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Public-images-osm logo.svg historic = castle
Dscf0226 600.jpg
A fortified building in medieval and modern times
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
should not be used on ways
may be used on areas
should not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: unspecified

Castles are (often fortified) buildings from medieval and modern times. For the German Burg and Schloss no proper English counterpart exists, the description and picture should help.

How to map

Place a node Mf node.png at the centre point, or draw a way Mf area.png around the outline of the construction. Tag with historic=castle

Tags to use in combination

  • name=Name - name of the site, for example Windsor Castle.
  • castle_type=type - classification of the castle. Currently under discussion. See section below for details
  • wikipedia=name of article - for most of the castles in Central Europe an article in Wikipedia exists. You should tag articles linking to one of the different languages available, e.g.
German: wikipedia=de:Schloss_Pillnitz


English : wikipedia=en:Pillnitz
  • ruins=yes - set this tag when the castle is a ruin, that means if only remains of buildings without roof or at least some walls exist. (don't use historic=ruins anymore).
  • building:condition=* - for a larger scale of building conditions


The castle_type=type tag can be used to give a classification of the castle. The alternative values are have been under discussion. There is no Proposal page yet and they have not been voted or agreed upon. The main point of the discussion is whether to break with OSM custom and use precise German/local language tags or to use more general English tags.

Note also that a lot of discussion is taking place in German. You may find useful information (or unhelpful inconsistencies) on the DE:Tag:historic=castle page, from which much of the following was translated.

OSM style with english tags

These tags are rendered in the German hiking map

The tagging should be based on the current state of the building as perceived on site today.

Type Description Map icon Ruin icon Example
castle_type=defensive Defensive castle. Fortified, defensible dwelling or military stronghold Castle defensive.png Ruin defensive.png miniatur
castle_type=stately Stately home. Representative building without functional defenses. Sometimes rebuilt from former defensive structures. Castle stately.png Ruin stately.png miniatur
castle_type=fortress Fortress. Heavily fortified structure with military use. Castle fortress.png Ruin fortress.png miniatur
castle_type=castrum Roman fort Castle roman.png

Local language tags

See as well castle_type:de=* for a combination of main tags in English with local language tags.

Type Century Description proposed Icons (ruin) Picture
castle_type=burg 11.-16. castle made of stone, a enclosed building to dwell and defense of the high and late medieval time. (česky hrad) Burg.svg (Burg ruin.svg) miniatur
castle_type=schloss 14.-20. a mostly well designed rarely fortified castle (česky Zámek, polski Zamek, русский замок) Schloss.svg (Schloss ruin.svg) miniatur
castle_type=burg;schloss 14.-20. a Burg modificated to a Schloss has attributes of both types of castle Schloss burg.svg (Schloss burg ruin.svg)
castle_type=festung 15.-20. fortification, a strongly fortified military building Festung.svg (Festung ruin.svg) miniatur
castle_type=kremlin 7.-16. Kremlin - a special type of castle in Russia
castle_type=shiro Japanese Castle Shiro.svg miniatur

Similar tags

  • Use historic=archaeological_site and
    site_type=fortification for castles which have completely vanished or of which only little visible remains exist like ramparts, moats or some stones. Also to use with prehistoric and early medieval ramparts.


For proposed icons see the ones at the table above.

See also

Talk-de Roman Grabolle Thu, 11 Sep 2008 14:56