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8-08-2015, 16:12

The Citadel

A fortress or citadel (Italian: cittadella, small city) might be built as part of the city defenses. Edward I’s castle at Caernarfon in Wales and the palace of the counts at Carcassonne combine citadels and bastides. A citadel usually had gates leading both into the city through the city wall and out to the countryside. The citadel was designed like a castle and staffed and supplied to withstand a siege. It served as an army headquarters and supply depot, and it provided a last line of defense for the residents of the town. The citadel also played a symbolic role, since it expressed the authority of its lord—the king, duke, or bishop, or their representatives—and also established the importance of the city. As an aristocratic residence, the citadel could be a luxurious palace. As a fortress, it controlled the population through its expression of awesome might in towers and walls. Since the citadel was the governmental center, it was associated with tax collection and possibly the residence of an arrogant garrison, which made the citadel and its residents the frequent focus of town ire. Rebellions centered on the citadel, and independent citizens tried to either tear them down or staff them with their own men.