment from siege engines. Though sizes vary, a typical castle wall could be 10 feet thick and 39 feet tall. They’d also have stone skirts around their bases to prevent infiltration as well. Walkways on top of curtain walls allowed defenders to rain arrows on the enemies below with battlements giving them further protection.

Outside the Walls

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The Chateau de Gisors in France whish was a key fortress for the Dukes of Normandy in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was built to defend the Anglo-Norman Vexin territory from the King of France. However, when Richard the Lionheart got imprisoned in Germany, the castle went into Philip Augustus’s hands. Was also known for its links to the Templars, serving as a final prison for its last Grand Master in 1314. Still, its motte is particularly notable.

Berm- a flat piece of land between the curtain wall and the moat protecting it. Intended to reduce soil erosion to keep the wall from collapsing. Also kept debris from the wall from falling into and filling the moat.

Bivalate- a pair of defensive ditches or earth embankments surrounding a mound or medieval castle.

Caponier- a covered passage within a ditch.

Caponiere- a covered passage across a ditch to an outer fortification structure like a ravelin.

Counterscarp- outer slope of a ditch.

Couvre Face- a low rampart in a ditch protecting the ravelin’s face.

Covered Way- a protected communication wall all around the ditch’s outer edge, covered by earthworks from enemy fire.

Crownwork- a freestanding fortification built in front of the main defenses.

Cunette- a trench at a ditch’s bottom.

Ditch or Fosse- a common defense dug around the castle’s outside walls and the resulting earth to create banks. Most were dry but some were filled with water to create moats. The steeper the ditch sides, the better since it made it more difficult for attackers to climb. Though ditches weren’t filled with water, rainfall would’ve created a muddy obstacle to cross. The castle’s toilets also emptied into it, giving attackers another disgusting problem.

Earthwork- fortification made of earth mounds, banks, and ditches.

Glacis- a bank sloping down from a castle which acts as a defense against invaders. Consists of broad, sloping, naked rock or earth on which the attackers are completely exposed.

Hornwork- an independent earthwork located in front but not connected to the curtain wall within its bastions’ range (so it can be defended by them). Had long parallel sides with a back shaped like a crescent moon facing the castle’s curtain wall. But was built so low so it couldn’t shelter attacking forces if overrun. Forced attackers to start their siege further away from the castle and gave defenders a better chance to destroy siege lines before they could reach the structure.

Moat- a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle’s outer walls. Often filled with water from diverted rivers, lakes, or springs with a special dam. Mostly had an inlet and outlet of water rather than being a self-contained donut (unless the castle was built on an island in the middle of a lake). It was often around 3-30 feet deep and at least 12 feet wide. It was sometimes within the outer wall or between the outer wall and the inner wall. Its primary purpose wasn’t to stop attackers but siege weapons, siege towers, battering rams, and most importantly, tunnelers. Since tunneling a castle was an effective means of collapsing the walls or infiltrating it. A moat would cause any tunnel to collapse through flooding. Also, gave valuable time for castle defenders to form strategies for subsequent defense. Sewage was often tipped into the moat so it would smell pretty unpleasant.

Motte- a natural or artificial hill with a flat top upon which a castle was built. Was constructed from dirt and rocks to a height between 10 and 100 feet.
Neck Ditch- a ditch cutting across a neck of land to hinder an enemy’s advance.
Place of Arms- an enlarged area in a covered way where troops could assemble.
Ravelin or Demilune- a triangular earthwork located in front (but not connected to) the curtain wall, within range of the curtain wall’s bastions. The back was shaped like a crescent moon and faced the curtain wall. But built low so it couldn’t shelter attacking forces if the ravelin was overrun. The front sides also had a defensive wall of their own. Allowed defenders to fire upon attacking troops before they could reach the curtain and a better chance to destroy siege lines before they could reach the castle. Forced attackers to start their siege further away from the castle.

Revetment- a retaining wall to prevent erosion.

Scarp- a slope on a ditch’s inner side.

Tilting Yard- yard or field where jousting tournaments and combats took place. Usually situated just outside the castle’s confines.

Watergate- a gate allowing a coastal castle to be resupplied by sea, especially during a siege.

The Walls

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Scotland’s Craigmillar Castle is a ruined castle in Edingburgh built in the 14th century. Mary, Queen of Scots once stopped here to convalesce after her son James’s birth. It was here some of her supporters decided to kill her godawful husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Still, the walls are amazing to look at.

Allure or Wall Walk- walkway at the top inside of the curtain wall, which allowed guards to look for enemies. Reached either from a set of stairs running up from the wall’s inside or from a built-in tower. Can also be the fighting area on a tower as well.
Bastion or Bulwark- a structure projecting at the end of the curtain wall or at the junction of 2 walls. Usually situated at each corner of a curtain wall. Though could be placed in the middle if the walls were long. Allowed the defenders to cover dead ground (blind spots where attackers can’t be seen or fired upon) and provide crossfire for the curtain wall and adjacent bastions. Can consist of a tower or turret.

Batters- a section at a castle wall’s base that’s angled in such a way to make dropped stones bounce away from the curtain wall and into the enemy. Also add strength to the wall walk’s base.

Buttresses- a rectangular masonry projections used as additional outside strength and support for walls. Become thinner towards the top. Prominently featured in Gothic cathedrals like Notre Dame.

Chemin-de-Ronde- a walk-walk extending all the way around a castle.

Chemise Wall- wall formed by a series of interlinked or overlapping semicircular bastions.

Citadel- the innermost curtain wall of a concentric castle. Had walls higher than the rest and was the last line of defense before the keep itself.

Corbel- a stone bracket projecting from a wall or corner that supports a main floor or other structure’s weight. Often used for turrets.

Cornice- a decorative projection along the top of a wall.

Counterguard- a long near-triangular free-standing fortification within the moat.
Crenels, Embrasures, or Wheelers- small openings in crenellation that’s splayed on the inside, allowing the archer to move into the arrow slit space and get a better view.

Cross-Wall- an internal dividing stone wall in the keep providing extra strength and a platform for wooden floors. Also served as a barrier at times when the keep had been invaded.

Curtain Wall or Enceinte- a surrounding outer stone wall around the castle connecting the towers and other fortifications. Was designed to protect the castle. Can be 8-20 feet wide, up to 45 feet high and 1,500 feet long.

Flying Buttresses- masonry projections used to spread and support the weight of tall walls by transferring force directly to the ground. Were often elaborately designed, appearing to dart and sweep around each building, giving a sense of movement and flight. Usually decorated with intricate carvings giving a sense of grandeur and importance.

Garderobe- a room projecting from a wall that served as a toilet the family’s clothes. A hole in the floor allow wastes to drop below. Had chutes for discharge which often led to the castle moats and had iron bars to prevent entry from attackers.

