Not all sights of ancient civilizations have survived to this day. Most of the legendary castles and temples have long since fallen into ruins. But in the age of high technologies, there were enthusiasts who managed to return the ancient shrines to mankind. Budget Direct, for example, decided to digitally reconstruct 6 castles in five countries in Asia. Now the architectural wonders of the most mysterious of the continents are being restored to their former glory right before our eyes.
About Budget Direct project
This is not the first project of Budget Direct, which provides a unique opportunity to see with your own eyes the historical architectural heritage of mankind. And even if these are only photographs, but still we can enjoy an unsurpassed view of the legendary castles, majestic temples. Using the latest technologies, a team of specialists, including not only computer designers, but also architects, historians, archaeologists and researchers, recreated the former appearance of the wonders of the world. This time, the turn came to Asia - the most mysterious and many-sided continent on Earth.
“In 2020, millions of people around the world are stuck at home, and even in 2021, many travel restrictions are still in place. To support those looking for chair travel inspiration, Budget Direct has decided to restore some of Asia's most impressive castles,”says Lee McCalla, co-editor of the project.
1. Fort Raigad in Maharashtra (India)
At an altitude of 820 m above sea level in the Western Ghats (India), on an impregnable plateau, you can see the remains of the formidable Raigad Fort. This place was noticed as early as 1030 by Raja Chandrarao Mor, a representative of the ancient imperial Maurya dynasty.
A powerful fortification was erected on it, which was protected from three sides by sheer cliffs. In order to get into the only gate, you need to overcome 1,737 steps cut into the rock. The fort and town flourished for many centuries until the British East India Company launched an armed campaign in 1765. To top it all, in 1818 the mountain fort was completely plundered and destroyed by the same Englishmen.
At the moment, tourists go to the top of the cliff to see the remains of the central gate, parts of the fortress walls, the ruins of three observation towers and a market, as well as the artificial lake Ganga-Sagar.
2. Yuanmingyuan Summer Palace in Beijing (China)
Yuanmingyuan, better known in the Western world as the old Summer Palace, was not one building, but a whole palace and park complex, stretching for 3.5 million square meters. m. There were many magnificent palaces, alleys with sculptures, parks, lakes, gardens, towers and cozy pavilions. The arrangement of the imperial summer palace, which is also called the Garden of Ten Thousand Gardens, began in 1707 as a gift from the Kangxi Emperor to his son Yongzheng, who took an active part in its planning and gave exquisite names to the objects. Soon, a fabulously beautiful China in miniature was created, while there was also a place for the most famous European corners. According to the editors of Novate.ru, the fame of the fantastic place spread throughout the world, and when creating the gardens of Versailles, some ideas were borrowed.
Unfortunately, the pride of the Qing Dynasty, Yuanmingyuan, was largely destroyed by the "enlightened" Europeans in the form of British and French troops who invaded Beijing in 1860. In a matter of days, the unique object was plundered and barbarously burned. Thus, the unique palace and park complex, which had been organized for more than 150 years, was practically destroyed. And what survived was destroyed during the subsequent uprisings and the Cultural Revolution.
3. Shizuki Castle in Hagi (Japan)
The impressive castle city of Hagi, known as Shizuki Castle, was the majestic and formidable capital of the Choshu principality. Unusual in its organization and structure, the city-fortress, because it was located at the foot of Shizuki Mountain, and not on it, was founded in 1604 by Mori Terumoto. And this happened after the Mori clan lost their ancestral nest in Hiroshima for supporting the losing side in the Battle of Sekigahara.
Remarkable: In 1874, most of the castle was destroyed not as a result of hostilities or a natural disaster, this was facilitated by the coming military-political and socio-economic reforms that took place in Japan in 1868-1889. The "policy of restoration" radically influenced the political system and legislation, which helped turn the backward agrarian country into an influential and progressive state in the world.
4. The Ghazni Citadel in Afghanistan
The Ghazni Citadel is one of the most impressive and powerful fortifications in Afghanistan. The exact time of its construction is unknown, but information has been preserved that the former slave Sebyuktigin, the commander of the Samanid empire, after the capture of this fortress in 977, was appointed its governor. Soon he rebelled against his rulers and founded his own Ghaznian empire, and Ghazni turned it into its military core.
The greatest conquerors of the world, starting with the Central Asian ruler Tamerlane, more than once rushed to the imposing walls of Ghazni, consisting of 32 towers. But only the British managed to conquer the citadel in 1839. By the way, the fortress was used for its intended purpose even in 2001. The Americans deployed their military base there, although at the moment it is in a deplorable state - time, wars and weather conditions have done their dirty work.
5. Alamut Castle in the Alamut Valley of Iran
The Alamut castle-fortress was erected in one of the most inaccessible places at an altitude of 2163 m above sea level. Its location at the junction of the Talysh Mountains and central Elbrus, on one of the detached cliffs, made the citadel almost impregnable. Although, as history has shown, it is not necessary to have an army armed to the teeth to become the master of the fortress.
Interesting fact: According to legend, in 1090 the Ismaili Shiite Hasan-ibn-Sabbah, with a group of followers who were subjected to severe persecution, came up with a plan to take possession of the castle without shedding a drop of blood. And he did it. Under his leadership, the castle turned into a separate state, in which strict rules and restrictions were introduced, but at the same time, not only their faith and fortifications grew stronger.
Hasan-ibn-Sabbah sent messengers to different countries, who collected the most valuable books and manuscripts of both Eastern and Western sages and scientists. Soon a unique library appeared in the castle, some of which have survived to this day.
The fanatical followers also lured the best engineers, builders and architects, who erected several more fortresses-castles, using the most progressive technologies of the time. But such prosperity was the impetus for the fact that the hunters to profit from the treasures of Alamut rushed to the fortress, which led to its death.
6. Takeda Castle in Hyogo (Japan)
Soaring in the sky, Takeda Castle is an ancient landmark in Hyogo Prefecture. It is especially impressive in the morning hours, when fog covers the part of the mountain on which it is located. It is then that this mountainous city seems to be floating on the clouds. The extraordinary beauty and at the same time absolute inaccessibility was noticed in 1443 by the large military feudal lord Yaman (he is also called the "red monk"), who built the castle. Incidentally, this commander is considered responsible for plunging Japan into an age of chaos, better known as the Sengoku period.
Although the owners changed at an enviable frequency, the fortress was conquered only once - this man was Toyota Hideyoshi. Only after the death of the last ruler Hirohida Akamatsu, who committed seppuku (ritual suicide of the samurai), Takeda gradually fell into decay. Only ruins remain of the buildings, towering 353 m above sea level. Only at the foot of the mountain you can still see a number of temples that have been restored and maintained in proper condition.
Virtual reconstructions are becoming more and more popular and in demand. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Budget Direct company took up the reconstruction of the ancient castles of Europe, which can be seen here.