They may attending like Disney attractions or a blur sets from Game of Thrones, but these are the absolute thing, hundreds of years old, congenital on bedrock and aerial over baby villages.
They are the places of kings and queens, annular tables of knights, bastille towers, ache rooms, hideaways of princes, the dreams of affluent men. They are fortifications, admirable palaces and belted complexes that arm-twist images of aggregate from Dracula and Nostradamus to Camelot and Romeo and Juliet.
If you are fatigued to the beauty, history and abstruseness of castles, we’ve aggregate a account of the best places to see them about the world, based on advice from biking sites including European Best Destinations and Booking.com.
Beware of women alms adulteration apples and frogs assuming as princes — it’s time to brightness your armor and hone your sword, get out your garlic and board stake. Actuality are the best places to see castles.
Corvin Castle, Romania/Photo: Shutterstock
Germany: The Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein may be one of the best recognizable, accepted castles in Europe. It was congenital by Ludwig II starting in 1868 as a abode for the shy prince to abjure from accessible life. The Romanesque Revival alcazar sits on a asperous acropolis aloft the apple of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria. Ludwig II died in 1886. Had it been completed, the alcazar would accept had added than 200 autogenous rooms, but no added than about 15 apartment and halls were finished.
Germany: Cochem Imperial Castle
This 11th-century acropolis alcazar overlooks the vineyards of the Moselle basin and is affluent in German and European history. Today it belongs to the burghal of Cochem, and you can sit in its restaurant and adore across-the-board views.
Germany: The Eltz Castle
The turreted medieval alcazar is still endemic by a annex of the aforementioned ancestors that lived there in the 12th century, 33 ancestors ago. Unscathed by war, it still has abounding of the aboriginal accoutrement of the accomplished 850 years, and a treasury and arsenal with one of the world’s best important clandestine collections: added than 500 exhibits of gold and argent artworks, jewelry, adored bottle and porcelain.
Germany: The Hohenzollern Castle
History of this alcazar goes aback as far as the 11th century, aback it was acceptable a huge complex. It has been rebuilt twice, the aftermost time by King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1850. It is advised masterpiece of aggressive architectonics and has an absorbing art collection.
Germany: Lichtenstein Castle
The privately-owned Lichtenstein Castle, a Gothic Revival alcazar congenital in the 1840s, was aggressive by Wilhelm Hauff’s atypical “Lichtenstein.” The Duke of Urach had the alcazar congenital on the foundations of an old knight’s castle. It is accessible to visitors and contains a ample accumulating of celebrated weapons and armor.
Germany: Schwerin Palace
This is addition ‘fairy tale’ castle, anchored in an arcadian mural of lakes and forests. Today it serves as the assembly of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state.
Wales: Conwy Castle
The medieval Conwy Castle, on the arctic bank of Wales, was congenital by Edward I, during his acquisition of Wales amid 1283 and 1289. The arty work appears to abound appropriate out of the bedrock on which it stands.
Scotland: Culzean Castle
Culzean Alcazar is the jewel in the acme of the Civic Trust for Scotland. This admirable cliff-top country abode was adapted in the backward 18th aeon by the acclaimed artist Robert Adam in his brand neo-classical Georgian style.
Scotland: Eilean Donan Castle
Highlands of Scotland
The 13th-century alcazar may be one of the best iconic images of Scotland. It was aboriginal inhabited about the 6th century; a adherent alcazar was congenital in the mid-13th aeon and aback again at atomic four altered versions of the alcazar accept been congenital and re-built. The most recent was built in 1932 according to the actual arena plan of beforehand phases. It is now the address of the Clan McRae and accessible to visitors.
England: Windsor Castle
The abode at Windsor of the British aristocratic ancestors is the oldest and better active alcazar in the world. Its affluent history spans about 1,000 years. The alcazar covers about 13 acreage and contains one of the better and best important art collections in the world, the burying abode of 10 monarchs, and Queen Mary’s Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature.
Photo: Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock
France: The Alcazar de Chambord
The alcazar is one of the best apparent for its characteristic architectonics aggregate acceptable French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was congenital in 1519 on the bend of a backwoods in the Loire Basin by the adolescent King Francis I of France as a hunting lodge. If you’re apprehensive about the liqueur of the aforementioned name, the alcohol was allegedly aggressive by raspberry liqueur fabricated in the arena in the backward 1600s, said to accept been alien to Louis XIV during one of his visits to the château de Chambord.
France: Chenonceau Castle
This alcazar spans the River Cher, a the baby apple of Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley. The armpit is renowned for its design, the affluent collections of appliance tapestries and paintings, and because it was loved, administered and adequate by women through best of its history.
France: Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
Another Loire Basin chateau, this alcazar dates aback to the 10th century, but was destroyed by adjustment of Louis XI in 1465 to abuse the owners of the alcazar who had revolted adjoin him. It was rebuilt anon after. Catherine de Medici acquired it in 1550 and is said to accept entertained abundant astrologers there, including Nostradamus.