Glacis- an angling of the curtain wall along the vertical plane that allows the wall to deflect some or all the force of rocks or other missiles thrown from a siege engine or cannon balls fired from siege cannons.

Hoardings or Brattices- wooden fortifications added to the crenellations and towers to provide additional protection to the castle’s defenders. They were removable and provided overhead cover. Also provided a walkway outside the crenellations facilitating the dropping of stones and hot liquids on attackers.

Hoarding Holes- holes in the castle walls to support the hoarding.

Inner Curtain Wall- defensive wall within a castle dividing the inner area into 2 or more defensive areas.

Lunette- a fortification shaped like a half-moon or arrowhead which was similar to a bastion except that it didn’t have wings connecting to a castle’s wall and the back was generally open. Can be its own structure or connected to a curtain wall like a bastion.
Machicolations- permanent stone additions to a castle’s battlement which provided better cover for defenders inside the castle, allowing them to drop items like boiling oil, hot lead, dead animals, human excrement, and rocks on attackers. Most often located in places that would be commonly attacked like near the main entrance.

Oriel Window- a window or set of windows sticking out from a building like bay windows. Made of stone or wood. Often had corbels underneath to support them.

Orillion- an arrowhead bastion.

Palisade- a sturdy wooden fence built to enclose a site until a permanent stone wall could be constructed. Can be as high as 10 feet tall.

Pitatta Forma- a fortification structure protecting the curtain wall between 2 bastions. It’s square or rectangular in plan but takes the form of a small tetrahedral bastion.

Plinth- a wall’s projecting base.

Postern or Sally Port- a small secondary gate located in the curtain wall’s back, which mostly functioned as a backdoor entrance or exit. Was connected to a small guard room near the bailey. Was often in a concealed location which allowed occupants to come and go inconspicuously. If possible, it could be built on a cliff, only accessible by footpath. During a siege a postern could act as a secret exit for troops to pass through besiegers or send out a messenger. Was firmly barricaded during conflict and people sometimes used a password to enter. Used by tradesmen and servants during peacetime. Designed for only one unmounted person could go through at a time.

Putlog Holes- castle wall holes to support scaffolding.

Rampart- a defensive wall of stone and mounds of earth that can be built quickly for early medieval castles. Later replaced by battlements.

Rear Arch- arch on an inner wall’s side.

Relieving Arch- an arch built in a wall to relieve thrust on another opening.

Respond- a half-pier bonded into a wall to carry an arch.

Redan- a small ravelin, derived from the lunette but had shorter sides. Was often made of earthwork but could comprise of stone and other materials. Could be its own structure or connected to a curtain wall like a bastion.

Rubble Core- a filling between the outer and inner wall parts.

Shield Wall- an exceptionally thick wall protecting the castle on its most vulnerable side.
Talus- a slope on the curtain wall that inhibited an attacker’s ability to reach the wall with a siege tower. Since a tower’s ramp wasn’t enough. Also provided a strong foundation to help support a wall against undermining.

Battlements

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England’s Warwick Castle was developed from an original built by William the Conqueror during the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, it was refortified which resulted in one of the most recognizable examples of 14th century military architecture. After its stronghold days were over in the 17th century, it was converted in a country house. And yes, you’ll find a lot of cool battlements here.

Arrow Loops, Arrow Slits, or Loopholes- thin slots in the walls and structures used to shoot arrows through. Came in a variety of shapes and sizes, usually depending on the weapons fired from it. Low and narrow arrow slits were suited for crossbows. High and wide arrow slits were built for longbows, which can be as high as 9 feet. But common designs are key holes, vertical slits, or crosses which allow the archer to fire his weapon with a great amount of protection.

Battlement, Rampart, or Crenellation- a defensive, outside top wall that has a broad top with a walkway and a typically stone parapet. Notched wall consists of alternate crenels (openings) and merlons (square sawteeth) to give castle defenders a position to fight or fire through as well enough protection to reload.

Fausse Braie- an exterior battlement, outside and parallel to the main battlement and considerably below its level.

Finial- a slender piece of stone used to decorate the merlon tops.

Merlons- upward square sawteeth of a battlement. Often pierced with arrow slits for observation and fire. Are usually rectangular in medieval Europe but can also appear in a swallow-tail form along with other shapes. Also have a secondary decorative purpose by giving the castle a distinct castle like appearance you find in storybooks.

Oilette- a round opening at a loophole’s base to help archers to easily aim a shot.

Parados- a low wall on a main wall’s inner side.

Parapet- a barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, walkway, or other structure. Often used to defend a castle from military attack as a low defensive wall at shoulder or head height.

The Pastel World of Easter Village Houses (Second Edition)

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Though Christmas and Halloween may be far more popular holidays, Easter has its large share of fans. So it’s no surprise that we have plenty of Easter village houses. After all, if you’re a company that sells these houses and accessories, why stop at Christmas when you can sell similarly themed items all year long? Sure these village sets can be very expensive. But they’re popular enough for me to do multiple posts on them. With Easter, you find plenty of houses in pastel colors as well as bunnies, chicks, flowers, butterflies, and sheep. And yes, there’s plenty of cuteness to go around. Though many of these houses may be made out of porcelain, some of these Easter village enthusiasts opt for the putz variety. Sometimes, they make their own putz house which you might see on Etsy. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another treasury of charming Easter houses and villages. Enjoy.

  1. An Easter putz village should always be all glitter.

Make sure you include bunnies and chicks. Oh, and that the trees have Easter eggs on them.

2. Bunnies always enjoy an Easter egg tree.

Though this more or less resembles a Charlie Brown Tree with Easter eggs. Yet, the house is quite whimsical.

3. Don’t forget to put a bunny peep on the front door.

The bunny peep even has a purple butterfly. The windows are made out of cardboard.

4. Of course, some houses might contain an addition or two.

This one even has an Easter egg tree. And the front roof has stripes.

5. How about set your spring village near a window?

Wonder if they use the same window for a Christmas village. Since it seems familiar to me.

6. A pink should always have matching flowers.

This one also has a fancy roof and tree with purple baubles. Like the silver trim.

7. A chick should always have a pink balcony.

This one has a rather gabled roof and pink stairway. Like the chick and trees.

8. You can put anything on an Easter tree.

Not sure if it’s a DIY or professionally made. But you have to love the collage of decor.

9. Even a pale blue house can have a spring renovation.

This one has bunnies in front of the house with trees. But the pink rose on the roof really stands out.

10. Two chimneys are sometimes better than one.

Helps that it’s pink. Has some berries between the roof and front door.

11. Perhaps a pale pink house can suit your Easter fancy.

It has the bunnies with eggs. Though the window edging appears to resemble seashells.

12. Bunnies and chicks delight in an Easter tree.

This one has a craft tree with pom pom chicks on it. Love the bunny in the basket.

