Nijō Castle

Nijō Castle
One of the Building at Nijo Castle
Photo by: mhaw, Creative Commons

The Nijo Castle was built in 1601 by Tokugawa and it is located in Kyoto, Japan. Tokugawa constructed this castle as his residence. A little bit of structure from Fushimi Castle was added in 1623 by Iemitsu, the grand son of Tokugawa. The castle covers an area of approximately 8000 square meters, of which the buildings occupy the major part. The castle consists of huge stone walls and heavy gates and it is said to be a perfect example to display the architecture of that time.

In the year 1601, the feudal lords were asked donations for the construction of Nijo Castle by Tokugawa at that time. During the reign of Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa, the construction of the castle was completed in 1626. Some parts of the main tower, Kara Gate, and Fushimi Castle are included in the castle. In the year 1788, a fire in the city struck, causing the inner part of the palace to be destroyed. The place stayed vacant up to 1893 when it was changed into an imperial palace.

The castle consists of two fortifications, one is known as the inner walls and the other is the outer walls. Honmaru palace is situated within the inner walls, along with its garden. The Ninomaru Palace, the gardens, the kitchens, and guard house are situated between the two main fortifications.

The Ninomaru Palace comprises of five buildings with an architecture that includes furniture and gold leaf. The architecture not only impresses the visitors, but also show the pride and honor of the kings. This castle is a fine example of arts and architecture at that time. The palace also consists of several reception rooms and quarters. The palace called Honmaru Palace also belongs to the castle. It covers an area about 1600 square meters. The palace has been divided into four parts. There is a living quarters inside where the Shoguns used to live, and recreation areas are provided. The present body of the palace is said to be Katsura place. There is also a large pond at the garden.

The castle also contains gardens, which are located in between the fortifications. The gardens at the castle are huge which contain plum as well as cherry trees. In the year 1939, the castle was gifted to Kyoto, and the next year it was opened to everyone.

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