castle vs palace

Discussion in 'English Only' started by natut, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. natut Junior Member

    Argentina spanish
    could anybody tell me what's the difference between castle and palace? I cannot provide a context because it's just a doubt I've always had.. My try: A castle is not inhabited while the palace is inhabited. Is this correct?
    thanks in advance
     
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I think that the main distinction would be that a castle is probably fortified, or at least some parts of it are.
     
  3. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    For me it's a bit different, natut :). A castle is a big old building, usually made of stone, with large thick walls and possibly a moat and drawbridge. A palace is a beautiful and graceful edifice, like that one where Cinderella lives, or simply a large (but still beautiful :D) building, home to aristocrats/presidents/royal families, etc.

    You do have a point though - I would suspect that most really old castles, now in ruins, are no longer inhabited. But some still are, and palaces become rabble or museums too.
     
  4. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    The word "castle" gives me an image of a stone-block built building, old, very large and, as bibiolept says, fortified in some way. It probably has a moat, and perhaps slits for windows (where they used to shoot arrows from).

    A palace is anywhere someone royal lives - but gives the impression of opulence.

    I'd say that a castle might also be a palace if it's opulent enough and someone royal lives there (but most aren't) and vice versa.
     
  5. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Castles and palaces serve different functions: castles were primarily designed to provide a secure (chaste) place, to dominate the surrounding country, to control territory and provide a defensive strongpoint in the event of attack. Palaces provide important people (usually kings) with gracious dwellings which can act as the focus of a court, and a symbol of their political power and dominance.

    Some castles evolved into palaces as the defensive importance of castles was eroded by military developments, particularly in the use of gunpowder.
     
  6. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Actually, you're right. Palaces usually belong to royalty but a few other ranks may have them (the Doge's palace springs to mind).
     
  7. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Venice under the Doge was a republic, Tim. The Doge's palace has nothing to do with other ranks: the Doge was the Big Cheese.
     
  8. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I think that you could use either term so long as the buildings served both military functions and as the residence of an important person. If it has been fortified but still has some parts that were built to "look pretty," then either might apply.

    What is the difference between a castle and a palace?
     
  9. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Sure - I think that's what I meant to say:). Basically I meant that you don't have to be "royalty" to have a palace (although royalty usually (always?) live in a palace). Also the most important person in a society without royalty doesn't necessarily, or even usually, live in a palace. I don't think we'd call the White House a palace just because the biggest "cheese" (what a great term!:D) lives there although as a beautiful opulent building there would be little to differentiate it from Buckingham Palace.

    I'm not sure if I've clarified what I meant or made it worse there!
     
  10. natut Junior Member

    Argentina spanish
    Thank you all!! you have helped me a lot! :)
    Regards
    nati
     
  11. TheAmzngTwinWndr

    TheAmzngTwinWndr Senior Member

    California, USA
    United States
    A castle is a fortification serving a military purpose. It is for this reason that one pictures them as stone, because when they were built stone was a strong material able to ward off the projectiles (other stones) of the day. This changes with the invention on gunpowder, which is why we don't build castles anymore.

    A palace is, for lack of a better term, a really big, extravagantly decorated, house. Think of the Palace of Versailles, it has no military function whatsoever, but is simply a very extravagant house.

    Both castles and palaces are inhabited.
     
  12. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Palaces certainly are really big, extravagantly decorated, houses - but not all really big, extravagantly decorated houses are palaces, right? I think that's where the problem lies in defining a palace. Castles are a lot easier to define as fortified large stone buildings. I suppose it is the link that both tend to have (but not always!) with royalty that is causing the original confusion (Versailles was built by royalty, after all).
     
  13. friedemann New Member

    english
    castle is a European term more than likely(England,Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain ,Portugal, Germany, Austria,Transylvania and Italy.) In Russia they had more fortresses(I could be wrong) Palace is used more in Arab countries. General construction is different as castles are built for fortification against an enemy whereas a palace is more fancy and is a show of wealth and power with color and splendid gardens.
    IMO
     

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