Header fo the castle list page of Roads to Ruins
German Terms Translated to English
German English
Abbruch Verkauft sold at demolition value / demolition sale
Abschnittsburg divided complex with more than one independent defensive section
Abschnittsgraben ditch, moat within a castle to add an additional sector of defense
Abtei abbey
Abtritt toilet as in bay-type protrusion or a brick-lined hole in the floor
Adel nobility
Anfänge beginning, outset
Anlage complex, layout, structure, enclosure
Arrestantentürme detainee (prison) tower
Aufragend(En) emergent (vertical movement-arise)
Ausgedehnt(Este) extended (most) as if we could say extendedest. prolonged
Ausguß sink with waste channeled to outside the wall
Äussersten outer extreme
Ausstattung provisions, furnishings, equipment
Ballei province (land partition) of teutonic knights, bailiwick
Barbakane barbican
Barbakane barbican: bridge-head fortification protecting approach to the castle
Bastei bastion
Bauernkrieg peasants’ war (farmer=bauer)
Baufällige decrepit, derelict
Bedeckt covered (as with dirt or cloud cover)
Bedeuten (D) (Ung) significant, important, meaningful
Belagerung (Belagerer) siege (besieger)
Belagerung-Turm siege-tower
Bergfried keep-strong tower usually as a final defensive position.
Beringen to ring - as to encircle
Beschädigung damage
Besiedelt inhabited, settled
Besitzer / Besitz owner / possess
Bewahrt, Bewahren preserved, preserve
Bewegtem disturbing, eventful, turbulent
Bezirk district, region, precinct
Briefadel document promoting one to nobility (brief-adel)
Brunnen well: often hundreds of meters deep cut through the rock base below the castle.
Brüstung parapet, balustrade
Burg castle: in its strictest definition a personal defensive residence
Burgensis town populace - a term the appeared about 1000 a.d. refering to the local community
Burgfrieden a truce. a legal prohibition against settlement of disputes by use of force.
Burggarten castle herbal garden- a practice brought back from crusades.
Burggraben moat, castle ditch
Burggraf castle count, feudal lord
Burghof courtyard / bailey
Degan sword
Deutscher Orden order of german knights
Dirnitz a small residential apartment or independent residential bldg within the castle grounds
Donjon a fortified tower, a keep with residential ammenities but not to the extent of the palace
Doppelkapelle a two-tiered castle chapel to separate the noble family from their staff at service.
Ecktürme / Eckturm corner tower
Edel (Freien) noble (free noble)
Eigen on one's own authority
Eindruckvolle (Sten) impressive (most impressive)
Einstelle put in, built into or over
Enthält contain, comprehend (as in entails)
Entstehung origin, emergence
Erbe inheritance
Erbtruchsesse inherited managerial position under a higher lord
Erde earth / soil
Erfolgte took place, occurred
Ergänzen complete, add, supplement
Erker bay window
Erlitt suffered
Eroberte (Eroberer) conquer (conquerer)
Errichtet erected
Erscheint appeared
Erstmahls first time
Erstrecken stretch, extend
Erwähnung, Erwähnt mention, mentioned
Erzherzogtum archduchy
Erzkurfürstbistum literal: elected arch-prince of a diocese
Erzstift archbishopric (archdiocese)
Fallbrücke drawbridge
Fallgitter portcullis: a timber-built lattice-work drop-gate with iron reinforcement and pointed iron-tip bottoms
Fehde fued
Felsmassiv massive rock
Felssporn rock spur
Festes Haus fortified manor of the 16th century
Festung fortress
Fiale pinnacle
Fliehburg a pre-feudal refuge such as the motte-and-bailey where locals fled for protection in times of threat.
Fluchtburg refuge, protective castle
Fortschrittlichsten progressive, most advanced
Francisca frankish axe weapon
Frauenabtei abbey for women
Frauenstift women's foundation, probably a cloister, nunnery
Freien free / court / wed
Frietreppe open stairway
Fürstbistum prince head of a diocese, bishopric
Gaden a closed or protected area in a castle or fortified church for the protection of locals and livestock
Galt/Gelten in legal force, the force of law, acceptable, as in "that goes (gelt) for you."
