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] or what in the British Isles would be known as a stately home or country house.

Similarly, in the Scandinavian languages, related Germanic 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 or kastell or borg). In Dutch the word "slot" is considered to be more archaic. Nowadays one commonly uses "paleis" or "kasteel".

Most Schlösser were built after the Middle Ages as residences for the nobility and not as true fortresses, although they were often originally fortified; the usual German term for a true castle is Burg and for a fortress is Festung; however, many castles were called "Schloss", especially those that were used as residences after they lost their defensive significance and many were adapted to new tastes during the Renaissance and Baroque period.

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

Examples of Schlösser

Sometimes, the medieval Carolingian "Kaiserpfalzen" are considered as "Schlösser" already, such as the Palace of Aachen and the Imperial Palace of Goslar.



Look up Schloss in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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


  1. "Das Oldenburger Schloss". Oldenburg (in German). Retrieved 28 August 2015. External link in |website= (help)

See also

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