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The life of the fortress

The early decades in the life of the fortress saw it as the seat of the faithful Estense militia. Next to the soldiers' and servants' quarters, we find, in the most classical and traditional formula of organisation of buildings of this type, stables, armouries, store-rooms, workshops for producing arms and everyday pottery, laundry rooms, workshops for producing candles and soap and whatever else the small army and the lords of the adjoining palace needed.

All the store-rooms were arranged underground and could be reached directly from the moat and the canal outside the wall.
They contained all that was required in terms of raw materials for the life of the castle and its inhabitants, from wood for heating to provisions for the kitchens.
Still in these rooms within easy reach of the water and full of basins and wells are some workshops for the initial transformation processes of products for the kitchen and elsewhere: butchering meat, washing and cleaning produce, making candles and other activities. On the ground floor and in the courtyard more complex activities were carried out; grooms and blacksmiths worked to take care of the horses, foundrymen produced and maintained arms, carpenters repaired carts and potters, produced pottery for everyday use. The first floor, reached by narrow spiral staircases, barely heated by braziers, housed the troops and the officers. On the battlements the soldiers stood guard and were drilled in the use of weapons in expectation of a battle, a campaign in a war or a siege that the castle of Ferrara would never have to face.

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