Kings and lords resided in castles from the late Middle Ages, from the 10th through the 16th century. There was a large staff in addition to the lord, the lady (his wife), and their family. They needed a house that was comfortable and attractive for all parties involved.
King Louis XII of France built the Palace of Fontainebleau near Paris. It is a magnificent example of the High Renaissance style. The palace has extensive gardens and is open to the public. It can be visited by guided tour only; however, guides do discuss some aspects of royal life during this time period.
During the Middle Ages, most castles were owned by powerful men called "lords". They were rich and important people who lived in big houses with many servants. Their wives tended their gardens and their children were taught to ride horses and play games such as jousting and archery.
At the end of the 11th century, knights began to assemble themselves into larger groups called "cities". A few years later, they started building huge castles for their leaders to use as offices or home bases while they were on campaign. These castles usually had walls around them where other castles could deposit their weapons in exchange for safe passage. This is how cities acquired their names, such as York or London, which are found on many early documents relating to these places.
In most situations, knights shared castles with lords. Vassals were knights who were granted fiefdoms by the king. The castles were also home to the medieval orders of knights who had constructed their own fortresses. However, knights would occasionally dwell in tiny homes in the village. These were usually made from wood and packed with all their belongings. When not on campaign, they would stay in their castles or lodgings provided for them by others.
Knights were expected to be self-sufficient. Thus, they usually kept livestock (usually horses) to provide meat and milk as well as wool for clothing. They may also have grown crops but mostly used their income to pay soldiers or other members of their court. Unlike today when it is common for knights to be involved in many conflicts, they usually only fought each other in jousts or other tournaments. Or sometimes they would even band together and attack other people's castles.
There are several reasons why knights lived in tents rather than castles. First of all, tents are easy to transport which allows knights to go where the war breaks out. Also, tents can be set up in less than an hour so they could be taken down again after a battle. Last but not least, tents need little maintenance and there's no point in spending resources on building if you're going to leave it empty.
For protection and defense, people in the Middle Ages created local villages around a central lord or master. The majority of the residents resided on a manor, which included the castle, the church, the hamlet, and the surrounding farmland. The term "manor" comes from the French word for landowner or landlord: monsieur.
During the Middle Ages, most people lived in rural areas, not in cities. However, as trade increased, so did commerce and industry in some towns. Blacksmiths, carpenters, and other skilled workers often worked in shops located in town centers. They made and repaired tools, weapons, and vehicles for those who could afford them. In time, these activities became organized into corporations or businesses that employed many people.
People also began to migrate to larger settlements for work and safety reasons. For example, miners went underground to work sites deep under mountains or in caverns. There they would spend hours at a time in darkness or dangerous conditions without seeing the sun for weeks at a time. Miners needed police protection from angry bosses who would shoot them if they made any mistakes. So they were usually paid very well and enjoyed high social status.
Miners were only the beginning of middle class jobs available in large cities.
A lord was a guy who owned land directly from the monarch in the Middle Ages. Although medieval lords made up just around 1% of the population, they held positions of rank and influence throughout medieval society due to their economic ties with the monarch.
Lords had power over their vassals, people who lived on their land and owed them allegiance. They could demand obedience to laws and courts, as well as provide security for their tenants' properties. If a tenant failed to pay his rent, the lord could claim that property and sell it to cover his debt.
There were three main types of lords in the Middle Ages: earls, barons and knights. Earls were the most important kind of lord; they ruled over large territories containing many villages and farms. Barons were next in line; they also owned land but didn't have as much power as an earl. Last but not least were knights; they were soldiers who worked for money rather than for a king or other ruler. Although knights belonged to aristocratic families, they served in military orders - religious organizations that protected pilgrims and fought wars on behalf of larger countries.
How did I find out about this topic? I'd say I discovered it by accident! When you are a history major, you probably know that there are lots of different ways people used to live before modern times.
At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the majority of people lived in the countryside, either on feudal manors or in religious communities. Many of them owned or worked on farms where they grew their own food. However, by the 12th century, cities were sprouting up around castles and monasteries, as well as along trade routes. In time, these cities became centers of commerce and culture, but they remained small compared with modern cities.
Life was hard for most people at the beginning of the Middle Ages. There were no factories or businesses to provide jobs, so most people worked the land or looked after animals for money. Even rulers had to work hard for themselves and their countries - some rulers even had slaves do all their dirty work!
In time, more people moved out of rural areas and into cities, which means there must have been something attractive about town life. Perhaps it was the chance to meet other people from different walks of life, or go to market days when you could buy clothes, eat out, or just hang out in large groups. Who knows?
Or perhaps it was simply because it was easier to steal stuff from inside someone's house than outside in the countryside...
By the 15th century, most people were living in cities all over Europe and Asia. This is because jobs were becoming scarce in agriculture due to improved farming techniques and machinery.