Castle Building: Anshan!

I am super excited! I had an awesome discussion with my husband – who is an architect – and we came up with some great ideas for the castle, Anshan.

Anshan was built by people with a culture that echoes the Persian people. Given the importance of astronomy in Persian culture, I wanted a star shaped castle. I’d been struggling so much with this, but then I decided to see if there was a particular star shape associated with Persian culture.

And I got this beauty:

A perfect eight-sided star. My architect husband took one look at that and said, “Oh yeah, lots of castles and fortresses have that shape.”


And I’m realizing this may be the first time I’ve blogged about one of my Minecraft builds here! I like to build major structures for my books in Minecraft because I get to interact with the space. I think my favorite thing about being able to walk through the structure is the limitations it places on me as a writer.

I can’t just decide to have someone walk from Room A, down three halls and up a staircase to get to Room B one day, and then have them walk out of Room A and turn right into Room B the next day.

Or like with the differences between two of my 3 castles: One is only two stories high (ha! Only. It’s still super tall) and sprawling.

I can’t even get close to fitting the entire castle in one frame!

Another castle is 8 floors tall, not including several floors in very tall towers and multilevel catacombs.

With the sprawling castle, Prince Marcello would need to take quite a walk down several long hallways to visit his grandmother, Queen Aliana. With the tall castle, all of the family rooms are in the castle keep (that central tower, above). If Prince Marcello wanted to visit his grandmother, he would need to go up or down stairs. No hallways.

Back to Anshan!

It’s massive.

This was taken from one end of what will be the throne room. You can’t see the other end of the throne room.

And you know how my other two castles had one that’s two floors and sprawling while the other is compact and tall?

Anshan is both tall and sprawling.

And one final challenge was making it feel Persian. There are a lot of arched doorways in Persian architecture. Minecraft is blocky.

So, I came up with a solution where there is a secondary wall in front of the actual castle wall. From a distance, it does look arched!

Even better: The space between the walls serves a purpose! Anshan is in the desert, and one aspect of urban desert architecture involves the placement of kuchehs.

A kucheh is a narrow alley that is roofed at intervals. It’s perfect in the desert because the roofs provide shade, and the combination of a narrow alley and the intermittent roofs minimize the effect of desert dust storms.

So, my castle will get a false front wall which will allow people to walk around the castle with some shade, and it will protect the actual castle from being nailed by a sand storm.

Needs a little work, but here’s my rough draft of the castle’s kucheh:

I still have a LOT of work to do to build this castle, but in the meantime, I can base my writing off of simple floor plan sketches!

At some point, I’ll share The Library! It’s also massive, but it is completely built, so I can give you a full tour!

– Emlyn

2 thoughts on “Castle Building: Anshan!

  1. I am amazed at your Minecraft skills! I’ve tried to build elaborate structures, but they usually end up looking like the Winchester Mansion. I think it’s a fantastic use of the game to help build your worlds.

    I love that you share your knowledge of the culture on which your fictional culture is based. Giving that detail and photo was very helpful in the Minecraft comparison.

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