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Maruoka Castle (丸岡城, Maruoka-jō)
Sakai and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers,  Squares, Parks, Gardens
Castles, Fortresses, Towers, 
Squares, Parks, Gardens

It may seem that Japan has a large number of castles. That is not quite true. There are only 12 ancient castles left. The rest, unfortunately, were either destroyed by time or severely damaged during the war, and it was decided not to rebuild them, or were demolished because of their dilapidated condition or as a relic of the past.

One of the oldest castles has survived in the city of Sakai. This beautiful palace is considered an example of the oldest national architectural style. And it is, indeed, different from other structures that have survived to our time.

The construction of Maruoka Castle was completed in 1595. Then it was one of the most powerful defensive constructions: a deep moat around the perimeter of the complex filled with water, high bulk wall, loopholes, thick walls. All this made the castle virtually impregnable.

Gradually, little huts were built around it, in which peasants wishing to be under the protection of the castle owner settled. Thus, over time, a small palace with protective walls turned into a city, well-fortified and ready for sieges.

Throughout its existence, Maruoka Castle has changed a large number of owners. Each family that settled in the castle, tried to decorate and improve it. And, of course, paid attention to its defensive qualities. Therefore, by the middle of the 19th century, the castle's appearance had significantly changed: from the original structure, there were only thick walls, several floors, and a unique stone roof, lined with a huge number of thin stone plates.

For the 400th anniversary of the construction of the castle, the regional authorities decided to build a park around it. By the way, the garden had existed here almost forever. But its fate was tragic: when the castle was built, a lot of sakura trees were planted near it, which should have softened the harsh architecture of the building. But then the trees were cut down to build houses in their place. A few decades later, the garden was revived. However, many trees were burned during one of the wars. The modern park was planned according to ancient drawings to replicate the original intent of the creators as much as possible.

Today, Maruoka Castle houses a small but fascinating historical museum. Antique household items, weapons, national costumes, and a lot of information about the history of the castle itself attract visitors who want to learn more about Japanese culture.

Address: Maruoka Castle

Published by

Anna Sh

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