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Castle -vs- Fortress

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Castle -vs- Fortress

Postby JPinoy » Fri May 21, 2004 3:19 am

Just wanna know what the "real differences" are between these two.
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Postby Formendacil » Fri May 21, 2004 3:37 am

I'm no expert, but..... here's my explanation.

If a castle isn't different from a fortress, it is specific type of a fortress: that is a wood or stone fortress, typically stone, native to Europe, built in Europe during the Middle Ages.

If a IS different from a fortress, it varies in function: that is, it is a home and civil administrative centre, as well as military defence.

Hope that makes some sense, and anyway, you probably know more about the matter than I do! :lol:
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Fri May 21, 2004 4:18 am

A castle is combined fortification/residence. The term fortress generally isn't applied to medieval fortifications, but it usually refers to something larger than a castle such as a walled city.
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Postby Legomaat » Mon May 24, 2004 5:39 pm

In my opinion, a castle is in principle a defensible home for its owner and his family, and a fortress is mostly a government owned property used for military purposes.

But that difference is not always that sharply defined.
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Postby Barbapple » Tue May 25, 2004 2:33 am

A castle is NOT just a house for royalty.
A castle is an almost self-sestaining city, complete with farms, markets, dungons, housing, and the like, all defended and wrapped up.
A fortress is a millitary based fortification, mainly used for war.
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Postby Legomaat » Tue May 25, 2004 5:02 am

Barbapple wrote:A castle is an almost self-sestaining city, complete with farms, markets, dungons, housing, and the like, all defended and wrapped up.


If that is the case I would rather call it a fortified city, or citadel.
But there were big castles, of course, with additional buildings, and they were very self-supporting indeed.
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Postby Tycho McKorley » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:01 am

According to my understanding, what distinguished European castles from other fortifications was the unification of a local noble's residence with a fortress. Obviously nobles dwelt at times in various fortifications throughout history, but castles were unique in that they were established so various vassals and seigniorians could maintain local control of various feudal estates. Thus, they were intricately tied to the feudal system of Europe and (though other lands sometimes had similar land division systems) as such were nearly unique to it.

I hope that helps!

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Postby David Girard » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:32 pm

Barbapple explained it well.

Castle is a place where you could live, because there is farms, house, dunjeon, city around. A castle is more established than a fortress.

Fortress is for strategic, for defense, for war. There is not necesseraly farms, villages, city around.

Not all castle has fortified cities around, Legomaat. It depend on the size of the city.

In other words: A castle could be a place where a noble can live permanently, but a fortress is only for a short time, when it's needed during war and for strategic situation. City and village around Castle has more chance to become bigger because of permanent living of nobles, ...and in the same way has more chance to become a fortified city or a citadel...

I hope this help. :wink:
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definitions

Postby Magnus » Fri Jun 18, 2004 2:23 pm

I think Fortess is more generic term, used about any sort of build up defended place. In WWII cities in Russia became "fortresses".

A characteristic of a "castle" is that it can be defended effectively by a pretty small number of men. A castle wou generally be a residence, but a fortress would obviously have to serve as a residence for its defenders too.
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