Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 14 October 2019

Military architecture and fortificationlocked

  • C. L. H. Coulson,
  • Sara Champion,
  • Önhan Tunca,
  • Ian M. E. Shaw,
  • F. E. Winter,
  • J. M. C. Bowsher,
  • D. J. Cathcart King,
  • John R. Kenyon,
  • Simon Pepper,
  • Quentin Hughes,
  • W. A. Nelson,
  • Willard B. Robinson,
  • Ian V. Hogg,
  • Yasser Tabbaa,
  • Sheila S. Blair,
  • Jonathan M. Bloom,
  • Howard Crane,
  • Christopher Tadgell,
  • Walter Smith,
  • Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli,
  • Tan Tanaka,
  • Son Young Sik,
  • J. C. Moughtin
  •  and H. Stanley Loten


Buildings associated with warfare—usually defensive warfare—and political control.

See also Castle.

Military architecture has existed for millennia, ever since men have needed to compete for territory. It follows and tries to anticipate developments in tactics and weaponry, but historically it has also reflected current political organization and social structures. Prehistoric communal strongholds had additional economic and ritual functions; city walls were a defensive response to siegecraft; forts and camps were built for tactical advance and to consolidate military achievement; and in the medieval period the castle symbolized both local control and defensive capability. From the deployment of gunpowder artillery in the late 14th century until the mid-19th century, the design of fortifications responded to the use of ever more powerful artillery and the limitations imposed on an army dependent on horse transport. With the introduction of rifled artillery and motor-driven armoured vehicles, designs again underwent fundamental changes, until military architecture as such was rendered obsolete by the deployment after World War II of guided missiles that could overfly and destroy the most powerful fortifications. Although military architecture is inherently functional and utilitarian, its aesthetic and symbolic aspects are equally significant....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.