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This article is about the fortification. Citadel_sentence_0

For the military college, see The Citadel. Citadel_sentence_1

For other uses, see Citadel (disambiguation) and The Citadel (disambiguation). Citadel_sentence_2

A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. Citadel_sentence_3

It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. Citadel_sentence_4

The term is a diminutive of "city" and thus means "little city", so called because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core. Citadel_sentence_5

Ancient Sparta had a citadel, as did many other Greek cities and towns. Citadel_sentence_6

In a fortification with bastions, the citadel is the strongest part of the system, sometimes well inside the outer walls and bastions, but often forming part of the outer wall for the sake of economy. Citadel_sentence_7

It is positioned to be the last line of defense, should the enemy breach the other components of the fortification system. Citadel_sentence_8

The functions of the police and the army, as well as the army barracks were developed in the citadel. Citadel_sentence_9

History Citadel_section_0

3300–1300 BCE Citadel_section_1

Some of the oldest known structures which have served as citadels were built by the Indus Valley Civilisation, where citadels represented a centralised authority. Citadel_sentence_10

Citadels in Indus Valley were almost 12 meters tall. Citadel_sentence_11

The purpose of these structures, however, remains debated. Citadel_sentence_12

Though the structures found in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive against enemy attacks. Citadel_sentence_13

Rather, they may have been built to divert flood waters. Citadel_sentence_14

Several settlements in Anatolia, including the Assyrian city of Kaneš in modern-day Kültepe, featured citadels. Citadel_sentence_15

Kaneš' citadel contained the city's palace, temples, and official buildings. Citadel_sentence_16

The citadel of the Greek city of Mycenae was built atop a highly-defensible rectangular hill and was later surrounded by walls in order to increase its defensive capabilities. Citadel_sentence_17

800 BCE – 400 CE Citadel_section_2

In Ancient Greece, the Acropolis (literally: "high city"), placed on a commanding eminence, was important in the life of the people, serving as a refuge and stronghold in peril and containing military and food supplies, the shrine of the god and a royal palace. Citadel_sentence_18

The most well known is the Acropolis of Athens, but nearly every Greek city-state had one – the Acrocorinth famed as a particularly strong fortress. Citadel_sentence_19

In a much later period, when Greece was ruled by the Latin Empire, the same strong points were used by the new feudal rulers for much the same purpose. Citadel_sentence_20

In the first millennium BCE, the Castro culture emerged in northwestern Portugal and Spain in the region extending from the Douro river up to the Minho, but soon expanding north along the coast, and east following the river valleys. Citadel_sentence_21

It was an autochthonous evolution of Atlantic Bronze Age communities. Citadel_sentence_22

In 2008, the origins of the Celts were attributed to this period by John T. Koch and supported by Barry Cunliffe. Citadel_sentence_23

The Ave River Valley in Portugal was the core region of this culture, with a large number of small settlements (the castros), but also settlements known as citadels or oppida by the Roman conquerors. Citadel_sentence_24

These had several rings of walls and the Roman conquest of the citadels of Abobriga, Lambriaca and Cinania around 138 BCE was possible only by prolonged siege. Citadel_sentence_25

Ruins of notable citadels still exist, and are known by archaeologists as Citânia de Briteiros, Citânia de Sanfins, Cividade de Terroso and Cividade de Bagunte. Citadel_sentence_26

167–160 BCE Citadel_section_3

Rebels who took power in the city but with the citadel still held by the former rulers could by no means regard their tenure of power as secure. Citadel_sentence_27

One such incident played an important part in the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Citadel_sentence_28

The Hellenistic garrison of Jerusalem and local supporters of the Seleucids held out for many years in the Acra citadel, making Maccabean rule in the rest of Jerusalem precarious. Citadel_sentence_29

When finally gaining possession of the place, the Maccabeans pointedly destroyed and razed the Acra, though they constructed another citadel for their own use in a different part of Jerusalem. Citadel_sentence_30

