What Is the Difference Between a Castle and a Palace?

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Castles and palaces differ in the materials that they were built from, their design, their purpose and their history. In general, castles are built for defensive purposes, while palaces are built to showcase wealth.

Castles were first constructed in the ninth century. They are only found in Europe and the Middle East. The origin of the palace is unclear, but palaces have been around longer than castles and are also found all over the world.

Because of their differing purposes, palaces and castles are made of very different materials. Castles were often built of stone or brick, while palaces were more likely to be built of marble and trimmed with gold. In addition, the two were designed very differently. Palaces were built to showcase the wealth of their inhabitants, were highly decorated and were tailored to show off the latest styles. Palaces were built for a life of leisure and luxury, and this was apparent at first glance.

Castles were designed strictly for defense and to guard treasured possessions, not to showcase them. Specific architectural details, such as the slits for archers to fire arrows and the moats around the castle reveal the true purpose of the building. A castle would never be mistaken for a place of luxury.