13. Spring birdhouses could use a few flowers.

Well, one of them is supposed to be a church. Yet, both have birds at the high holes.

14. A pink roof can always use a splash of glitter.

This yellow house has blue doors and window trim. Hope the bunny doesn’t mind looking at it.

15. A small blue church makes a lovely Easter addition.

This one has a lamb in front. But you have to admire the tall steeple.

16. A white Easter house can be just as nice.

Has a string of pearls aligning the roof. The trees are decked with Easter eggs.

17. These bunnies love their flowery home.

You’d wonder if whoever made this used wall paper. Yet, certainly has a spring feel.

18. An Easter village looks lovely in the night sky.

Okay, the sky is a board with lights on it. Nonetheless, it’s quite quaint and stunning.

19. A shiny blue church should have a purple steeple.

Has a cross on top and over the doorway. A small chick is near the glitter wall.

20. Birdhouses always shine in glitter.

Well, you put birdseed in these. Yet, one of them looks more like a bird gazebo.

21. Perhaps a quaint white cottage will do.

This one seems straight out of a storybook. And home to a cute little rabbit, too.

22. A paper house should have a certain whimsy.

The house is yellow with lattice work. And it’s topped with a light blue roof.

23. Nothing brings in an Eastery spring like a yellow church.

Has pink trees at the front with a rabbit. Like the wreath near the roof though.

24. An Easter village can always shine under the sky.

This one has a blue sky with cotton ball clouds. And the towering trees are spectacular.

25. Everyone has to love a green house with polka dots.

This one has a blue roof with flowers. Even has a girl emerging from the doorway.

26. Speaking of green houses, check out this one with moss.

This one has white shutters and green and pink Easter eggs. Like the bunny.

27. A blue church should have a couple of pink trees.

This one has a green roof with fancy edging. Though the best part of this are the windows.

28. A sea green house always needs a pink butterfly.

Not sure if I care for the pill green shade. But it makes the decor stand out.

29. Don’t forget to add a chimney.

Okay, the color isn’t the most flattering. But at least it doesn’t remind me of Prozac.

30. A lavender church has a certain Easter charm.

Has a tree with yellow flowers beside it. Great for any spring village.

31. A blue church is wondrous with a silver roof.

Has a purple steeple and a silver cross on top. And yes, it’s covered in glittery splendor.

32. An Easter house can never have too many flowers.

Yes, the flowers are fake. But at least the smoke coming from the chimney is cotton.

33. A bright blue house will bring the Easter spirit.

This one has 2 chimneys and tall windows. Love the wreath and trees though.

34. Bet this is supposed to be a candy factory.

And it’s on a jar of jelly beans, too. Has 3 different colored smokestacks with stripes.

35. An Easter house can be of all kinds of colors.

This one has pink edging with pastels on the walls. If the colors were brighter, it would’ve been an eyesore.

36. Perhaps you might like a white church with flowers.

This one seems to have retro feel to it. Not sure what the angel is here though.

37. Is that carrot supposed to be a chimney?

Well, it sure looks like it. Though I’m not sure whether it goes with the pink house or trees.

38. Even an unconventional Easter house can be like a home.

Has a ridged roof with a butterfly. Yet, the bunny is happy just the same.

39. A pale yellow house can always glimmer.

Okay, I’m not too crazy about this house since it’s color is sloppy. But I do like the tree with purple flowers.

40. Anyone would be pleased to have a white bunny at their chimney.

If it weren’t for the Easter bunny and eggs, you’d almost think it’s a Christmas house. So cute.

41. A small green house is all this bunny needs.

This one even has a little door and an egg tree. Another tree has buttons.

42. Pastel houses always show an Easter spirit.

Well, the colors may seem somewhat faded. But some of these houses retain some Easter charm.

43. A green birdhouse makes a lovely church.

This one has a cross on top with a wreath. And there’s an angel coming out from the doors.

44. A pink house can never have too many flowers.

This one has flowers on the roof and ground. Not sure what to think about the windows though.

45. An Easter house should look as sweet as candy.

This one is in bright blue with peppermints near the roof. Like the door and window decorations though.

46. A pink peppermint house always brings spring in.

Doesn’t have as many candy decorations, but the bunny is adorable. Love it.

47. How about a house brimming with flowers?

Well, this one seems covered in vines. Everything seems to grow wild here.

48. Perhaps a small pink house will do well for the chicks.

This one has a silver roof and a pink flower. But the chicks appear to love it.

49. You may prefer a small blue cottage.

Sure it may not seem like much. But you have to like the bunny and Easter egg in the front.

50. Chicks would certainly dig this white Easter house.

Though I think they’re busier with a shoe at the moment. Still, this is rather quaint.

51. An Easter house like this is bound to make anyone happy.

Well, it says “happy” on the roof. Wonder if it’s part of a set. Like the bunny with a carrot.

52. Easter can’t be Easter without spring flowers.

This one has a girl in a flower dress. There are even flowers above the windows and in a basket.

53. A light blue house always endears chicks.

This one has some vibrant Easter decorations like what’s between the windows. And yes, there are the chicks in a shoe.

54. A silver bunny loves a house with pink flowers.

Let’s hope that’s not a real chocolate bunny. Because that would be a waste of valuable candy.

55. Nothing shows the Easter charm like a pink house.

It even says “Easter” above the door. Though I love the flowers and bow.

56. Flower boxes always give a nice springtime touch.

Each of these is outside the window and filled with flowers in their spring glory. Love it.

57. A purple and blue Easter house can have a whimsical touch.

This one has a rather unique design. But you have to love the flowers and bunnies. So pretty.

58. A purple house has spring in the air.

Even comes iwth a purple tree. Love the chick within the purple fence.

59. Spring is always quaint with a simple blue cottage.

Comes with a little red wagon with a flower wreath. Includes flowers, a bunny, and a basket of eggs.

60. Bunnies and chicks frolic at this purple house.

This one has images of chicks and bunnies taken from cards. Even has flowers between the windows.

61. You can make your garden grown in the early spring time.

The tree has all kinds of white berries. Includes a flower box, too.

62. A slant roof house can have Easterly flair.

Has “Happy Easter” on the roof. And it’s decked with purple bows and a string of purple pearls.

63. A blue house should come with a matching butterfly.

Its roof has blue and yellow trim on the roof. Yet, you got to love the flowers, bunnies, and tree.

64. Green flowers stand out on a yellow house.

This one has green flowers on the roof and the fence. Also comes with chicks.

65. A yellow and green house should come with purple flowers.

This one seems like you’d see in a storybook illustration. Yet, the flowers add a certain spring charm.

66. A purple house ought to have golden window trim.

This one has bunnies and a basket of eggs. Love the wreath and trees.

