Hohennagold Castle

Outer Bailey or Tournament Garden

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Reconstruction: View of the outer bailey also called the tournament garden from above © Stadt Nagold
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Reconstruction: Pinnacles and firing slits on the stone wall © Stadt Nagold
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Today's view of still existing firing slits © Johannes Hanschke
Outer Bailey or Tournament Garden

Overview

The outer bailey was built during the 15th Century. It demonstrates how the medieval method of building fortifications was adapted to meet the challenges of military combat with the new firearms.
Although only the lower part of the stone wall still exists, traces of the battlement are still visible. According to the engraving from 1643 the upper part of the battlement was crenellated. The cut stones at the gate are of red sandstone, which is typical for the Black Forest. The stones filling the wall are shell limestone, which is typical for the area east of Nagold.
The firing slits in the tower next to the entrance to the tournament garden were used for shooting with the new small arms.
The outer bailey is also called the tournament garden. Tournaments were a luxury, which probably couldn’t be financed very often. Due to the large number of trees today, it is hard to imagine where jousting could have taken place. After the destruction of the castle in 1645, the people of Nagold were allowed to use the tournament garden as a stone quarry, as well as for small gardens and as a meadow. Somewhere in an unknown place there was a draw-well. The present garden of exotic trees was planted between 1863 and 1880.

Trivia

Pinnacles 

Pinnacles are usually rectangular parts of masonry on top of walls, towers and buildings. The firing slits between them are called crenelle. Pinnacles were used as shields when defending the fortification. During the High and Late Middle Ages they were an important part of the fortification but during the Renaissance they degenerated to decoration. 

Firing slits 

Firing slits were already used in the antique. There are different types of firing slits, from narrow slits – sometimes formed like keyholes – to the baroque „mouthslits“, which have a relief like a mask. Firing slits in the form of a keyhole were developed during the 15th Century and were well suited for shooting with the new small arms. The slits were very hard to hit from outside the wall. Inside the tower the marksman had lots of room to maneuver.

Interesting locations

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