Impenetrable fortresses, homes of the rich and beautiful, magnificent edifices that stand for power and dominance – no other type of building symbolises an entire epoch as vicariously as the castle symbolises the European Middle Ages, inspiring our imaginations to this day. But what did the first castles look like? How did defensive architecture evolve over the centuries? And what were the challenges of everyday life in a castle? This two-part documentary looks at the fascinating and chequered history of castles in Germany and elsewhere in Europe – from their humble beginnings to their tragic decline at the end of the Middle Ages.