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The refuge ( Latin refugere ) describes the place of refuge (also: shelter ) of an individual . If there was talk of a place of refuge, the term ` ` Unterschleif '' ( hostel ) was used synonymously for shelter.

As the Latin quotation (see below in the History section ) from the legal code shows, Refugium refers specifically to private individuals , but is sometimes also related to animals (see second quotation from Gottfried Keller) and plants, in particular to protected or rare species ; More common, however, is the term Refugialraum .

In the English and French languages, the Latin root form has been retained more strongly (see e.g. refugee , English for refugee ).

A refuge was also a house within a fortified city to which brothers or sisters of a monastery could retreat if their monastery was too unsafe even because of acts of war.

Usage examples


  • "Domus tutissimum cuique refugium atque receptaculum." - "Your own house is the safest place of refuge for everyone." ( Corpus Iuris Civilis , Digestae 2, 4, 18)
  • “I brought in a new fly ; the spider grabbed her like the old one; the first highwayman , who was hungry and left no choice, was already coming back ; and now, instead of artfully wrapping the new victim up , she took it briefly between the feeding tongs and carried it, like the bear the lamb , not to the middle seat, but out of the net to a refuge. ”( Gottfried Keller : The green Heinrich . Keller-SW Vol. 4, p. 620)


  • “They want you dead, or believe their lies. A man can only do one thing: Find something that belongs to him and create a refuge for himself. "(First Sergeant Edward Welsh in the anti-war film Der schmale Grat from 1998)
  • “Refuge is a word used here to refer to a small, safe place in an unsafe, unsettling world. Like an oasis in a desert or an island on a stormy sea. The Baudelaire children enjoyed the evening in their self-built refuge, but deep in their hearts they knew that the unsettling world was right outside their door, a world, I have to say, that is described with two depressing words: "-" ... Custody granted! "(Narrator in Lemony Snicket - A Mystery )


  • "On the other hand, joining the SPD was for him" one of the more emotional moments in life ", party, that is for him," pathetically speaking, a piece of home, an emotional refuge "." (Literal quote from Ottmar Schreiner from a time - Article Who's the Traitor? From 2008).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Refugium  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: shelter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. shelter. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 24 : U – Uzvogel - (XI, 3rd section). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1936, Sp. 1789–1798 ( woerterbuchnetz.de ).
  2. Tina Hildebrandt : Change of party: Who is the traitor? In: Die Zeit , No. 5/2008