King of the Castle

castleHave you ever dreamt of living in a castle? I certainly have! That’s why I was interested to see this article on the Reuters website over the weekend. I already knew that there was funding available for people to maintain castles in Germany. Actually, buying castles seems to be popular with wealthy foreigners eager to live out their dream of being the king or queen of the castle.

There is some really interesting vocabulary in this article, too. The first interesting word is in the title. The author mentions that the stimulus will be a ‘boon‘ for Germany’s castles. A ‘boon‘ is something that is helpful or beneficial to a person or situation.

In the second paragraph, it is mentioned that 20 million euros had been ‘earmarked‘ for the preservation of historic buildings. In this situation ‘earmark‘ means the money has been designated or allocated for that purpose. We often use the phrasal verb ‘set aside‘ in this way, too. E.g. 20 million euros had been set aside for the preservation of historic buildings.

There is another interesting expression in the following paragraph, where Gerhard Wagner is quoted as saying:

Repair work we might only have got round to in 20 years can now be done in the next five.

When we say ‘get round to something‘ we mean doing or being able to do something you have been intending to do for a long time.

The next paragraph contains another nice expression:

From the Baltic Sea to Bavaria, government grants are helping to spruce up ancient properties.

Spruce up‘ is a great phrasal verb meaning to redecorate, renovate, or just improve the way a place looks.

It is also worth noting that the author uses several different words to mean ‘castles’ in this article. They are:

  • bastions
  • castles
  • fortifications
  • fortresses

Are there any government programs to maintain or restore historic buildings in yoru country?

Today’s photo is by Anton Raath.