Don’t castles and fairy tales go hand in hand? And looking at these enchanting European castles, it’s hard not to believe in fairy tales, all over again! 🙂
1.Chillon Castle, Switzerland
Touted as “Switzerland’s most visited historic monument”, this island castle is located on Lake Geneva, right at the foot of the Alps and has over a 1000-year old history. The picturesque location of Chillon Castle combined with its architectural beauty has inspired the works of many renowned writers and artists such as Victor Hugo, Lord Bryon, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
2. Highclere Castle, England
The first words of Benjamin Disraeli, the twice-elected Prime Minister of UK, on seeing the Highclere castle, were, ‘How scenical, How scenical!’ And boy, do we agree! County home of Earl of Carnavon, this Jacobethan style country house is located in Hampshire and is open for public viewing during certain times of the year, particularly July and August.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle in South Germany
Nicknamed as ‘The Fairy Tale Castle’ the Neuschwanstein Castle is looked upon as the real-life inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Built by King Ludwig in 1886 as his private refuge, this Romanesque revival castle was opening for public viewing shortly after his death.
4. Peleș Castle, Romania
The first European castle to be lit by electricity and have the central heating facility, the Peleș Castle boasts of 160 rooms full of gilded decorations and wood-carved ceilings. This neo-renaissance castle was built by King Carol I in the 19th century and is one of the most visited European castles. Peleș Castle is located in the picturesque town of Sinai.
5. Alcazar of Segovia, Spain
Famed as the real-life inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, the Alcázar of Segovia is an architectural gem located in the old city of Segovia in Spain. The most distinctive feature of this castle is that it’s shaped like a ship’s bow and rises out of a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers which gives it quite a majestic look. The Alcázar of Segovia (or Segovia Castle) is among Spain’s most popular historical sites and is one of the must-visit places to see there.
6. Castle Howard, England
According to Lonely Planet’s travel guide, it is hard to find a stately home in England which is as breathtakingly stately as Castle Howard. Seen as one of Britain’s finest historic houses and gardens, Castle Howard packs in a stunning landscape full of walled gardens, lakes, temples and woodland walks. Located in York, England, this castle took 100 years to complete once its construction started in 1699.
7. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
As the official residence of the President of Czech Republic, The Prague castle is an architectural beauty with a history dating back to the 9th century. A UNESCO Heritage site, The Prague Castle also features in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m².
8. Mespelbrunn Castle, Germany
Completed in the 16th century, Mespelbrunn Castle is a medieval moated castle located in the Spessart forest, between Frankfurt and Würzburg. Since this castle is located deep in the forest, it remained untouched by wars and remains in a good condition till today.
9. Malbork Castle, Poland
Known as the largest castle in the world by surface area, the Malbork Castle in Poland is a medieval brick castle belonging to the 13th century. This Gothic brick castle complex was built in the characteristic and unique style of the Teutonic Order, with no equivalent in Gothic architecture.
10. Burg Eltz Castle, Germany
One of the most interesting details about this castle is that it is still owned by a branch of Eltz family who first lived here in the 12th century, about 33 generations ago. With more than 100 rooms, this striking medieval castle is among the most beautiful German castles. Nestled in the hills above the Moselle River, the scenic location of this castle adds to this romantic charm.
11. Miramare Castle, Italy
This 19th-century whitewashed castle sits spectacularly against the striking blue waters of Adriatic coast. Located on a high cliff near Trieste, Italy, the Miramare castle offers a panoramic view of Trieste and has a gorgeous landscaped garden full of an eclectic range of tropical plants and trees.
12.Miranda Castle, Belgium
Nicknamed as the Noisy Castle, the Miranda Castle is a 19th-century castle built in the Neo-gothic style and is located in Celles, Belgium. This castle has had varied inhabitants – it was occupied by the Nazis and even served as an orphanage for about 2 decades after the World War 2. Sadly, the high cost of maintenance of this castle has led to its abandonment by its owners and its decay and vandalism.
13. Swallow’s Nest Castle, Ukraine
Perched 130 feet above the Black Sea in Southern Ukraine, the Swallow’s Nest is a neo-Gothic style castle which stands as a remnant of Imperial Russia. As stunning as this building looks, it was not built for the practical purpose of housing or protecting people but for show. For this reason, Swallow’s Nest is not a castle in the truest sense of the word.
14.Castle Hohenschwangau, Germany
The first mention of Castle Hohenschwangau in records was in the 12th century but it was rebuilt in its current Gothic style by King Maximilian in the 19th century. The stunning mountain scenery and the lush greenery around this castle made this the favorite summer residence of the Bavarian royal family.
15. Bran Castle, Romania
Also called as the Dracula Castle, the Bran castle is one of the most intriguing castles in Europe. Presently the castle serves as a mueseum, and showcases the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie, the last Queen consort of Romania.
16. Bodiam Castle, England
Seen as a ‘perfect English castle’, the spellbinding beauty of Bodiam castle makes it one of the most popular tourist places to visit in the UK. Built in the 14th century in the medieval style, you can enjoy games, archery, trails and more in the setting of this stunning moated castle.
Which of these castles is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