DescriptionEdit

Topographically water castles are a type of lowland castle. The term is mainly found in European-language sources, e.g. under its German names of German: Wasserburg or Wasserschloss, but is also used in English-language sources, usually those referring to European castles of this type. Forde-Johnston describes it as "a castle in which water plays a prominent part in the defences..."[1]

There is a further distinction between:

  • Water castles, that are protected by artificial water-filled moats or ponds (man-made defences) i.e. a moated castle
  • Water castles, whose primary means of protection is from river courses or which stand on islands in a lake or natural pond (natural defences). Island castles are an example.

In all cases, water is used as an obstacle to hinder an attacker. That apart, an abundant supply of water was also an advantage during a siege. Such a castle usually had only one entrance, which was via a drawbridge and that could be raised for protection in the event of an attack. To some extent these water castles had a fortress-like character.

LegacyEdit

In many places in Central Europe castles that had formerly been fortified changed their role or were converted over the course of time so that they became largely representational and residential buildings. The characteristic moats thus lost their original security function, but were retained in some cases as an element of landscaping. Today, in monument conservation circles, they are often described as burdensome, cost-intensive "historic legacies" because of the water damage caused to their foundations. As a result, many moats around castles in Germany have been drained, or more rarely filled, especially since the 1960s.

ExamplesEdit

AustriaEdit

BalticEdit

BelgiumEdit

 
Kasteel van Wijnendale (Wijnendale Castle)

Czech RepublicEdit

DenmarkEdit

FinlandEdit

GermanyEdit

 
Bad Rappenau
 
Friedewald water castle
 
Klaffenbach Castle, (16th century, Saxony)
 
Gommern Water Castle

Baden-WürttembergEdit

BavariaEdit

BerlinEdit

BrandenburgEdit

BremenEdit

HamburgEdit

HesseEdit

Lower SaxonyEdit

Mecklenburg-VorpommernEdit

North Rhine-WestphaliaEdit

Rhineland-PalatinateEdit

SaarlandEdit

SaxonyEdit

Saxony-AnhaltEdit

Schleswig-HolsteinEdit

ThuringiaEdit

GreeceEdit

HungaryEdit

ItalyEdit

JapanEdit

NetherlandsEdit

PortugalEdit

SlovakiaEdit

SloveniaEdit

SwedenEdit

RomaniaEdit

SwitzerlandEdit

TurkeyEdit

United KingdomEdit

EnglandEdit

ScotlandEdit

WalesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Great Medieval Castles of Britain by James L. Forde-Johnston (1979). Retrieved 20 Jul 2014.

External linksEdit