Masters & Masons: Meet the Castle Builders

Masters & Masons: Meet the Castle Builders

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 8:00pm

Credit: PBS

How were machines and men organized to create such colossal fortifications? Using CGI and dramatic reconstructions, Castle Builders is the story of the architectural vision behind the building of the great Medieval Castles of Europe, and unearths the human story of those who labored to build them. Masters & Masons: Meet the Castle Builders airs on WXXI-TV with 3 back-to-back episodes (with minimal breaks in between) starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

Masters & Masons

The masons and laborers who did the hard work; the geniuses of design and structural engineering who imagined these medieval mega-structures; and the kings and barons who commissioned them. This episode outlines how the history of the Middle Ages – Wars in France and England, the Inquisition and the Reformation, required and shaped these monuments in stone, and how the castles changed the course of that history.

Seige & Storm

This is the story of castles under attack. The Medieval journey from bows and arrows to gunpowder, with developments like trebuchet and cannon, meant engineers were always making advancements in defense construction. By the late Middle Ages, the military importance of castles was decreasing, as artillery power became unstoppable. The castle builders had created structures that were amazingly effective even in this new age of shock and awe.

Dreams & Decorations

Increasingly the role of castles changed from being military fortresses to becoming places of symbolism and fantasy. This episode visits the elegant 15th-century apartment block that is Burg Eltz, the Disney-esque chateaux of the Loire in France, and concludes with the 19th Century Gothic Revival reconstruction of Cardiff Castle.

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