Ganerbenburg a castle resided in by more than one member or family branch of the noble dynasty
Gebietes region, area (also command)
Gedeckter (Wehrgang) covered (parapet walk)
Gefangengehalten imprisoned
Gefängnis prison
Gefürstete something entitled as a principality
Gelände site, terrain
Gelegene lie/be, opportune
Genehmigen/Genehmigte authorize/approved
Genutzt, Nutzen used, useful
Geschichte history
Geschlect dynasty, family line, sex
Geschossige (Dreigeschossige) stories (three story)
Geschützte protected
Geschütztürme turrets / gun towers / protective towers (literal)
Gewalt power, authority, control
Gewerbe trade (commerce)
Gleich / Gleichen similar, close
Glockenklang bell sound - the hearing distance once used to establish parish limits
Graben ditch (grab: grave) (graben:dig)
Graf (En) count
Grafschaft principality ruled by a count
Grossartig splendid, wonderful
Größtenteils mainly (gross:large, teil:part) "for the most part"
Gründer/Gründete/Gegründete originator/found/founded, establish
Grundfläche base (of operations) ground area / footprint
Gusserker brattice, casting-bay window
Gußloch a murder-hole installed in the tops of gate passages through which stones, hot oils could be hurled at enemy intruders
Halbrund half round
Halbrundtürmen half round tower (halb-rund-türmen)
Halsgraben throat ditch or neck-ditch. a section cut from mountain spur to separate a castle from the land approach
Hauptstamm central family (trunk - of family tree)
Heimsuchen / Heimgesucht invade / invaded
Heizung heat/heater: a system on the roman innovation that channeled heat up through wall spaces into the room above
Helm helmet
Herrlichkeit glory, splender
Herrschaft lordship, authority
Herzogtum duchy
Hinblick in view of / hindsight
Hochadelssitz seat of high aristocracy (hoch-adel-sitz=high-noble-seat)
Hochstift high foundation (diocese, bishopric)
Hof / Höfe courtyard, at least partially enclosed
Höhlenburg cave castle: carved into cavities of rock faces
Inne(N) inside, inner,
Kaiserreich emperor's rule, empire
German Terms Translated to English
German English
Kamin chimney in a castle open hearth
Kapelle chapel
Kastell castle: roman term
Keltischer celtic
Kemenate ladies' heated apartments
Kirchspiel parish - originally established based on the distance the bell could be heard
Klosterstift foundation of a cloister
Kommandantur headquarters, command center
Kommende a small district of a knightly order, upcoming
Königreich a kingdom
Kostbare precious, valuable
Kragstein corbel
Krieg war
Kurfürstentum principality which w/one of the eight voting rights to elect the emperor
Kurtine (Mauer) curtain (wall)
Lage position / circumstances
Landesherren soveriegn prince
Landgrafen (Landgrafschaft) landcount, territorial count (territory or office of count)
Landwehr militia, territorial defense
Lehen / Belehnt fief/enfeoffed
Lehenrecht laws governing the practices of fiefdom or feudal practices
Lehnstreue fealty
Mächtige / Mächtigen mighty / powerful, daunting
Machtposition powerful position, postion of...
Mantelmauer chemise, mantel wall, the wall connecting two wall towers
Mark march (unsettled border region)
Markgraf margrave/count or governor of a mark or march (border province)
Mauerturm a defensive tower protruding from the outer plane of the castle wall
Mauertürmchen turret
Motte usually an artificially built mound upon which earlier castles of the motte-and-bailey type were built.
