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
5%
5%
70%
20%
20
flagSouth Africa
0%
10%
70%
20%
10
flagRepublic of Ireland
14%
14%
64%
7%
14
flagGermany
12%
2%
63%
22%
49
flagthe Netherlands
8%
12%
56%
24%
25
flagCanada
10%
3%
50%
33%
30
flagNew Zealand
16%
3%
46%
33%
65
flagSweden
18%
0%
45%
36%
11
flagPoland
14%
10%
41%
32%
15656
flagAustralia
16%
5%
41%
33%
36
flagthe United Kingdom
18%
6%
40%
33%
169
flagFrance
30%
10%
40%
20%
10
flagthe United States
16%
9%
35%
36%
450
flagthe Philippines
23%
0%
35%
41%
17
flagIndia
10%
14%
33%
38%
107
flagUnknown
12%
12%
25%
50%
16