The Middle Ages started with the fall of the Roman empire (476 A.C.), and it finished with the discovery of America (1492 A.C). So, as you can see, it lasted 1.000 years.

During the Middle Ages, 2 main civilizations ruled the world: the Christian Kingdoms and the Islamic civilizations.

In this lesson we will focus on the Christian Kingdoms.


During the Middle Ages, many Christian Kingdoms developed in Europe. The economy in the Christian Kingdoms was based on the land: the owner of lands (and animals) was rich.

Basically, there were 4 kind of people in Christian Kingdoms: the King, the noblemen, the clergy and the peasants.

  • The King was the ruler. He owned many lands and received money from the noblemen. Kings were very rich and lived in big castles.

  • The noblemen owned lands and recived money from the peasants. They were rich and lived in castles.

  • The clergy lived in monasteries and owned lands. They also received money from the peasants.

  • The peasants worked for the king, the noblemen and the clergy, so they didn't owned lands. They paid taxes to all of them, so they were poor. They worked very hard and lived in huts.

This is the social pyramid in the middle ages (click on the picture to make it bigger).

Middle Ages Social Structure.jpg

As you have seen, castles were very important in the Middle Ages:

  • They were the residence of the kings and the noblemen.

  • They provided protection for the people against enemies (peasants lived near castles).

The main parts of a castle were:

  • The moat: a deep hole around the wall, usually filled with water.

  • The wall: a tall, thick wall made of stone that protected the castle.

  • The drawbridge: a big door made of wood and iron, used to enter and exit the castle. It could be moved up and down.

  • The battlements: spaces between the wall. Soldiers could fire their weapons or throw stones through the battlements.

  • The towers: tall and narrow structures that allowed soldiers to see if the enemies were approaching the castle.

Click on the picture to see an interactive explanation about the most important parts of medieval castles:

Most Important Parts of Medievel Castles.jpg

Time to explore a real castle. Click on the picture to start exploring!!

Castle - Virtual Visit.jpg

What about learning some a bit more with this interesting videos?

On the first video you will watch how people dressed in the Middle Ages.

On the second video, your will watch how people lived in a medieval castle.

On the third video, your will take a quick trip on Middle Ages history.

Do you like games? What about playing to some games to check what you have learnt? Yes? So go to the games section.