Why in the past were European ships built with high wooden "castles" fore and aft?

to have better view
to manage the deck more easily
to improve ship defense
to improve ship stability
These were built to better resist boarding, commonly used in the naval warfare (especially by pirates). Boarders needed to attack these castles with great difficulty, while archers or harquebusiers could sweep the enemy decks.
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Answers by country

to have better view
to manage the deck more easily
to improve ship defense
to improve ship stability
answers
flagGreece
4%
4%
71%
19%
21
flagSouth Africa
0%
10%
70%
20%
10
flagGermany
11%
2%
63%
22%
68
flagthe Netherlands
6%
12%
63%
18%
33
flagRepublic of Ireland
23%
17%
52%
5%
17
flagSingapore
10%
10%
50%
30%
10
flagNew Zealand
16%
3%
46%
33%
65
flagCanada
13%
5%
44%
30%
36
flagAustralia
14%
4%
43%
34%
41
flagPoland
14%
10%
41%
32%
16368
flagthe United Kingdom
16%
7%
41%
33%
196
flagFrance
30%
10%
40%
20%
10
flagSweden
14%
7%
35%
42%
14
flagthe United States
16%
10%
34%
36%
491
flagIndia
9%
16%
31%
38%
118
flagthe Philippines
16%
8%
29%
45%
24
flagUnknown
12%
12%
25%
50%
16