Nennt / Nennen / Genannt name/named
Oberhalb above. literal:over or upper-half
Ordens (Deutschordens) order (german order of knights)
Ortschaft village
Palas a multi-storied residential building within the castle, usually with a knights' hall in the upper floor
Palatinisch palatine (person with independent territorial authority)
Palisade, Palisaden palisade/stockade, wall of log posts, usually sharpened at the top to dissuade attackers from attempting to climb over
Pechnase machicolation - literally means "bad luck nose," a term for the murder hole in castle defenses
Pfalz palatinate - royal residence or imperial base
Pfalzgraf palatinate count
Poterne postern
Propstei provost. a cloister and its territory under a provost
Quader(N) (Quaderstein) ashlar. squared and smoothed stone for wall construction
Ragen/Ragt protrude / rise up (over)
Regal perogative (royal)
Regularfortifikation fortress
Reichsfürstabtei abbey privileged by the empire and run by a prince
Reichsherrschaft lordship (herrschaft) with privileges from empire / kingdom
Reichsstadt imperial free city
Reichsstift a foundation established by the empire
Reste ruins, remains
Ringgraben ring-ditch: a ditch encircling a fortification
Ringmauer ring-wall: a defensive wall encircling a castle, fortification
Rittergut knights manor, feudal estate
Rittersaal a knights' hall in the castle palace
Rittersitz seat and landed estate of a knight
Römischer roman
Sachsenspiegal book of laws for saxons and often extended to other germans
Sagenach / Sagengestalt legend / legendary figure
Sanierte redevelop
Scharwachturm bartizan
Schenker/Schenkung/Schenkte donator/gift/gave
Schießscharten embrasures
Schildmauer an especially strong wall defending the most vulnerable side of the castle
Schlichter (Also Einfach) plain (simple)
Schutz protection, (under) cover (of) also shoot, as a firearm
Schutz Und Trutz protect and shelter
Sicherung/ Sicher safety, safe
Sichtbar visible, apparent, noticeable
Spöttisch mocking, scornful
Stattlicher impressive, magnificent
Steg footbridge, gangplank
Steil, Steilhang steep, steep escarpment
Stift foundation
Strategischer strategic
Streit quarrel, dispute
Strenge severe, strict
Stützpunkt base (of operations), stronghold
Tafelgut property, estate
Thron throne
Tor door/gate
Trutz resistance
Trutzburg castle constructed to lay siege on opponents castle or fortifications
Turm, Türme tower
Turnier tournament
Überlieferung tradition (written record / history)
Umfangreiche extensive (substantial)
Umgebene, Umgeben surround, surrounded
Umriss outline, overview
Ungarn hungarian
Ungeglätteten (Quadern) unpolished unsmoothed (ashlar)
Unterstützen support, prop-up
Urkund (Liche) document (documentary)
Ursprüngliche original
Verbindungslinie connecting line, line of communications
Vereinbarung (Nach…) agreement (after or by…)
Verfall decay / decline
Verkehrs (Amt) traffic artery / movement control / (tourist information)
Verlies dungeon
Vermutlich presumably, supposedly
Vernichtet destroyed, annihilated
Verpfändet mortgaged, pawned, pledged
Verpflichtung obligation, commitment, responsibility
Verschiedene different, distinct, variant
Vögte constables
Vollständig complete, perfect
Vorburg pre-castle/advance castle or fortificationfor the protection of the main castle
Vorgänger (Anlage) previous, predecessor (complex, installation)
Vorsprung protrusion, ledge, start
Wache guardhouse
Waffen weapons
Wahrscheinlich probable, likely
Wall embankment, rampart
Wallburg a compound or refuge protected by an embankment
Wappen coat of arms
Wassergeschützte water defenses? (most likely moated) or waterproof
Wasserversorgung water supply: obtained through wells, cisterns, tubes and hauling by man or beast
Wehrfähigkeit defensive capability or capacity
Wehrgang defensive wall-walk
Wehrmauer defensive wall
Wendelstein helix stone
Weregild a penalty - fine assessed for crimes against tribal members
Wodurch (Wo Durch) how, in what way (where through)
Wohnturm defensive residential tower
Zerstört (Ung) destroyed/damage
Zeughaus (Zeug-Haus arsenal, armory, storehouse
Ziehbrunnen draw well
Zinne, Zinnen merlons: the vertical section of battlements separated by spaces called crenels
Zisterne cistern
Zugbrücke drawbridge
Zuhalten keep closed
Zuruchreichen reach back (as in time)
Zwinger bailey, list, enclosure