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Drainage ditch in the Eider-Treene lowlands towards the Eider. In this case, it is a trench that existed before the area was drained and was retained for further drainage.

A moat , also known as a Schloot , is an artificially created or developed, mostly slightly flowing body of water .


Moats are used for water supply or the loading or dewatering drainage as amelioration of the floor. Drainage ditches in agricultural areas are also known as fire ditches. General terms in this context are floodlights and receiving waters .

Moats - as flowing or standing water part of fortifications - also served as an artificial obstacle to the defense of castles ( moat ), City Walls (moat) and fortresses (moat).

The irrigation of large areas in the Münsterland or the Netherlands also served the purpose of defense; there, pastures were put under water and became difficult to negotiate water areas for attackers. Depending on the slope of the terrain, these ditches ("Where a Hagen (Wall), there a ditch", see also wall hedge ) were created so far from each other that the slope of the terrain could be leveled out. In the case of a slight slope (e.g. 1 meter slope on 100 meters horizontal route) the wall had to be at least 1 meter high, or the distance between the walls was reduced. With very flat surfaces, large areas had to be flooded, and the Romans (and others) hardly had a chance.

With field names that indicate flooding, one can assume that man-made water systems used to exist here, e.g. B. Flothfeld, Vlothfeld, Floedfeld, Flödenveld.

As Art trenches moats are referred to, on the mines with water to drive water wheels are supplied.

Regional names

In some regions there are also special names for moats:

Main moats are also called land moats .

In the meantime, these trenches have often been filled in again, as soon as the original purpose was fulfilled, or replaced by pipes to develop building land . Their designation then mostly survived as a street name.


  • HLW Völker, Carl Friedrich Thomann: Christian Reichart's land and garden treasure . Volume 1, 6th edition, Grätz 1821.

See also

Web links

Commons : Moats  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files
Wiktionary: Wassergraben  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations