Edo Castle with surrounding residential palaces and moats, from a 17th-century screen painting.
|Condition||Mostly ruins, parts reconstructed after World War II. Site today of |
|In use||1457–1868, then 1868–1873|
|Materials||granite stone, earthwork, wood|
|Demolished||The tenshu (keep) was destroyed by fire in 1657, most of the rest was destroyed by another major fire on 5 May 1873. In use as Tokyo Imperial Palace.|
Edo Castle (江戸城 Edo-jō), also known as Chiyoda Castle (千代田城 Chiyoda-jō), is a flatland castle that was built in 1457 by
The warrior Edo Shigetsugu built his residence in what is now the Honmaru and Ninomaru part of Edo Castle, around the end of the
The castle later came under the control of the
Initially, parts of the area were lying under water. The sea reached the present Nishinomaru area of Edo Castle, and
The existing Honmaru, Ninomaru, and Sannomaru areas were extended with the addition of the Nishinomaru, Nishinomaru-shita, Fukiage, and Kitanomaru areas. The perimeter measured 16 km.
The shōgun required the
At least 10,000 men were involved in the first phase of the construction and more than 300,000 in the middle phase. When construction ended, the castle had 38 gates. The ramparts were almost 20 meters high and the outer walls were 12 meters high. Moats forming roughly concentric circles were dug for further protection. Some moats reached as far as
Various fires over the centuries damaged or destroyed parts of the castle, Edo and the majority of its buildings being made of timber.
On April 21, 1701, in the Great Pine Corridor (
After the capitulation of the shogunate in 1867, the inhabitants and shōgun had to vacate the premises. The castle compound was renamed Tokyo Castle (東京城 Tōkei-jō) in October, 1868, and then renamed Imperial Castle (皇城 Kōjō) in 1869. In the year Meiji 2 (1868), on the 23rd day of the 10th month of the
A fire consumed the old Edo Castle on the night of May 5, 1873. The area around the old donjon, which burned in the
The site suffered substantial damage during World War II and in the destruction of Tokyo in 1945.
Today the site is part of the