67. An Easter house needs to have flowers outside the windows.

This one is blue with a yellow roof and front door. Includes bunnies, chicks, and an Easter egg tree.

68. A porcelain shop should shimmer in glitter.

These are painted, by the way. One is a flower shop while the other is a café.

69. A gnome should feel cozy in this Easter trailer.

This one has flowers and a butterfly on top. Love the white tree branch.

70. A blue Easter cottage should brighten any spring day.

This one has a lovely ribbon above the windows. And there’s a little girl near the door.

71. A purple bunny will adore a purple house.

Comes with purple roses on the roof and near the Easter eggs. So pretty.

72. An Easter angel always loves a house of blue and pink.

The angel is even holding a tray of Easter eggs. Also has plenty of flowers just below the roof.

73. Chicks love an Easter house filled with flowers.

This one has daisy above the windows. Though you have to love the chicks in the flower wagon.

74. Sometimes a blue house has a quality spring simplicity.

This one has a blue butterfly and tree. Also contains white bunnies and bows.

75. An Easter egg tree should have its own stand.

This is a purple tree with pastel Easter eggs. And it’s all topped with a golden bow.

76. Bunnies always love to go to a country church.

This one is white with a blue roof. And its front is brimming with flowers.

77. Perhaps bunnies might prefer a simple cottage.

This is a plainer Easter house than most on this post. Has moss on the roof and grass on the ground.

78. A purple house should come with a green roof and flowers.

The flowers are even in boxes. Love the basket and bunny. So lovely.

79. A pink church should always come with pink flowers.

The roof is of golden paint. Comes with pink bunnies and a basket of Easter eggs.

80. A curved roof has a special spring whimsy to it.

Well, it has curved roofs on 2 stories. Yet, it’s decorated with spring flowers.

81. A blue house can make the springtime oh so pleasant.

Has flowers outside the window in boxes and outside the fence. Like the wreath and basket.

82. A pink Easter house has a unique simplicity.

Just has some white and a pink fence. The white tree particularly stands out.

83. Sometimes two roof points are better than one.

This is a pink house with green bows. Love the white deer and flowers.

84. Spring into Easter with this purple glitter house.

Well, it has “Easter” on the yellow roof. Comes with purple flowers and bunnies galore.

85. A yellow curved house always needs spring flowers.

This one has trees with eggs. Like how the flowers are around the base, roof, and chimney.

86. You’d almost think this house was an Easter neighborhood.

Each roof point has flowers on top. But only comes with one door in the middle.

87. A spring house should brim with spring flowers.

This pink house has flowers all over from base to roof. But I like the ones above the windows the best.

88. A pink house brings everything in its spring glory.

Has flowers in the windows along with a basket of eggs. And the chimneys make it especially imposing.

89. A blue house can stun with a purple roof.

This one has a flowers growing from the garden and on a wreath. So pretty.

90. Care for a plaid roof church?

Well, a plaid roof doesn’t look too bad. Also comes with an Easter egg tree.

91. If you love green, this idyllic putz house is for you.

This one even has deer to herald the coming of spring. So lovely.

92. A pink house should be atop of a pink nest.

Even has colorful streamers coming out of the chimney. Quite festive if you ask me.

93. Perhaps you might want to go with a green house with a striped roof.

Okay, that’s pretty tacky. And the striped pattern even lines the chimney. Yikes.

94. A small blue house can bring out small yellow flowers.

Comes with an array of bottle cleaner trees. Includes a girl in a raincoat.

95. It’s always spring when you’re near this yellow house.

Comes with a bejeweled butterfly on the roof. Yet, the chick and pink teddy bear are adorable.

96. A bright blue house always inspires a springtime splendor.

Includes a striped flower and pink butterfly. And you’ll find a girl near the door.

97. Of course, you can always go with a simple white house.

This one has a pink bike against the wall. Yet, I love the flower on top.

98. A small cottage should always stand out with some flowers.

Has a blue and yellow flower on the pink roof. But the bunnies seem to enjoy it.

99. A blue house stands out on Easter with pink decorations.

Has a pink butterfly and bows along with blue flowers. on the ground there are white rabbits and trees.

100. A chick would love to live in this pink coop.

Though the chick seems a bit large for the hole. Though I think it’s quite creative.

The Sweet Candy World of Gingerbread Architecture (Second Edition)

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Now we go to the gingerbread houses. For many families decorating their very own gingerbread house with candy is a tradition. Often children build these with their parents’ help, usually decorating them with frosting and candy. Though the tradition is alive in some places in Europe than others. In Sweden, people make their gingerbread houses on Saint Lucy’s Day. And since 1991, the people of Bergen, Norway have built a gingerbread city called Pepperkakebyen which is the largest of such in the world. Washington D.C. also builds its own “Gingertown” every year as well. So far the world’s biggest gingerbread house was built in 2013 in Bryan, Texas by a group to raise funds for a hospital trauma center. The house was 2,520-square feet and comprised of 2,925 pounds of brown sugar, 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs and 7,200 pounds of general purpose flour. The world’s largest gingerbread village was created by an executive sous-chef at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel which comprised of 135 residential and 22 commercial buildings. It even included trains and cable cars made of gingerbread. Nevertheless, a gingerbread house doesn’t have to be an actual house, which can range from a small cabin to a castle. Sometimes you might see gingerbread churches, stadiums, museums, and other structures. Anyway, for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of delectable gingerbread houses.

  1. Come over to this gingerbread amusement park.

Includes a carousel and a ferris wheel. All decorated in frosting and candy goodness.

2. Perhaps you may be charmed by this stone church.

Sure it may not have the lavish candy decorations. But you have to love the ornate windows.

3. A gingerbread house should be decked with boughs of holly.

Has a roof covered with snow. Seems like a rather old-fashioned place with an old timey car.

4. Sometimes it’s best to start simple.

Has candy covered on the roof with frosting on the edges. Includes an iced porch with a candy cane column.

5. This castle is the stuff of fairy tales.

This one has several towers with rich detail. Includes gingerbread trees as well.

6. Christmas is always a festive time of year at this Victorian house.

This beautiful house has it all festive for Christmas. Got to admire the detail on this.

7. A gingerbread castle always delights those in the happiest place on earth.

This is a depiction of Cinderella’s castle in all its Christmas glory. And yes, the wreath is in the shape of Mickey Mouse.

8. A charming gingerbread house should include a space for plants.

This one has a greenhouse made of pretzel sticks and jello. Still, makes a rather quaint home with the Christmas decorations.

9. You’d almost think this was a village inspired by Mother Goose.

And in a way it is, since it includes most of the characters from Mother Goose rhymes. But it only comprises of 3 buildings.

10. How about a small, stone Christmas cottage?

You can easily find a house like this in your neighborhood. Still, you have to love the Christmas decorations on this and the greenery.

