Castle in 10 languages
Castles have a special place in our collective imagination, and they dot the landscape in many countries, either as beautiful buildings still used and loved or as evocative ruins, slowly disintegrating.
Castles in different countries each have their own unique characteristics, yet are all equally beautiful.
I have a lot of memories around castles from the ruins of the ‘castle’ (actually a ‘big house’) on the headland near my home, Carbisdale Castle in Scotland where I spent long periods of time in my childhood exploring the secret passages, spyholes and surrounding forest complete with toadstool fairy rings. In Japan, I lived in Kumamoto which is famous for its well-preserved castle and our first trip to Austria was to a fortified building on top of a steep hill on what was once the edge of the Ottoman Empire.
The word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, which is a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning “fortified place”. The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, and a number of words in other languages also derive from castellum.
(I’m sure that I’m the only one interested in the etymology!)
Do you have any castles near you?
Have you visited any?
Which castles would you recommend visiting?