Young readers, you are the children of a great legacy. In old times, armies of thousands were commanded by your ancestors. Knights flocked to their banners, and with the gold that flooded their lands came great power. A good builder anchored his bloodline for all time to come, securing a place in history. But the ways of power are harsh, young readers, and today you will learn the most important lesson of all. Good architecture requires cunning and wit.
In times past, there were great cultures that built legendary structures. Works of great beauty and great endurance that still stand today, a reminder of the glory of the human species. History, in its vast expanse, has brought us to today. Every battle, every drop of blood spilled, every brick of stone laid, and every block of wood carved has led us to the here and now. We must be proud! Proud of what we have accomplished! And we must look on with respect.
The Vikings spread their great power across all of modern Europe, the Middle East, Russia, North America, and Africa. From York to Tunis, the Vikings raided. Their architecture was that of wood and stone. The Vikings took time to engrave and detail everything in their hardy homes. Some tell great stories – others are to ward away spirits. The typical Viking Longhouse was about 16 to 23 feet long and had a stone foundation to keep from the wood rotting due to moisture. The homes would have multiple layers to ward out rain and snow on their roofs. Longhouses would have an entire family inside (and sometimes farm animals). The family would all work on the land that they owned. In an unusual fashion, women were seen as equal to men. Sometimes above, if that man was a slave. Women would take care of the house if the man was raiding, and the men would do the same if the woman was a shield-maiden.
The Japanese were secluded for centuries. Their culture was that of respect and honor to one’s ancestors and the continuation of tradItion. The Japanese sought enlightenment and through this they found art. The architecture was a part of that. During the Edo Period, the Japanese moved the capital to Edo (Tokyo). There, they built massive imposing fortresses for the shogunate, the Emperor. They had walls made of wood and thatch that were covered in white plaster. Their clay tile roofs curved, a signature style even today.
The British Empire. The white stone cliffs upon which the sun never sets. Their expansive history is that of tragedy, war, and love. The winding and steep roads of London. Their empire was everywhere. During this time, they built massive structures that echo throughout the world today. The typical style would be large beams that would be like a skeleton to the many windows and small inner walls. This allows the buildings to be hyper-detailed and have many floors due to the amount of support. The buildings range in the material, yet most are built of brick and iron.
Now, where do you hail from, young reader? Where have your ancestors conquered? Where are the wolves of your family that preyed upon the weak sheep of the past? Their blood sustaining the legacy of millions of years. Go forth, find where your people made their mark. And be proud. You are their family. Make the kings and queens of the past proud. Go, and conquer.