11. Even a lavish hotel can certainly deck the halls.

I’m not sure what this building’s called. But it’s surely decorated for the holidays nonetheless.

12. Of course, you can’t have Christmas without including a nativity scene.

Since I didn’t include one in my gingerbread post last year. And yes, this one has an inn in the background.

13. Perhaps a gingerbread pagoda will suit your taste.

And we have this one shining like a pillar on its foundation. Like the white roof. So pretty.

14. A gingerbread church should be in its most festive.

This one is certainly fit for Candyland. Got to love the beautiful pillars of candy.

15. Those in warmer weather might want to consider this gingerbread beach cabin.

Includes a surfboard and lifesaver. Not sure whether that’s brown sugar or sand. But to each his own.

16. Care to take a look inside Santa’s bakery?

Inside you have Santa with the tree as well as Mrs. Claus and her helpers. Though the sleigh and reindeer are outside.

17. I guess you call this a Santaland fun fair.

Yes, it’s another gingerbread amusement park. But this one even has a fun slide and fun house.

18. A fancy gingerbread house needs to include every trimming.

This one has candy cane columns and all kinds of sweet stuff. But the design is so charming.

19. Care for a carriage ride.

Yes, this is a gingerbread horse drawn carriage. Like they had in the olden days. Though a ride in this thing wouldn’t have been pleasant back then.

20. Hope you can hold your candy canes for this wild ride.

I guess this is a local attraction. Nevertheless, you have to admire the structure since a gingerbread roller coaster seems hard to pull off.

21. Hop aboard on the Popcorn Express.

Last year’s gingerbread post I had a gingerbread train station. This year it’s a gingerbread train with popcorn smoke.

22. For a Christmas without snow, a gingerbread sandcastle may suit your fancy.

Caption reads: “Kristen Coniaris with her giant gingerbread house cookie sandcastle decorated with royal icing, ground cookies, candy for Viacom’s holiday beach party.”

23. And I see bakeries are getting in the act of gingerbread competition.

Yes, bakeries do compete in gingerbread contests. Still, I really love the candy roof on this one.

24. A gingerbread house like this is all too sweet to not love.

Includes heart candy decor on the roof and candy cane columns. And yes, the previous one is in a similar style.

25. You might be fond of this gingerbread house underwater.

Yes, this is an undersea gingerbread house. Like how the roof is covered in clams.

26. Even a gingerbread log cabin can look spectacular.

This one is covered in pretzel sticks instead of gingerbread. But it’s included in this post since it abides by the form.

27. If you’re sick, how about go to a gingerbread hospital?

Well, this is kind of cute. Though the horse drawn ambulance kind of keeps me from getting any treatment there. Because I could tell their doctors must practice some kind of Civil War era medicine.

28. Any Christmas village deserves its own Christmas cathedral.

Okay, it’s more a castle. But it certainly has lofty towers and walls. Love it.

29. Those who love the 1960s might want to see this hippie gingerbread house.

Has a bright colored house with surfboards and a VW bus. Groovy, isn’t it?

30. Perhaps you might prefer a brick home with fancy lattice.

Yes, it’s another fancy home on this post. And though this photo doesn’t show the porch, it has a dog house in the back yard.

31. If you love Pixar, you might adore this Up gingerbread house.

The balloons are made of jelly beans. But you have to like how it’s floating over the base.

32. How about an island gingerbread hut for starters?

This one has shredded wheat on its roof for straw. Also, uses fruit roll ups for a hammock and towels.

33. You can always let it snow on this white gingerbread house.

Comes with green candy cane columns and wreaths on the windows. So lovely and cozy.

34. You’d almost mistake this place for an old timey homestead.

Yes, it looks quite quaint for a rustic home. Yet, you have to admire the green shutters on the windows.

35. Now this is what you call a perfect Christmas house.

This one seems like a place Santa himself could live in at the North Pole. Got to adore the snow covered red roof.

36. Sometimes it’s all in the tiny details when it comes to gingerbread.

Comes with a green roofed sun room. And yes, it’s all decked for the holiday season.

37. How about a small winter castle?

Sure it’s on the small side for fairy tale establishments. But it’s quite picturesque. Oh, the wonders you can do with frosting.

38. Perhaps you might want gingerbread abode in a Tudor style.

Certainly seems like the kind of home you’d see in a fairy tale village. Doesn’t seem to have a lot of Christmas decorations though.

39. Bag End looks ready for the holiday season.

It took me awhile to realize this by the way. At first, I thought the guy with the shaggy beard was Hagrid. Now I realize it’s Thorin.

40. You’d be in a winter wonderland with this white castle.

At least they don’t serve burgers here. Still, it’s quite a majestic sight.

41. Enjoy your island stay in one of these gingerbread huts.

This one consists of 3 huts on a porch. And they’re all in front of a beach.

42. Those who enjoy Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas will enjoy this gingerbread house.

This is Cindy Lou Who’s house where the Grinch first stopped. You can see the lights from the sack.

43. A green gingerbread house can always make things more festive.

Has a lovely façade with wonderful Christmas decorations. I suppose the Christmas tree is an ice cream cone with frosting.

44. Seems like we got ourselves a colorful candy factory.

Seems like the kind of factory you’d expect if you had a child of Willy Wonka and Lisa Frank enter in the confection business. Though let’s not dwell on the working conditions here.

45. A red brick church can always bring in the holiday spirit.

Caption: “Boyajian made a replica of the St. Aloysius Church near Dieterich out of gingerbread. He and a friend even measured the outside of the church so he could make it to scale. He spent more than 200 hours on the project.”

46. Perhaps this gingerbread caravel will enchant you.

Yes, it certainly looks very majestic. However, real wooden ships were hellholes with cramped spaces, spoiled food, shitting, and disease.

47. A gingerbread carousel should always delight.

You may not be able to go on the carousel during the Christmas season. But this is nonetheless charming.

48. Santa Toy Works seems incredibly busy these days.

Love the bright colors they used on this one. Hope those presents get made in no time.

49. Here we have Santa at some beach house down on the shore.

Well, someone must be kicking back near the waves. Hope Santa doesn’t get too hot.

50. Seems like someone’s waiting for something.

This one almost looks like a miniature of a McMansion. The stonework is incredible.

51. For a more modern flair, how about Fallingwater?

To be fair, Fallingwater is basically overrated as far as architecture’s concerned. If you want to visit Fayette County, you’re better off spending your afternoon at Fort Necessity.

52. I’m sure no gingerbread man wants to be put away in this place.

Well, one for a western town, anyway. Still, it lights up from the inside.

53. Someone’s Model T needs a few repairs.

Never thought I’d see a gingerbread mechanic’s shop before. And an old timey one at that.

54. How about a lovely rustic barn?

This one has trees, red doors and trim, and all the animals galore. So quaint.

