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The Battering Ram - Italy - Flat Ride
The Battering Ram - Italy - Flat Ride

Beyond the Ride: Battering Ram

Battering Ram

It was asked for, and here it is.  The story of the battering ram.

At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, it is known that the most watched ride is Griffon, due to it’s perch before a 90 degree drop.  When it comes to flat rides, Battering Ram is right at the top.  It is a pendulum style ride, or a swinging ship style, meant to symbolize the swinging battering rams of the middle ages.  You can hear the screams from this ride, located in Da Vinci’s Garden, all throughout Italy, due to the ride operators prodding for the high side of the swing to yell.  ram1Battering Ram swings out over guests who are passing by, and at night you can see the glowing red eyes from the ram head.

The first battering rams were a product of ancient times, when a large log would be carried by a group of men, who ran towards a wall or door of a structure in which they were trying to lay siege upon.  Later, in the iron age, it was discovered that putting the log in a pendulum, held by rope or chain, was easier and you could use heavier logs.ram2

These pendulums were a crude structure to begin with and had to be carried into battle or built on site.  Later, they added wheels to the structure for better speed, and slanted or curved roofs covered in wet animal hides to keep the structure from being lit on fire and to keep the operators safe from attacks from above.

The writer Vitruvius described a battering ram used by Alexander the Great that was supported by rollers, as opposed to being slung by rope, to achieve greater speed and destruction.

Today, battering rams are usually a one person operation, used by law enforcement and military to break down doors.

Though our Battering Ram at Busch Gardens only seems to cause destruction to vocal chords, it still packs a punch for park goers, young and old alike.