400–1600 Citadel_section_4

At various periods, and particularly during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the citadel – having its own fortifications, independent of the city walls – was the last defence of a besieged army, often held after the town had been conquered. Citadel_sentence_31

Locals and defending armies have often held out citadels long after the city had fallen. Citadel_sentence_32

For example, in the 1543 Siege of Nice the Ottoman forces led by Barbarossa conquered and pillaged the town and took many captives, but the citadel held out. Citadel_sentence_33

In the Philippines, the Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes often built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war. Citadel_sentence_34

They built their so-called idjangs on hills and elevated areas. Citadel_sentence_35

These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose. Citadel_sentence_36

Usually, the only entrance to the castles would be via a rope ladder that would only be lowered for the villagers and could be kept away when invaders arrived. Citadel_sentence_37

1600–present Citadel_section_5

In time of war the citadel in many cases afforded retreat to the people living in the areas around the town. Citadel_sentence_38

However, citadels were often used also to protect a garrison or political power from the inhabitants of the town where it was located, being designed to ensure loyalty from the town that they defended. Citadel_sentence_39

For example, during the Dutch Wars of 1664–1667, King Charles II of England constructed a Royal Citadel at Plymouth, an important channel port which needed to be defended from a possible naval attack. Citadel_sentence_40

However, due to Plymouth's support for the Parliamentarians in the then-recent English Civil War, the Plymouth Citadel was so designed that its guns could fire on the town as well as on the sea approaches. Citadel_sentence_41

Barcelona had a great citadel built in 1714 to intimidate the Catalans against repeating their mid-17th- and early-18th-century rebellions against the Spanish central government. Citadel_sentence_42

In the 19th century, when the political climate had liberalized enough to permit it, the people of Barcelona had the citadel torn down, and replaced it with the city's main central park, the Parc de la Ciutadella. Citadel_sentence_43

A similar example is the Citadella in Budapest, Hungary. Citadel_sentence_44

The attack on the Bastille in the French Revolution – though afterwards remembered mainly for the release of the handful of prisoners incarcerated there – was to considerable degree motivated by the structure's being a Royal citadel in the midst of revolutionary Paris. Citadel_sentence_45

Similarly, after Garibaldi's overthrow of Bourbon rule in Palermo, during the 1860 Unification of Italy, Palermo's Castellamare Citadel – symbol of the hated and oppressive former rule – was ceremoniously demolished. Citadel_sentence_46

Following Belgium declaring independence in 1830, a Dutch garrison under General David Hendrik Chassé held out in Antwerp Citadel between 1830 and 1832, while the city had already become part of the independent Belgium. Citadel_sentence_47

The Siege of the Alcázar in the Spanish Civil War, in which the Nationalists held out against a much larger Republican force for two months until relieved, shows that in some cases a citadel can be effective even in modern warfare; a similar case is the Battle of Huế during the Vietnam war, where a North Vietnamese Army division held the citadel of Huế for 26 days against roughly their own numbers of much better-equipped US and South Vietnamese troops. Citadel_sentence_48

Modern usage Citadel_section_6

The Citadelle of Québec (construction started 1673, completed 1820) still survives as the largest citadel still in official military operation in North America. Citadel_sentence_49

It is home to the Royal 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Army and forms part of the Ramparts of Quebec City dating back to 1620s. Citadel_sentence_50

Since the mid 20th century, citadels commonly enclose military command and control centres, rather than cities or strategic points of defense on the boundaries of a country. Citadel_sentence_51

These modern citadels are built to protect the command center from heavy attacks, such as aerial or nuclear bombardment. Citadel_sentence_52

The military citadels under London in the UK, including the massive underground complex Pindar beneath the Ministry of Defence, are examples, as is the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker in the US. Citadel_sentence_53

Naval term Citadel_section_7

List of citadels Citadel_section_8

See also: List of forts Citadel_sentence_54

See also Citadel_section_9


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