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Schloss Ludwigslust in Germany

Schloss (German pronunciation: [ˈʃlɔs]; pl. Schlösser), formerly written Schloß, is the German term for a building similar to a château, palace, or manor house.[1]

Related terms appear in several Germanic languages. In the Scandinavian languages, the cognate word slot/slott is normally used for what in English could be either a palace or a castle (instead of words in rarer use such as palats/palæ, kastell, or borg). In Dutch, the word slot is considered to be more archaic. Nowadays, one commonly uses paleis or kasteel. But in English, the term does not appear; for instance, in the United Kingdom, this type of structure would be known as a stately home or country house.

Most Schlösser were built after the Middle Ages as residences for the nobility, not as true fortresses, although originally, they often were fortified. The usual German term for a true castle is Burg, that for a fortress is Festung, and — the slightly more archaic term — Veste. However, many castles were called Schloss, especially those that were adapted as residences after they lost their defensive significance. Many adaptations took into account new tastes arising during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Like a castle, a Schloss often is surrounded by a moat; it is then called a Wasserschloss (water castle). Other related structure types include the Stadtschloss (a city palace), the Jagdschloss (a hunting lodge), and the Lustschloss (a pleasure palace or summer residence).

Examples of Schlösser

Although they appeared much earlier than the period defined by this term, medieval Carolingian Kaiserpfalzen structures are sometimes considered as being Schlösser in nature. Among those that would qualify are the Palace of Aachen and the Imperial Palace of Goslar.

Cross overs

(Relating to places in use for long periods of times, having been extended and perhaps having had renovations in different styles than those of their respective eras – and therefore, displaying at least two and often, multiple styles)


In another context, Schloss is also the German word for a lock.

See also


  1. ^ "Das Oldenburger Schloss". (in German). Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Meissen Albrechtsburg Castle". Albrechtsburg Meissen. Retrieved 2023-09-27.