Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is citadele the fortification. In this seventeenth-century plan of the fortified city of Casale Monferrato the citadel is the large star-shaped structure on the left. A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city.
It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of «city» and thus means «little city», so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. In a fortification with bastions, the citadel is the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but often forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy. It is positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. Some of the oldest known structures which have served as citadels were built by the Indus Valley Civilisation, where the citadel represented a centralised authority. The main citadel in Indus Valley was almost 12 meters tall.
The purpose of these structures, however, remains debated. Several settlements in Anatolia, including the Assyrian city of Kaneš in modern-day Kültepe, featured citadels. Kaneš’ citadel contained the city’s palace, temples, and official buildings. Reconstruction of the redoubt of Bibracte, a part of the Gaulish oppidum.
The Celts utilized these fortified cities in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. In the first millennium BCE, the Castro culture emerged in Northernwestern Portugal and Spain in the region extending from the Douro river up to the Minho, but soon expanding north along the coast, and east following the river valleys. Rebels who took power in the city but with the citadel still held by the former rulers could by no means regard their tenure of power as secure. One such incident played an important part in the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Although much of Nice was ransacked during the 1543 siege of the city, Franco-Ottoman forces besieging Nice were unable to capture its Citadel. Citadels have often been used as a last defence for a besieged army.
Locals and defending armies have often held out citadels long after the city had fallen. In the Philippines The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes often built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war. They built their so-called idjangs on hills and elevated areas. These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose.