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Reconstructed keep of the Motte of Saint-Sylvain-d'Anjou
Donjon of Vincennes Castle , main residence of the French kings in the 13th and 14th centuries

A donjon [ dɔ̃ˈʒɔ̃ ] (from French donjon ) is a residential tower and defense tower of a medieval castle of the French cultural area.

The term goes back to the Gallo-Roman dominiono , 'main tower', and this comes from the Latin dominus , 'lord', because the donjon was mainly inhabited by the lord of the castle. The English term dungeon goes back to the French term donjon , but here the meaning later shifted to dungeon , while the tower corresponding to the donjon is called keep . The donjon either forms the core of the castle as the main tower or appears as a particularly strong wall tower. From the dungeon , the uninhabited main tower of many castles in German-speaking countries, the Donjon distinguished by its fundamental property as a residential tower, which is why comparatively larger base areas are common.

The terms donjon and keep , which are still widely used in specialist literature, are increasingly being replaced by historically verifiable terms such as tour maîtresse or great tower by international research .

In its original, medieval meaning, the term donjon describes the entire feudal seat within a castle complex, not just the residential tower. In Italian sources, dongione (from the French donjon ) even means the entire manor estate .

One of the two oldest stone residential towers in France: the donjon of Langeais Castle (Indre-et-Loire)

The French donjon

The shell keep of Gisors Castle with the donjon built around 70 years later
The three “donjons” of Falaise Castle in Normandy
The layout of the three donjons of Falaise. The endeavor to expand the large main room of the older donjon with additional chambers is clearly visible

Along with the moth, the donjon is one of the germ cells of the high medieval western European aristocratic castle. In France and England in particular (referred to as keep there), large donjons or keeps were built as early as the 11th century (for example Loches Castle on the Loire ). This type of building came to the British Isles during the Norman invasion of Anglo-Saxon England. In German usage, these early examples are often referred to as "Anglo-Norman residential towers".

The development of the donjon type

The origins of the Franco-Norman donjon are disputed. Some researchers see a connection with Byzantine and Middle Eastern traditions that were imported into Western Europe during the First Crusades . Others trace the first stone residential towers back to the remains of Roman buildings that were still often recognizable in the High Middle Ages . Perhaps the wooden towers of the countless moths also served as direct models. Such wooden towers were at high risk of fire and for this reason alone were inadequate in terms of defense technology, but also only partially suitable as permanently inhabited residences.

Occasionally, the Carolingian Granus Tower in Aachen is viewed as a pioneering model for the later residential towers. The oldest stone residential towers in France date back to the 10th and early 11th centuries. The partially preserved tower in Langeais (Indre-et-Loire) is, like its counterpart in Doué-la Fontaine (Maine-et-Loire), an early form of the donjon type. However, these early forerunners cannot actually be addressed as towers. In both cases it is representative halls with massive basement floors, where the defensive character may have played a subordinate role.

From the late 11th century, especially in England, the wooden main towers of the tower mounds were surrounded by high ring or mantle walls. Few examples of this type of castle have survived on the mainland. Particularly characteristic is the shell keep of the moth from Gisors Castle (Eure, around 1100). About 70 years later a large polygonal donjon was built here inside the mantle. The shell keeps type was evidently not further developed on the continent, while some examples on the British Isles were expanded to form huge main towers with an open courtyard ( Windsor Castle ).

In the 11th and 12th centuries, the donjons of the castles Loches (Indre-et-Loire), Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), Caen (Calvados), Falaise (Calvados), Arques-la-Bataille (Seine- Maritime), Château-Thierry (Aisne), Dreux (Eure-et-Loir) and Provins (Seine-et-Marne). These early donjons were mostly built on rectangular ground plans.

The main tower of Fréteval Castle (Loir-et-Cher) is one of the oldest round donjons . Many researchers believe that the round shape has been developed to the construction to impart a higher stability to Unterminierungsversuche and the shooting by slingshots ( trebuchets ) and catapults to withstand better. However, aesthetic and practical reasons probably played a role here; in any case, more rectangular than round main towers continued to be built. In the second half of the 12th century, experimentation was carried out with numerous floor plans, sometimes the corner towers seem to surpass the actual core structure ( Ambleny Castle , Aisne). The keep of Étampes Castle (Essonne) was built over a clover-leaf-shaped floor plan.

The keep of Houdan (Yvelines) with its semicircular corner tours

Round corner towers or tourelles as a supplement to rectangular or oval floor plans appear for the first time in the 12th century ( Houdan , Yvelines). In the end, the shape of a rectangular building with round or square corner towers largely prevailed. An early representative of this type is still inhabited in Nemours (Seine-et-Marne) and has been followed as far as Ireland . The relatively simple and inexpensive design was mainly chosen by the lower nobility. In the 13th and 14th centuries, however, donjons of the high nobility and the crown were built according to this model (Vincennes Castle). In southern France in particular, similar main towers were built into the 15th century.

The geographical location of most of the examples makes it clear that the building type of the donjon was developed in the central Loire region (County Anjou ), i.e. in the border area with Normandy . In Normandy, the donjon was further developed through the integration of smaller ancillary rooms (Falaise Castle) and this innovation was transferred to England.

Typological features

Often a stone donjon was built on the hill plateau of a moth at the site of older wooden buildings in order to meet the increased fortification needs of the High Middle Ages ( Bricquebec Castle , Manche ). Of the early “ Romanesque ” donjons, the residential tower of Chambois Castle ( Orne ) in particular shows the derivation of the English keep from the French (Anglo-Norman) donjon. The grand donjon of Falaise Castle also has its English counterparts in the Keeps of Corfe , Norwich and Portchester .

The basic shape of the fortified residential tower was adapted to the respective topographical conditions and practical as well as defense-related and representative requirements. Sometimes the towers are in the center of a castle (Châteauguillaume, Lignac, Indre), often on older tower mounds or natural rock heads or elevations. They can cover the attack side of a defense system and be accompanied by shield or mantle walls. Occasionally, the residential and farm buildings are combined in an extensive outer bailey, the donjon is isolated or surrounded by a curtain wall (Saint-Vérain Castle, Nièvre ).

The shape of the floor plan plays a secondary role as a characteristic. There are rectangular as well as round and polygonal donjons, the rectangular shape being the older. Especially in late medieval rectangular donjons, the corners are often filled with round tourelles , which were sometimes formed into round towers (Domeyrat Castle, Haute Loire).

Some of the French donjons are surrounded by ditches , so were independent small castles within a curtain wall ( Louvre , Paris ). This also suggests that the high medieval donjons were not only residential and representative buildings, but also served for (passive) defense.

The donjons of Trêves (Chênehutte-Trêves-Cunault, Maine-et-Loire), Dourdan (Essonne) and other castles are designed as corner towers. These examples indicate a functional change in the main towers. Apparently, they no longer served only as refuges within the castle, but were intended to enable an active defense of the fortifications. The tower crew could quickly switch from the tower to the battlements, but withdraw just as quickly in acute danger. In Dourdan the donjon stands free in the moat in front of the actual castle, similar to that in Seringes-et-Nesles (Nesles-en-Dole Castle, Aisne).

Occasionally the donjon protrudes from the curtain wall and protects the endangered attack side of a castle (Mauvezin Castle, Hautes-Pyrenees) and the gate. The simultaneous function as a gate tower is rare.

Other donjons were added to the curtain wall or later surrounded by buildings. As in Falaise or Najac (Aveyron), an older “Romanesque” donjon is sometimes surmounted by a younger “Gothic” round tower.

In Cruas (Ardeche), an entire fortified village was added to the "Chateau de Moines" with its rectangular donjon. The medieval ensemble is completely uninhabited today.

Occasionally several donjons or main towers were built within a larger castle complex. The huge Falaise Castle ( Calvados ) is dominated by three such structures. The "grand donjon" is a typical Anglo-Norman residential tower from the 12th century. A little later the much smaller "petit donjon" was built as an extension to the older main tower. In the early 13th century, the "Tour Talbot" was added to the ensemble. The large round tower towers over the two high medieval donjons and was mainly used for military purposes. The castle in Niort (Deux-Sèvres) has a "double" keep . Both towers are 16 meters apart and are connected by an intermediate structure. Also Excideuil castle has a double Donjon.

Not all “donjons” were designed for permanent residential use, some differ little in size and appearance from the Central European Bergfrieden. For example, the round main tower of Châlus -Chabrol Castle ( Haute-Vienne ) has a diameter of 9.5 meters with a preserved height of 25 meters. The high entrance above the basement also corresponds to its Central European counterparts. However, all four floors are vaulted throughout, while keep mostly only partially have stone vaults . Often in Central Europe only wooden ceilings separate the floors.

These keep-like "donjons" were mainly built in southern France and the Alpine regions, where the related topographical situation led to similar castle-building results as in Central Europe. But also in northern and central France, from the 13th century onwards, the defense and representative functions of the large towers seem to have been increasingly separated from the residential function (Châtillon-sur-Indre castle).

In France, machicolations and notches have been preserved on numerous donjons and keep-like main towers , which also enabled an active defense of the main tower. These defenses often date from the late Middle Ages or are reconstructions from the 19th century. However, examples from the High Middle Ages also prove the spread of these defensive elements, which Central European mountain peace usually lacks.

Many of the French nicks and machiculis were actually usable, so they were not only used for decoration or psychological deterrence of a potential aggressor. A peculiarity of the French fortifications were buttresses and consoles , which were connected to each other by round or pointed arches. In the vault , a thrown or cast opening usually made it possible to defend the base of the wall. A particularly characteristic example is the main tower of Clansayes Castle (Drôme, probably beginning of the 13th century), whose machiculation jumps out at an acute angle. The teardrop-shaped donjon of Gaillard Castle should also be mentioned here. In the past, the core plant was reinforced by an attached round tower.

These technical defense details enliven the outer fronts of many French castles, fortified churches and city ​​fortifications . Compared to their Central European counterparts, these structures appear much more richly structured, similar to Spanish and Italian defense structures.

The southern and western European examples were often designed against attacks by larger associations, while the castles in the Roman-German Empire were mostly only exposed to mass attacks by relatively few attackers. An active defense was difficult for the crews of the central European castles, often only 10 or 20 men. The mostly much simpler defensive facilities were sometimes only dummies that were supposed to simulate more military strength than was actually available. But numerous examples of this “ psychological warfare ” can also be found in French and English castles .

In the German-speaking area, the more general term “residential tower” is usually used, as the proportions of the large French donjons are seldom achieved. In the shape of four small corner towers, the Nothberg Castle is rare in Germany and therefore to be regarded as a cultural heritage of particular importance. In its conception, it refers to role models in France. Another example of one of the few preserved German donjons is in Heimsheim and belongs to the Schleglerschloss there . The residential tower of Hugofels Castle in the Allgäu , which is highly endangered by substance, can be traced back to models in nearby Switzerland .

The tower castles of the Archdiocese of Cologne in Soest and Xanten , which have long since disappeared, are considered direct implementation of French requirements . Mighty donjons with sides of around 27 meters were built here in the High Middle Ages .

Purpose and symbolism

The layout of the main castle of La Roche-Guyon

The fortificatory value of the keeps and donjons is now classified as secondary by some castle explorers, they put the residential and representative character of the large towers in the foreground. However, one has to keep in mind that the stone architecture of the early donjons in a predominantly “wooden” environment brought great military advantages. The enormous wall thicknesses of some donjons are also indications that these highlights of medieval secular architecture should be interpreted as multifunctional buildings. Occasionally the attack sides were reinforced by shield walls (Castle Crest) or fore walls. The triangular front of the otherwise designed as a round tower donjon of the castle La Roche-Guyon ( Val-d'Oise ) probably served as protection against fire from slingshots ( Bliden ) and similar siege machines.

Other “teardrop-shaped” ground plans can certainly be traced back to these defense considerations (Burg Issoudun , Indre, Burg Gaillard , Eure). The builders tried to react to the latest developments in siege technology. From today's perspective, such massive expansions sometimes appear to be rather unnecessary. Here, in some cases, rather irrational motives seem to have played a role; the actual risk of using large, very complex and expensive siege devices was obviously overestimated. In addition to triangular front walls, there are also semicircular fronts (Burg Bâtie-Vieille, Hautes-Alpes ).

The function as a place of retreat for the castle crew is often questioned. In the French-speaking area, however, some castles of the regular fort type that were designed without donjons were built in the early 13th century (Passy-en-Valois, Aisne; Montaiguillon). Parallels to this can also be found in the rest of Europe, for example in the Central European “mantle wall castles”. Some authors interpret this fact as an indication that the main tower can be assigned a retreat function. A donjon, keep or keep was deliberately avoided in order to force the crew to defend the entire castle. The defense out so not passively withdraw into the tower ( towers ), to wait for relief.

Some of the retreats of persecuted Jews in towers have also been reported. In France, even 500 Jews are said to have holed up in a tower in the Middle Ages, which was then burned down by the peasant Christian population (Verdun-sur-Garonne, Shepherd's Crusade of 1320 ).

The reduit function of the medieval towers assumed by castle research in the 19th century is certainly derived in this form from the (early) modern fortress construction . The early authors often interpreted the retreat function as the actual purpose of the large tower structures. Today's research sees this in a much more differentiated manner and has also recognized the donjons as multifunctional structures. Castles could have very different functions. The actual motivation of the building owner must often remain in the dark here. Research can only draw conclusions from the overall political and sociological situation.

The early tower structures often represented the entire castle complex, the outer works of which were often still laid out as wood-earth fortifications or only consisted of simple circular walls without flanking towers. The general exclusion of the function as “last refuge” therefore appears problematic to some researchers, especially since there are also some historically verifiable examples of this reduit function . Many castles were not built as residences in a pacified region; only their construction pacified an area permanently in connection with the numerous other fortified residences of the nobility and other fortifications. The basis of this amazingly well-functioning system of mutual dependencies was feudalism , which made the development of Western culture in its present form possible in the first place.

The large main tower does not seem to have been an indispensable element of medieval manorial architecture. The symbolism of power was certainly an important motivation for the development of such architectures, including the function as a symbol of the actual or imagined social status of the builders.

Some Western European castles are actually just large donjons, fortified external works and elaborate outbuildings were often dispensed with. Typologically, these often smaller castles cannot always be clearly distinguished from the “maison forte” (fortified house) of the lower nobility, which again finds its more modest counterpart in the “permanent house” of Central Europe.

The royal donjon of the fortifications of Aigues-Mortes ("Tour de Constance")

Some city fortifications are reinforced by large donjon-like defense towers. A striking example is the round “Tour de Constance” in Aigues-Mortes . The building housed the royal garrison in the Middle Ages and can therefore be referred to as "donjon royal". The rectangular “Tour Carbonniere” has also been preserved there as a far forward external plant.

Comparable representative main towers are also widespread among the castles in Spain , here they are called torre del homenaje . The Norman conquerors also spread the donjon type in southern Italy and Sicily .


One of the most famous donjons: the high medieval main tower of Loches Castle (Indre-et-Loire)

The term "donjon" is often used in German-language literature as a general generic term for fortified residential towers in castles. In the narrower sense, however, the term is only used for the large residential towers of the French cultural area. In other regions of Europe, the basic type of residential tower has mostly been greatly modified and further developed, which is why a more precise conceptual differentiation makes sense. For example, some English keeps differ fundamentally from the one-room disposition of most French donjons. Here, additional living rooms were grouped around the central hall and sometimes a chapel was integrated.

The large main tower of Karlštejn Castle near Prague can also be interpreted as a modification of the classic donjon type. The building served mainly as a "safe" for the imperial regalia and relics of the Holy Roman Empire and probably also as a symbol of the power of the Bohemian and Roman-German Empire. The central room in the main tower is the splendid Kreuzkapelle on the upper floor, in which the treasures of the kingdom and empire were kept and presented.

There has also been a special development in Spain due to the influence of the Moorish architectural tradition and regional characteristics. The different location in the area alone had to lead to deviations. Similar to central Europe and southern France , many Spanish castles were built as hilltop castles, while most of the castles in northern France and England are on the plain or on low hills. Some castle researchers therefore prefer the term “donjon-like residential tower” to describe such regional special forms and modifications.

In France, the term “donjon” was often uncritically applied in the specialist literature to the keep and residential towers of Central Europe and especially Alsace. The main towers of French castles, which were not primarily used for residential purposes, are usually generally referred to as donjons, as are the wooden towers of the numerous Motten (tower mounds). Jean Mesqui and other authors, on the other hand, use the term tour-beffroi ( keep tower) to designate such towers and regret that "beffroi" in French is usually only related to urban watch towers and bell towers.

The Keeps of the British Isles are also often referred to as donjons. "Donjon" here means "main tower". Modern French research has now recognized this problem and is increasingly replacing the term “donjon” with the neutral term “tour maîtresse”, which can also be applied to the keeps, residential towers and bergfrieds of the rest of Europe. This outdated equation is even more widespread in popular medieval literature. Such works are often translated into German and give the reader an exaggerated picture of Central European conditions, which also differ significantly from Western European conditions in terms of castle history.

Crusader castles in the Holy Land

The Donjon (left) of Saladinsburg (Saône Castle, Syria)

During the first crusades , the most modern European defense developments were carried over to the Middle East and the Byzantine Empire . French and Norman crusaders built the first donjon-like residential towers in the occupied territories. These ruling architectures largely corresponded to their Western models. Most of the donjons were laid out on two floors, the floors were often massively vaulted. Often civil settlements developed around the castles. Occasionally older fortifications were used, in the center of which a residential tower was built ( Anavarza Castle ).

Many of the first donjon castles were later demolished or built over. The tower in Montdidier / Madd ad-Dair (County Caesarea ) was built before 1123, the keep of the Castrum Rubrum / Buri al-Ahmar castle could be a little younger. The remains of this tower, which was archaeologically examined in 1983, had a footprint of 19.7 × 15.5 meters. Originally, Beaufort Castle (Lebanon) probably also goes back to a simple donjon castle with a massive shield wall.

The military importance of these early donjon-type noble castles decreased from the middle of the 12th century. The representative residential towers nevertheless remained important status symbols and centers of power. The square donjon of Saône / Sahyun / Salah Ed-Din Castle ( Syria ) is well preserved. Round main towers are rarer and can be dated to the beginning of the 13th century at the earliest ( Margat Castle , Syria). The rectangular or square design was better habitable and easier to vault.

Only remains of the huge round tower of the former Templar castle Saphet / Safed / Safad ( Israel ) have been preserved. This gigantic - perhaps Mamluk - tower with a diameter of 34 meters even exceeded the dimensions of the Donjon of Coucy.


The Coucy keep on the main attack side of the castle, reconstruction by Viollet-le-Duc

The most powerful and famous example of a French donjon was blown up by German troops in 1917 during the First World War . Today there are only a few remains of the huge, round residential tower of the great feudal castle Coucy-le-Château near Soissons . The German generals feared that the enemy might entrench themselves in the impregnable building. The dimensions of this building were gigantic: the tower was about 60 meters high and, with a wall thickness of seven meters, had a diameter of about 30 meters.

