The Beautiful Town Idstein – Part 4 – Schloss

German, as well as Czech, has two words for a castle. One is “das Schloss” which means a luxurious aristocratic residence. The other one is “die Burg” and means a fortified luxurious aristocratic residence.

Castle in Idstein

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

From what I have been able to decipher on German Wikipedia the castle in Idstein used to be both of those. Originally it started with a lookout tower (the previously mentioned Hexenturm) around which a fortified residence was built. Sometime around the Renaissance period the castle was rebuilt from fortress into purely representative luxurious dwelling.

First picture shows the castle as seen from the town. The castle itself is located uphill and can only be accessed via the gate near Rathaus.


Castle in Idstein

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

At the foot of the Hexenturm is this beautiful building connecting the base of the tower with the gatehouse (named “Alte Kanzlei”). This building, at least its lower parts, is what remains of the original fortress. There were some significant damages to be seen, right behind the gatehouse the original stone wall was bulging out and it had markers on it probably to keep an eye on the bulge. Unfortunately in our somewhat chaotic and unguided stroll through the town I did not make more pictures  of the remnants of the original fortifications, because I did not know where to look and for what.

However I did make a picture of the main castle building. With “chemtrails” behind it. Today it serves as a high school, a much better purpose than a demonstration of wealth and power.

Castle in Idstein

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. voyager says

    That’s an interesting roofline. It makes me want to sit in one of the dormers and look out.

  2. rq says

    I’d love to go to school in a castle like that.
    There’s several manors and small castles rebuilt into schools here, many of them losing the original interior to provide the necessary classroom space and organization, although Husband’s mum recalls going to school in an old castle with all the original twisty, turny corridors.

  3. Nightjar says

    I confess I don’t know much about the terminology for luxurious residences in either language, but is the distinction between “Schloss” and “Burg” different from the distinction between “Palace” and “Castle” (respectively)?

  4. says

    Nightjar, both German and Czech also have the word for “Palace”. The difference here is size and purpose. Castle (in both meanings) can be comparatively small and privately owned, while palace is usually huge and is the home of some high ranking state mobster. But the division between “Palast” and “Schloss” is somewhat blurred. You could say that while every “Palasts” is also a “Schloss”, not every “Schloss” is a “Palast”.

  5. Nightjar says

    Charly and Giliell,

    Thanks for the explanation, I think I get it now. It just occurred to me that Portuguese has two words for non-fortified luxurious buildings, “palácio” and “palacete”. “Palácio” means palace, while “palacete” (literally a small palace) is applied to smaller buildings that may or may not be privately owned. And then we have “castelo” for the fortified buildings. I think I just realized now that “castle” and “castelo” are not necessarily equivalent, and some “castles” are actually “palacetes”. Which is weird!

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