What is a wall in a castle

Terms city fortifications and defenses

The item Terms city fortifications and defenses provides information about terms that are used in Salzburgwiki articles with additional Salzburg-specific information.


Main article bulwark

The word Bulwark Derives - just like the word palisade - from the oldest fortifications built by humans, namely a series of stakes, planks or tree trunks rammed or dug into the ground (Middle High German: bolen, planks).

Bulwark was thus originally the name for a protective fence built from planks (piles) and ultimately derived from this for the entire fortification system. Only in modern times (from the 16th century) was the term in the technical language of fortress construction increasingly restricted to a system flanking the main wall, while in common parlance a particularly strong fortress is understood.

In the technical terminology of modern fortress construction, every structure protruding from the wall line is called a bulwark. The purpose of such a system was to be able to paint the side of the space immediately in front of the wall, which the defenders cannot see from the parapet. Bulwarks are therefore the flanking part of a fortress wall and therefore have the same function in a modern fortress as the towers of an ancient or medieval city wall. In the technical terminology of the (German) fortress construction, the term Bollwerk was not tied to a specific type of construction, but could be used as a synonym for bastion, bastion or rondell or any other flanking structure. The later so-called bastions on the Neustadt side of the city of Salzburg were also referred to as "bulwarks" in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Castle - fortress

The term Castle has its roots in Germanic times and was adopted into New High German via the Old High German and Middle High German language. In the 14th century, the additional name slowly spread veste ("Festivities") or vestunge ("Fortress") for castles.[1]. It is often customary to use the term castle primarily for medieval fortifications, but fortress for modern ones. So that there is no confusion, the term for the modern fortification fortress Hohensalzburg on the fortress mountain is also used here in the article fortress used.


A bastion front pushed forward into the trench, which was one of the outer works of an early modern fortress, is referred to as a hornwork.

Wall and rampart

The pre-Roman and Roman fortifications often consisted of a deep ditch that was partially supported by palisades. The well-known Limes was such a wall. Also known to many Neolithic, Bronze Age,. Germanic, Celtic and Roman ramparts. It serves to defend a provisional field fortification or a hill fort, perhaps also a religious meeting place. Such systems were built around villages or markets or around small fortifications until the Middle Ages.

A defensive wall was characteristic in all of these complexes. Often it was a simple earthfill with steep embankments on both sides, or an earth structure that was additionally secured with wood, frattening or palisades, and wall parts were also present to a lesser extent. The former trenches are barely visible today, but often indistinct earth walls remain visible. It was not uncommon for several concentric ring walls to exist one behind the other. Such early ramparts are not documented in the city of Salzburg. The medieval city had defensive walls but no ramparts.

Such early ramparts are not documented in the city of Salzburg. The medieval city had defensive walls, but no ramparts.

Prince Archbishop Paris Count Lodron had large bulwarks built, especially in the new town, which were built up to about eight meters high. Around these walls, which were polygonal in plan, there was a ring-shaped path for observation and for artillery. On this base there was a massive earth wall up to eight meters high, steeply sloping on all sides, on top of which a 1.4 m high narrow protective wall made of earth was placed. Most of the guns were behind this little wall. This form of fortifications with built-on ramparts meant that the entire fortifications of a city - or parts of them - were often referred to as ramparts - regardless of their appearance.

Such historical names are known to the fortifications as ramparts in the city of Salzburg several times. The walls also became a metaphor for defensibility. Incidentally, Heinrich von Kleist also uses the term in his comedy "The broken jar"where Rupert is ready at the end"Sentinel on the ramparts of Antwerp"(even if there were no more knightly signs at that time). Another example is the alleged" protective wall against fascism, which the GDR built along the former zone border, but which no longer contained a wall. In this sense, various newspaper articles from the years after 1920 are to be understood in the article about the Schartenmauer.

In general, metaphors are used far less today than they were 80 years ago. The name Schartenwall is also not recommended in Salzburgwiki as an encyclopedia. In the core of the word, a wall remains a system with (at least predominantly) sloping on both sides d. H. clearly inclined side parts.


A ravelin (German: Wallschild) is an independent work in fortresses whose task it is to protect the curtain wall, i.e. the wall between two bastions - hence its German name Wallschild - and at the same time its faces (the enemy side or the front, outer side of a fortress).


Bulwark, a contribution by Dr. Reinhard Medicus
Schartenmauer, a contribution by Dr. Reinhard Medicus
  • Entry in the German-language Wikipedia on the subject of "Ravelin"
  • Entry in the German-language Wikipedia on the subject of "Hornwerk"

Individual proof

  1. ↑ Entry in the German-language Wikipedia on the subject of "Castle"