Castles: Bastions of Power

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History Documentary hosted by Nick Bolton, published by ZDF in 2019 - English narration

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Image: Castles-Bastions-of-Power-Cover.jpg

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-- Original title: "Burgen - Mythos und Wahrheit"; German edition has 4 episodes -- Impregnable fortresses, homes of the rich and beautiful, magnificent buildings brimming with power – no other type of building symbolises an epoch as representative as the castle symbolises the European Middle Ages. The first castles are wooden towers on fortified hills. But different designs are quickly developing in Europe: in France and Britain rather compact, in German-speaking countries with high mountain keep. But they are used everywhere to secure regions. In this two-part documentary we explore its history and get to the bottom of the "myth of the castle". Because in some places the legend is stronger than the reality. Dungeons where never was a prisoner, or escape tunnels where no one came through. Castles rarely offered real comfort, and there was hardly any space for the legendary knight tournaments. This documentary breathes new life into their old walls, from the small, less luxurious wooden towers of the early Middle Ages to the mighty bastions of the late Middle Ages. There are said to have been more than 40,000 of them in the German-speaking world. Those that have survived the ages still inspire our imagination today and take us back to a time long past. The documentary tells the story of the castles and fortresses with impressive documentary filming, elaborate re-enactments and 3-D animations. Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion for ZDF in Collaboration with ARTE, ZDFinfo and ZDF Enterprises

[edit] Life Behind the Walls of Europe's Castles

Castles were bastions of power. Yet, what was life like behind their walls? Part 1 of our documentary follows their development all through the Middle Ages, from simple wooden fortifications to the most elaborate strongholds and residences of knights and emperors. It takes us into their bed chambers as well as into their latrines, into their kitchens and their stables and onto their building sites. Archaeologists and historians dispel many of the myths and legends, that surround them even today.

[edit] Enemy at the Gate

Castles were bastions of power and the site of countless battles. Our documentary examines their military function from the 11th to the 16th century. When the enemy was at their gates, they had to withstand battering rams, catapults and sapping which called for ever new solutions by their defenders until, finally, large-calibre cannons spelt their end. Our journey takes us all through Europe, while historians and archaeologists will guide us through a fascinating panorama of medieval warfare.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
Video Bitrate: 4 000 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1280x720
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 FPS
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 160 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 52 min
Number Of Parts: 2
Part Size: 1.51 GB
Source: HDTV

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