Preserved donjons

In France today around 1100 donjons have been preserved or can be identified. Large fully or partially preserved French donjons include:

The highest French donjon still in existence has been preserved in the Crest in southern France . The 52 meter high residential tower of Crest Castle is surmounted by a huge shield wall on the endangered mountain side .

One of the most unusual "donjons" is the high double tower of the Castelnau-de-Lévis castle in the south of France ( Tarn department ). A very slender, rectangular watchtower was added to the semicircular “tour maîtresse” . The building was certainly never inhabited for a long time because of the very limited usable area.

The cruciform ground plan of the Donjon of Étampes ( Essonne ), composed of four semicircular towers, is also remarkable .

Donjons in Germany

Castle ruin Hoher Schwarm , tower castle from the 10th century on a presumably Franconian castle site, Thuringia
Stolpe Castle , circular residential tower similar to a donjon (18 m diameter), former tower castle based on Danish models, Brandenburg
Frauenstein Castle , central main tower with "round corners" of the late Gothic castle, with integrated round Wendelstein, often incorrectly referred to as the keep, Saxony
so-called "Kemenate" Orlamünde , example of a donjon-like "Thuringian wide living tower" with high entrances, Thuringia

In Germany, too, some of the dominant main castle towers fulfill the concept of donjon, if they are not classic keep or purely residential towers:

  • Hoher Schwarm Castle (10th century), presumably an even older Franconian complex, ruin that is certainly unique in Germany, Turmburg , Thuringia
  • Stolpe Castle , the keep-like, unusually huge, round residential tower "Grützpott", it is said to be a tower castle based on Danish models, Brandenburg
  • Frauenstein Castle , the central main tower of the late Gothic castle, composed of two towers or a tower with extension, of the late Gothic castle, Saxony
  • Neuchâtel , round donjon-like residential tower "Dicker Wilhelm" (from 1180) in the outer bailey II, mostly titled as "Bergfried", staircases in the walls as well as chimneys and a round vault contain, Thuringia
  • Schleglerschloss , in the manner of the Thuringian broad residential towers, Baden-Württemberg

The “ Thuringian broad dwelling towers ” of the High Middle Ages , to be found at castles in Thuringia and Saxony, mostly locally referred to as “Kemenate”, fulfill the criteria of being a donjon, as they are a mix of residential tower, defense tower and keep. Therefore, all of the wide residential towers originally had high entrances.

In German-speaking countries, so-called "high houses" have been built since the Gothic period (especially the late Gothic ) up to the late Renaissance period . These are palas-like tower residential buildings on a rectangular floor plan, in the style of the donjon, which only pretend to be defensible , but are practically pure residential buildings in the form of a huge tower. Examples are:

  • "Hohes Haus" (1530) from Gauernitz Castle , Saxony
  • Early modern "High House" (17th century) from Kochberg Castle , Thuringia
  • square "Big Tower" in Freudenstein Castle , Saxony
  • formerly "House of the Duchess" (1585–1590) of the abandoned Berlin Renaissance palace , State of Berlin
  • Egerberk Castle , ruin of the so-called "Palas", it is a tower-like residential building from the late Gothic period in the style of a donjon, Sudetenland, Czech Republic
  • Another "high house" apparently existed (according to Merian view from 1650) on the abandoned Hornstein Castle in Weimar, Thuringia
  • round Johannisturm (Coselturm) -from 1509-, Stolpen Castle , Saxony
  • Lohr Castle around 1340 in Lohr am Main, Bavaria

