Why were spiral staircases built in medieval castles?

(ORDO NEWS) — Many medieval castles had elaborately designed spiral staircases that were built between floors. They usually ran through the towers along the outer walls, with the living and manufacturing areas in the space in the middle.

You might think that the spiral staircases were built to save space, but in fact they were necessary for defensive warfare.

The spiral staircases gave the defenders an incredible advantage.

If the enemy army passed the walls and invaded the castle, then it was extremely difficult and dangerous for the knights to climb the narrow curved stairs.

The fact is that medieval spiral staircases were designed in such a way as to rise in a clockwise direction. In addition to the fact that the soldiers were forced to move in a column one at a time, they also moved forward with the left side of the body!

This was a major problem, given that the vast majority of knights wielded their weapons in their right hand.

Just a few defenders, armed with crossbows for example, could position themselves on the spiral staircases and stop the knight’s army from penetrating deeper into the castle.


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