55. You see this small ship departing from this gingerbread harbor.

Almost resembles a postcard. Got to love the lighthouse here.

56. You’ll find plenty to discover at this castle.

This is quite interesting. Not necessarily Hogwarts. But quite stunning just the same.

57. Boston Red Sox fans will love this gingerbread Fenway Park.

Though I’m sure there’s a gingerbread of Yankee stadium for New York Yankee fans seething at this. Still, I’m not sure why it’s green.

58. This gingerbread igloo is great in the snow and ice.

This one has little gingerbread bricks with reindeer and an Inuit on a sled. So adorable.

59. Nothing can match this gingerbread cuckoo clock.

This one almost resembles the real thing. Though it’s not nearly as annoying.

60. Seems like Gondor has called for aid.

Yes, that’s a gingerbread reenactment of the Battle of Gondor from Return of the King. And those are gummies in the epic fight.

61. You’d almost think this was a high class tower house.

In a way it is. Kind of reminds me of something you’d see from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Includes a nice patio though.

62. Seems like this house got some snow.

This almost looks like a model. Love the rich detail on this Victorian. So lovely.

63. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

Got to like the tornado in this one. How this pulled it off, I’ll never know.

64. A quaint cottage should always come with a thatched roof.

Almost seems like a quality fairy tale home. So lovey with the stone foundation and wooden beams.

65. Now this is the ultimate gingerbread winter palace.

And yes, it’s certainly huge beyond belief. But you have to love the towers.

66. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at this gingerbread store.

Contains display windows at the first floor. A great place to shop during the holidays.

67. Have a wonderful Christmas thanks to this tree place.

Here we have Santa with a nice tree decorated already. And there are still some trees outside.

68. Santa always makes sure to visit the treehouse.

Though he appears to want to be somewhere else. Not that I blame him either.

69. So Santa lives in a castle at the North Pole.

Nevertheless, it’s a pastel house with candy cane edging all over. Bet it smells like peppermints.

70. Then again, Santa’s house could easily be a green and red Tudor.

Though I think it would better with dark green beams. Includes a stone foundation with a staircase.

71. A red carousel can always evoke the Christmas season.

This one includes a generous amount of red and green frosting with flowers. And I bet the top includes lace decoration.

72. A simple storefront always seems quaint during the holidays.

Well, doesn’t seem to use a lot of decorations. Though you can see Santa on a roof. So lovely.

73. Here you’ll find a white stone house covered in ivy.

Yes, it seems like nature has dominated this place. Though you can see a couple of Christmas wreaths.

74. For the small and mobile bunch, perhaps a gingerbread camper might do.

Has a Christmas tree tied to the top. Thought it was supposed to go inside.

75. Hop aboard onto Rudolph Air.

It’s a Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer airplane. Not necessarily in line with Christmas lore, but I don’t mind.

76. You might find a bird singing in this gingerbread bird cage.

I see it’s supposed to emanate some of the 12 Days of Christmas. Though I don’t think that song actually makes any sense.

77. You’d almost think things got crazy at this place.

This one kind of reminds you of what you’d see in Whoville. Because you wouldn’t see a house like this in real life.

78. Somehow an elf can have a bed and breakfast at the North Pole.

Though it has fine Christmas decorations as well as red and green trimmings. So lovely.

79. Hope you can spend some time alongside this gingerbread mill.

Comes with a waterwheel. But still has a Christmas wreath for the season.

80. Perhaps you want to spend Christmas in this cozy red house.

This is quite lovely. Has a yellow roof and Christmas decorations all around. So pretty.

81. You’d almost swear they were celebrating near a Chinese shrine.

Okay, it might be for Chinese New Year which is in February. But it’s nonetheless stunning just the same.

82. This gingerbread structure will certainly take you back in time.

Though some people in the past might not get why Dr. Who has Christmas decorations on his Tardis. This is especially if they’re from ancient times.

83. For Native Americans on the Plains, you might want to consider a gingerbread teepee.

This one has an Indian near a campfire. And yes, the teepee’s covered in candy like the houses.

84. Seems there’s a lot of flotsam and jetsam floating near this dock.

This one has a yacht club building. But yes, the water doesn’t look great here.

85. Nothing makes a German Christmas better than a gingerbread Neuschwanstein.

This is a Bavarian castle built by the mad king Ludwig II. But it’s nevertheless spectacular.

86. “That’s no moon. That’s a gingerbread space station.”

Yes, that’s a gingerbread Death Star from Return of the Jedi. And yes, it’s pretty awesome.

87. You’d swear this was part of a Mother Goose extravaganza.

I know it’s another gingerbread Mother Goose. But it’s nonetheless charming with its skinny houses.

88. How about a country home with wood for the fire?

This one has snow on the roof and wood on the side. But all the decorations it needs is a wreath at the door.

89. How about a fun time on the beach during the fair?

Well, a beach front Christmas does seem rather enchanting. Has a gingerbread ferris wheel with a wreath.

90. “Oh, no, it’s the Giant man-eating Gingerbread Man! Run for your lives!”

Kind of reminds you of those monster movies. Still, this is really hilarious I had to put it on the post.

91. Guess the title of this is “Christmas in Seattle.”

Since it has the Space Needle, you can guess this is Seattle. Still, the skyscraper is magnificent.

92. A gingerbread Mount Vernon brings great tidings for the season.

Sure it’s not white like the real thing. But it contains the red roof and outbuildings. Can’t help but love it.

93. This Victorian gingerbread has all the touches for the holidays.

Has lights on the roof and garlands on the edging. Got to love the decorations on this .

94. This AT-AT is ready for festive celebration.

Yes, this is a walker from Star Wars decked as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Yes, you know how nerds celebrate this time of year.

95. There’s no temple of knowledge as spectacular as the Smithsonian.

It’s one of the best places in Washington D.C. Mostly because it’s one of the few areas you’ll never see Donald Trump visiting. And yes, this castle is truly a spectacular sight.

96. A yellow and pink gingerbread house has a unique house.

This one certainly stands out with a Christmas tree on the first floor. So lovely.

97. Somehow this boot had been turned upside down.

Well, that’s pretty clever. Even has rooms you can look inside. Love it.

98. I’m sure you’ll be enthralled by this palace from Agraba.

Yes, this is the sultan’s palace from Aladdin. And I’m sure the minaret tops are made from gelatin. Great for any Arabian night.

99. This gingerbread swing ride will certainly give you a thrill.

While I’ve seen gingerbread ferris wheels, I haven’t seen anything like this. And in pure gingerbread fashion, it even has Christmas motifs.

