View Full Version : Medieval city

05-07-2010, 01:09 AM
I am looking for some information on the structure of a typical medieval city. Specifically I want to know if there was any real logic behind the locations of specific districts such as a noble quarter, slums, merchants quarter etc. I plan on doing a city map of one of my nation's capitals and am having difficulty deciding what should go where.

05-07-2010, 02:03 AM
Well, just off the top of my head - The castle usually was built around a Keep that was in a strategic location such as on top of a hill or some defensible position and things went from there. The wealthy would want more security and pleasant surroundings so would probably be in the next best location behind a couple walls or something. They would also probably have more dealings with the government and thus would logically be closer to the king's areas (I'm sure there are all sorts of exceptions). Moving on down the line you would clearly have the poor in the crappiest of areas, probably closer to the dirty industries and least protected areas. Besides, there was a real class issue back then and the wealthy could hardly stand the poor around them so far away was best. Merchants would want access to shipping and roads so they would most likely be found near those areas.

Pretty much any planning and zoning would be done for some type of logical reason. The logic may have changed over time but there would still be some reason for the original locations used.

I think I recall something along these lines being a big thread back around the time I first joined the Guild but I'm not sure.

On a side note, here is an interesting article on mid-evil demographics (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm) <-- not exactly what you are asking but still might be good information for anyone doing this.

05-07-2010, 02:25 AM
Finally, something I can help someone with.

Jaxilion just named a link i was going to post, its useful for kingdom building. RGP.net has guide for medieval city construction called "A Magical Medieval Society: City Guide" which has a lot of useful information for medieval cities, also there was a guide made by this guild that floating around here somewhere called "The Cartographer's Guild Guide to the Creation and Depiction of Fantasy Cities" that should be very useful, afterall it's guild approved :) . Below is the link for the RPG.net guide, it's free so check it out if you want.


Also check out Ascension's tut for creating towns, a good portion of it has information on where certain industries and buildings should be placed in the city.