See also


  • Uwe Albrecht : Hall - hall - residential tower. To the knowledge of Western European mint types of high medieval aristocratic residences in the vicinity of Henry the Lion and his sons. In: Jochen Luckhardt , Franz Niehoff (Hrsg.): Heinrich the lion and his time . Rule and representation of the Guelphs from 1125 to 1235 [catalog of the Braunschweig exhibition 1995]. Volume 2, Essays . Hirmer, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-7774-6690-5 / ISBN 3-7774-6610-7 [Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum], pp. 492-501.
  • Jean-Pierre Babelon (Ed.): Le château en France . 2nd Edition. Berger-Levrault, Paris 1988, ISBN 2-7013-0741-4 (publisher) / ISBN 2-85822-072-7 (Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites).
  • André Châtelain: Donjons romans des pays d'ouest . Étude comparative sur les donjons romans quadrangulaires de la France de l'Ouest. A. et J. Picard, Paris 1973.
  • Daniel Burger : Castles of the Crusaders in the Holy Land. In: Hans-Jürgen Kotzur (ed.): The crusades. No war is sacred. Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-8053-3240-8 .
  • Gabriel Fournier: Le chateau dans la France médiévale . Paris 1978
  • Hermann Hinz : Motte und Donjon - On the early history of the medieval aristocratic castle. In: Journal of Archeology of the Middle Ages. Supplement 1, Cologne 1981, ISBN 3-7927-0433-1 .
  • G. Ulrich Großmann: Castles in Europe . Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7954-1686-8 .
  • Jean Mesqui: Châteaux et enceintes de la France médiévale - de la défense à la residence .
  • Jean Mesqui: Châteaux forts et fortifications en France . Paris 1997, ISBN 2-08-012271-1 .
  • Jean Mesqui: Deux donjons construits autour de l'an mil en Touraine - Langeais et Loches . Paris 1998.
  • Jean-Pierre Panouillé: Les châteaux forts dans la France du Moyen Age . Rennes 2003, ISBN 2-7373-3171-4 .
  • Alain Salamagne (ed.): Le château médiéval et la guerre dans l'Europe du Nord-Ouest - mutations et adaptations. (Actes du colloque de Valenciennes, 1-2-3 June 1995). Villeneuve-d'Ascq 1998
  • Charles-Laurent Salch: Dictionnaire des Châteaux et des Fortifications du Moyen Age en France . Strasbourg 1979
  • La vie dans le donjon au Moyen Age (colloque de Vendôme, 12 & 13 May 2001). Vendôme 2005, ISBN 2-904736-38-7 .
  • Claude Wenzler, Hervé Champollion: Châteaux forts et forteresses de la France médiévale . Paris 2007, ISBN 978-2-84690-140-6 .
  • Caroline d'Ursel (inter alia): Donjons médiévaux de Wallonie. (Inventaires thématiques). Namur 2000-2004
    • Volume 1: Province de Brabant - arrondissement de Nivelles . 2000, ISBN 2-87401-094-4 .
    • Volume 2: Province de Hainaut - arrondissements de Ath, Charleroi, Mons, Soignies, Thuin et Tournai. 2001, ISBN 2-87401-121-5 .
    • Volume 3: Province de Liège - arrondissements de Huy, Liège, Verviers et Waremme . 2003, ISBN 2-87401-142-8 .
    • Volume 4: Province de Namur - arrondissements de Dinant, Namur et Philippeville. 2004, ISBN 2-87401-154-1 .
    • Volume 5: Province de Luxembourg - arrondissements de Bastogne, Marche-en-Famenne, Neufchâteau, Virton . 2004, ISBN 2-87401-166-5 .
  • Bernhard Siepen: French Donjons . Aachen 2001. ISBN 3-00-007776-6 . (Catalog in four languages ​​for the traveling exhibition "French Donjons")

Web links

Commons : Donjons  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Donjon  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Pehla, Hans-Klaus: Defense tower and keep in the Middle Ages. Aachen 1974, p. 387: “A fortified residential tower, exclusively called donjon in French castle studies, and often called donjon in modern German, is a fortified medieval tower that combines defense, residential, representative and economic functions in its walls and especially in the early days of its development it represents the permanently inhabited residence of the lord of the castle. "
  2. Ulrich Schütte: “The castle as a fortification, fortified castle buildings of the early modern times”, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, 1994, p. 72, ISBN 3-534-11692-5
  3. Ulrich Schütte: "The castle as a fortification, fortified castle buildings of the early modern times", Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, 1994, p. 126, ISBN 3-534-11692-5