100. The Force is strong in this gingerbread display from Return of the Jedi.

This one includes Jabba’s palace, Endor, and the second Death Star. Perfect for any Star Wars fan.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas with These Village Houses (Third Edition)

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As with last year and the year before, it’s on to the Christmas village houses. Though what you might see may be a store shelf, they’re nevertheless dazzling for any Christmas home. For the big hobbyists, a Christmas village may take a lot of time and space to assemble. Which explains why me and my family don’t have one. Though some might use some kind of arrangement like a shelf or cabinet. Not to mention, many of these houses may come with accessories like Christmas trees and reindeer. Still, do a search on these houses and you’ll find plenty in bright colors and glitter which can either go on your display mantle, table, or train tracks. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of Christmas villages and houses for your very own winter wonderland.

  1. Put all your small glitter houses on one tree.

Each one of them has lights inside. Comes with glitter trees, too. Think glitter trees on a tree.

2. A yellow church should have its own clock tower.

And that clock tower should have a roof with glitter and cotton snow. To make it more Christmasy.

3. Sometimes everything’s better with beads.

The church’s glittery façade may seem rather fades. But it’s enhanced with the bead decoration and tree.

4. For a more perky winter wonderland, try glittery pastels for size.

Consists of a house, church, and gazebo. Each is decorated with jewels. So pretty.

5. How about a glittery house in snowy white?

Looks like it’s a magical snowy day. Has a reindeer in the front. Like the trees, too.

6. You’d almost imagine this village on a snowy mountain.

It’s a shelf with ice and snow decor and a blue background. Goes nicely with the seasonal decorations.

7. You can even make your own Christmas village with ceramic.

This consists of 3 houses and a church surrounding a Christmas tree. And it’s in purple.

8. How about a nice cardboard cottage?

Sure it might seem like minimum effort. But the windows on this house are amazing.

9. A Christmas village shelf could always be decked with evergreen garland.

Each row contains an array of houses with lights inside. The top shelf contains the church.

10. You can have your own winter wonderland covered in snow in your very own house.

This one even has its own train track. Yes, these Christmas village displays can be very elaborate indeed.

11. Any winter wonderland should have a few icicles.

After all, you can’t just use cotton snow. But be sure to have a white tree on top.

12. You can always get creative with church design.

This one has some sloped roofs which gives a modernist impression. Though I’m not sure about the tree.

13. Is that supposed to be a church or a schoolhouse?

I guess it could go either way. But you have to like the bell on this tower. So quaint.

14. For a more retro look, perhaps a house in pink and blue?

The roof is even striped. A few retro looking trees should go along with it nicely, too.

15. There’s nothing as enchanting as a church in pink and white.

This one has large windows and white trees. The fence surrounding it adds a certain charm to it as well.

16. Your small house could always be in certain print.

This one has a tree, red bells, and carolers. And the walls depict Christmas trees all over it.

17. You can make even set a print house in a Christmas mood if you just add tinsel.

This is a DIY as you see. But you can make it Christmasy by adding beads and tinsel trimmings.

18. You can let it snow with a few houses in blue.

Doesn’t seem to be made out of the usual materials. But you can’t resist it just the same.

19. Any Christmas village can be quite stunning at night.

Each structure here is all in glitter with a certain Christmas charm. Love the lights.

20. Nothing celebrates the season like a house in red and green.

This one kind of reminds me of something you see in Dr. Seuss. Still, like the windows.

21. A Christmas village could contain trees of all kinds of colors.

Love to see a village like this. Of course, this is probably from a store. But to each his own.

22. There’s nothing precious like a Christmas house in gold.

But be sure to add a wreath and trees. And put it next to a small Christmas tree.

23. A Christmas village can be of any size. Sometimes it all takes a couple houses and a church.

The houses are blue while the church is white. Don’t forget to add trees and reindeer.

24. You can’t go wrong with a quaint red brick house on a hill.

And it seems like St. Nick has stopped for a visit. Still, you have to admire the columns ad roof. Could easily see a house like this in Scottdale.

25. A feathery trim can give your village a winter touch.

You’d almost think this was a Christmas village on ice. It’s not but it’s nevertheless spectacular.

26. Bring the winter magic with a glitter pink house.

This one has pink beads in front. But you have to like the tinsel and the windows.

27. A winter house should always be covered in snow.

Doesn’t hurt that it’s white either. Comes with 2 trees and a reindeer.

28. If you like candle light, you might want to go with these apartment buildings.

You use these to cover the candles after you light them. Love the snow covered roofs. So pretty.

29. You’d swear a real snow came blowing at this house.

Like how they made the icicles. Still, ,the trees and snow covered roof make it ideal for the holidays.

30. Doesn’t hurt to deck the halls with boughs of holly.

Sure enough, this house is decorated with holly. Contains trees, a bow, and a Santa.

31. You might want a quaint Christmas with this barn.

Though it’s made from a tobacco pouch causes some concern. then again, to each his own.

32. Sometimes simplicity is always the best.

This one doesn’t use a lot of decorations. But it goes with any winter scene just the same.

33. You can always have your own Christmas village under the tree.

Though I can’t really have that since I have a dog in my house. Then my sister visits and brings her dog for Christmas. And you can see where that’s going.

34. Each village house should come with its own characteristics.

You have a house with smoke coming out of the chimney. You have another with lights. The third has a snowman.

35. Any snowman would love to be near this pink house.

This one has snow on the roof among other trimmings. Like the trees. So pretty.

36. Sometimes your village can always go small.

Well, the houses seem smaller. But the church stands out quite beautifully.

37. A white house should always be one with ice and snow.

Yes, certainly gives a magical feel. Like the wreath and trees.

38. Perhaps a pink house may suit your fancy.

Make sure to decorate it with a couple of Christmas trees. Still, seems like we have Santa in the front.

39. Sometimes it can’t hurt to go all fancy for the holidays.

This one even has a poodle in front. Got to love the beads on the roof. So stunning.

40. Care to stop at the bakery?

I don’t often see glitter shops. But when I come across this one, I just had to add it.

41. You might care for a simple blue house this Christmas.

This one has 2 trees and a deer with a bow. Even has the snowy roof to match.

42. Perhaps you’d like a church in brilliant blue?

This one has snow on the roof and tower. Comes with a beautiful matching tree.

43. A white church with pink and blue can always bring the holiday spirit.

This one seems like a little girl’s dream. Got to love the tree with the beads.

44. You can always celebrate the season with a white house covered in snow.

This one seems like a snowy place. Love the red trim on the windows. Seems so cozy.

45. Nothing makes a small village come alive like a small stream.

Almost resembles a painting. Love the rocks, river, and trees.

46. It sometimes helps Santa if you have candles in the window.

Though the candles are obviously drawn. But they give it a lovely Christmas charm.

47. Perhaps you might want glitter houses near your train.

Well, makes for a rather charming yuletide village. Love these houses.

48. Might want to go for a green house with a red tower.

This one has a wreath, tree, and reindeer. Love the snow on the roof with the red chimneys.

