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Burgstall "Heidenschloss" near Friedrichshafen, probably the "Old Castle" of the Lords of Raderach
Burgstall “Bertaburg” on the Landsöhr mountain spur

As a castle stables (singular the castle stables , plural the castle stables , anciently the Burgstähl ), also Burgstelle , Altburgstelle , a castle is referred to in castle history, of which even less is preserved than a ruin . The specialist literature also knows the term abandoned castle or abandoned castle , which can usually be equated with the designation "Burgstall".


The word Burgstall - 'the place of the castle' - is of medieval origin and originally simply referred to 'Burg, Burgberg', later specifically 'smaller castle' . This importance lasted until the first years of the 20th century.

Today the term Burgstall denotes an unfinished castle construction site or the location where a castle once stood, the walls of which are now completely or largely leveled. A technical definition is, for example:

"Burgstall" is the term used to refer to out-of-the-way seats whose castle locations are adapted to the natural terrain, but which can be identified through preserved artificial ground interventions (ramparts, ditches, terraces). "

Many castles, which today are only preserved as castle stables, were razed in the Middle Ages or left to natural decay, but some only later, for example as a result of the roof tax in Austria. Field names relating to the fortification have mostly been preserved since then, and there are also numerous recognizable level squares or rubble mounds, as they are usually in rather inaccessible places - if not, they were widely used as "quarries" for nearby buildings and are complete departed. Part only are erdbauliche radicals such as ditches and earthen walls above ground visible. This means that castle stables can only be seen as uneven terrain or even only in aerial photographs . Today they are mostly protected as ground monuments.

Differentiation of the term to ruin or castle :

  • A castle ruin is usually referred to as a castle stables when a reconstruction of the building floor plan and the functions of the buildings is no longer possible. A ruin, where the sparse foundation walls still allow a reconstruction, is usually not rated as a mere castle stables in the specialist literature.
  • A fortified building complex with a defensive character with a wall ring and a living room is to be regarded as a castle.
  • However, castles that have left no traces at all are also classified as “lost”, which is typical for hillside or spur castles that have been completely cleared of erosion and landslide, as well as castles whose historical location is completely unknown.

A large part of all castles that are no longer preserved have simply merged into a younger structure, such as an early modern fortress or a mid- modern castle , where they still exist as structural remains in the form of individual tracts (often parts of the core castle ), buildings or fortifications or the foundation walls of Create new buildings or horticultural terraces.


Individual evidence

  1. Adelung - The Burgstall. Retrieved September 9, 2019 .
  2. Otto Piper : Castle Studies. Reprint of the 3rd edition from 1912. Weltbild, Augsburg 1994, ISBN 3-89350-554-7 .
  3. ↑ Object types: Hausberg / Burgstall / Erdwerk. In: NÖ-Burgen online , Thomas Kühtreiber , Institute for Reality Studies of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era, Krems an der Donau (accessed October 18, 2019).
  4. cf. ops cit. Object types. Lower Austrian castles online: Groups no longer preserved fortifications / aristocratic seat / castle site (exact location but known) and non-localized seat .