49. You’d swear someone was snowed in here.

Everything’s snow covered in this one. Sure it’s not flashy. But it’s great for the holiday season just the same.

50. A pink house should be a fine addition to any winter wonderland.

This one has two wreaths on the roof that have a rose and a bow. But the other decorations are just as quaint.

51. How about a Christmas village under the stars?

This one consists of a bunch of houses surrounding a church. A lovely show of lights.

52. A few houses can always enhance the neighborhood.

Consists of two small houses of gray and pink along with a bigger blue house. Like the wreath though.

53. Sometimes you might want to go with a more modern design.

This one is a light green house with jewels along the roof. The Christmas tree on the chimney adds a more festive touch.

54. This little house bids Season’s Greetings.

Sure it’s not as spectacular as the other glitter houses on here. But it’s a neat design.

55. Perhaps you might want your village to have a quaint schoolhouse.

Okay, this is a schoolhouse. This one is white with a bell tower. Great for any village display during the holidays.

56. Yet, perhaps you might want a red schoolhouse instead?

This one’s decorated with tinsel, ornaments, and a wreath. Like the tree on the door.

57. A set of glitter houses like these belongs on any Christmas mantle.

This one is in a more retro fashion to evoke the era of aluminum Christmas trees. Though you have to love the colors.

58. White houses always make the holiday spirit bright.

Each of these white houses has a glitter roof to emanate snow. One of these has a star in front.

59. Maybe you’d prefer to have a golden chapel for your village?

This one has jingle bell in its tower and snow on the roof. Like the decorations, too.

60. It always helps if you can light up the river and the lake.

Yes, it certainly looks pretty magical. Got to love the lights and trees. So pretty.

61. A green village shelf is always festive with the season.

This one almost looks like a Christmas tree. Though there’s not a lot of cotton snow on it. Love it.

62. Seems here you don’t know where the tree ends and the putz village begins.

Though I’m not sure what to think about the tree. But the village is simply stunning.

63. Show off your village to the neighborhood with this shelf.

Each shelf has houses along snow and lights. Great for any holiday home.

64. A small church on a pedestal could suit your fancy.

This one even has a flag on the tower. Like the wreath on the front, too.

65. Christmas lights make any village a winter wonderland to see.

It’s even against a mountain backdrop and has a train track. Love the tree with the star.

66. Guess this must be a town hall.

This is a red structure with a clock tower. Has a snow covered roof and trees.

67. Sometimes you just have to put glitter houses around a lake.

And sometimes the lake has to be a mirror. Love the lights and bright colors.

68. Occasionally, you might want a tower for your pink house.

This one also has garlands, trees, and a dog. And it’s surrounded with a white fence.

69. A Christmas house should always be a source of light from within.

Comes with two wreaths on the roof. On the bottom, you have plenty of Christmas trees and spacious windows.

70. You might prefer this small white church.

This one just has a tower with a sloping blue roof. Unique in all respects.

71. Sometimes it’s best to go with a ridged roof and balcony.

Sure it might not be glamorous. But you have to like the golden balcony and pink foundation.

72. A brick Christmas house is all the more cozy.

Comes with Christmas trees, candles, and a snowman. Such a lovely cottage, isn’t it?

73. A pink church can always evoke the holiday spirit.

This one has some vintage style Christmas trees. Got to love the snow roof.

74. Perhaps you might like a house with simple Christmas decorations.

This small glitter house has a Christmas tree, a wreath, a snowman, a garland on the fence, and Santa on the roof. Kind of wish Santa had reindeer with him though.

75. A pink and white church should come with its own tree.

Sure it’s not as spectacular as some of the other churches on here. The decorations are in gold and white.

76. A blue house should be decked with a string of beads.

Comes with a matching tree of blue, gold, and black baubles. Love the wreath, too.

77. How about a pink house with a bow?

This one has a wreath and a matching tree as well. So pretty.

78. For a more festive holiday season, may I suggest a purple church?

Has roses on the tower as well as a fancy tree beside it. And it stands on a cup with a flower.

79. Nothing’s more cozy for Christmas like a white house with pink trimmings.

Has strings of beads on the roof as well as trees on the base. So lovely isn’t it?

80. Perhaps a house with polka dots can make your season bright.

This one has a bow on it along with the Christmas tree beside it. So adorable for any village.

81. A white church should always have snow covered trees.

Has a golden glittery roof and a wreath. Like the tower window. So stunning.

82. Nothing’s charming like a white cottage with a red roof.

This seems like it was made from cardboard. Has a wreath and gold trim.

83. Christmas houses can always shine with some glitter.

Each of these has glitter in different places. One has glitter all over. The others have it only on the roof.

84. Perhaps a house with a star window will do.

It’s covered with snow on the roof and fence. Includes trees and a snowman.

85. Sometimes it helps if all the buildings were the same style.

Each one here is white with a gold roof. and they’re all against a pink base and a blue background.

86. A glitter village always brings a show of color during the holidays.

This one is against a forest and mountain background. And it even has a cute little Christmas train.

87. How about a small Christmas village in a box?

This one might have very small putz houses inside. But you have to admire this tiny winter wonderland.

88. Glitter can make any church shine.

Has a fence and two golden trees. Still, you have to admire the tower. So pretty.

89. A red church should always be with the season.

Has a wreath on the tower and Christmas trees on the base. Like the snow on the roof.

90. A sloped house should come with all the trimmings.

Has 3 snow covered towers along the snow covered roof. Decorations include 4 trees and 3 wreaths.

91. A white tower house should make any holiday season bright.

This one has a interesting tower design along with windows and gold Christmas trees. So stunning.

92. It wouldn’t be a church without stain glass windows.

After all, most churches have stained glass windows in real life. Still, this one comes with carolers.

93. A turquoise house should shine bright during the holidays.

Decorated with tinsel and jewels along with a wreath, sled, snowman and trees. Love it.

94. A bright blue house should come with extra trimmings for the Christmas season.

Has metal decorations along with two wreaths on the roof. Like the snowman and sled.

95. A pink snow covered house should always sparkle.

Has trees and wreaths for decorations. Got to love the reindeer in front.

96. How about a cabin made of logs?

Well, this is a neat design. Like the green roof and the Santa in front.

97. Sometimes you need a bit of paradise when it snows.

Though a flamingo in a lei is kind of tacky if you ask me. Still, it goes nicely with the house.

98. Sometimes pastel colors can make the season shine.

This one has plenty of decorations in the front on a snowy base. So pretty.

99. Santa wishes everyone “Happy Holidays.”

This is a blue house with a red roof. And yes, it comes with a couple of trees. But the Santa on this one is adorable.

100. Almost every Christmas house should come with its own chimney.

This one has a tower and a chimney. Includes Christmas trees and a reindeer. So pretty.