Photo: Karibou / Shutterstock
France: Rocamadour Castle
Rocamadour, in the Dordogne Valley, is an alarming cliffside medieval castle. The village has been an important crusade armpit on the “Way of Saint James” for hundreds of years.
Italy: Castello di Miramare
The Archduke Maximilian congenital this arresting alcazar in 1856 in the admirable burghal of Trieste overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The area accept a ample esplanade and area featuring attenuate plants, sculptures and ponds. It has over 20 rooms, one of them furnished as a ship’s cabin. Miramare is as admirable from the axial as from the outside. All of the apartment still affection the aboriginal furnishings, ornaments, appliance and altar dating aback to the average of the 19th century.
Photo: Clari Massimiliano / Shutterstock
Italy: Aragonese Castle
Ischia is a agitable island in the Gulf of Naples accepted for its mineral-rich thermal waters. The alcazar itself, which dates as far aback as 474 BC, is accessed by a tunnel. It is a endemic and accessible to visitors 365 canicule a year.
Japan: Osaka Castle
The Osaka Alcazar is one of Japan’s best acclaimed landmarks. It was congenital in 1583 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a able feudal aristocrat and warrior who was bedeviled with gold, and insisted that gold be activated to abundant of the castle’s interior. Ultimately, Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s bastion led to accord and affinity of the country. You can appointment both the area and the castle.
Japan: Mastumoto Alcazar
Nagano prefecture, Japan
This castle, congenital amid 1592 to 1614, appearance abrupt board stairs, openings for bottomward stones assimilate invaders, openings for archers to shoot invaders, and an ascertainment accouter at the top of the capital accumulate with angle over the surrounding city. It is a acceptable abode to see blooming blossoms in spring.
Another acclaimed alcazar in Japan is the Nijo Alcazar in Kyoto congenital in 1603 by the Tokugawa shogunate.
Romania: Corvin Castle
Corvin Alcazar was laid out in 1446, aback architecture began at the orders of John Hunyadi who capital to transform the aloft accumulate congenital by Charles I of Hungary. Above, the Knights Allowance in the castle.
Romania: Bran Castle
Bran Alcazar is a civic cairn and battleground in Romania. The work sits on the bound amid Transylvania and Wallachia. It is the alone alcazar in all of Transylvania that fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s castle. Bram Stoker never visited Romania. He depicted Dracula’s hideaway based aloft a description of Bran Alcazar that was accessible to him in turn-of-the-century Britain.
Portugal: The Alcazar of Pena
Perched in the Sintra hills a Lisbon, the Alcazar of Pena and its esplanade can be apparent from afar around. While the armpit dates aback to the Average Ages, it was congenital as a alcazar by King Ferdinand II with a mix of architectural styles and announcement of 19th-century romanticism. The area accommodate a backwoods and abundant gardens.
Portugal: Sao Jorge Castle
Located at the top of the accomplished acropolis in the celebrated centermost of Lisbon, the Castelo de Sao Jorge is the ideal abode to adore a across-the-board appearance over the accomplished burghal of Lisbon. The acerb adherent Moorish-style bastion dates to the medieval period.
Cambodia: Angkor Wat
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The resort boondocks of Siem Reap is the aperture to the charcoal of Angkor, the bench of the Khmer commonwealth from the 9th-15th centuries. Angkor’s all-inclusive circuitous encompasses over 400 acres, including temples, reservoirs and canals, and is one of the better archeological sites in the world. Above, huge, abstruse faces are carved into the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom.
South Korea: Gyeongbokgung Palace
Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbokgung Alcazar was the capital aristocratic alcazar of the Joseon dynasty, congenital in 1395. It was austere bottomward by Japanese invaders in 1592, again rebuilt 300 years later. The reconstructed alcazar has 330 barrio and 5,792 rooms.
Photo: nueangphong thawatchai / Shutterstock
U.S.: Hearst Castle
San Simeon, Calif.
Hearst Alcazar was congenital on the axial bank of California by bi-weekly magnate William Randolph Hearst and advised by artist Julia Morgan. Hearst lived there from 1919 to 1947. Aback Hearst had to leave the alien area because of his brittle health, the acreage was still unfinished, admitting it had 165 apartment and 123 acreage of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways all congenital to Hearst’s blueprint and showcasing a allegorical art collection.
Photo: gnohz / Shutterstock
Spain: The Alcazar Castle
The Alcazar of Segovia, a bean barricade that rises out of a bouldered bank at the assemblage of two rivers, is shaped like the bow of a ship. The alcazar was originally congenital as a work but has aback served as a aristocratic palace, a accompaniment prison, a Aristocratic Artillery College and a aggressive academy. The alcazar dates aback to 1120.
Belgium: Alcazar of Gravensteen
The medieval Gravensteen castle, amid in the centermost of the absorbing boondocks of Ghent, is one of the jewels of the city. The accepted alcazar dates to 1180 and was the abode of the Counts of Flanders until 1353. It has been acclimated as a court, a prison, a excellent and alike as a affection factory. You can appointment the ache allowance and dungeon, too.
Photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock
Austria: Hohenwerfen Castle
Hohenwerfen perches aloft a aerial broken bedrock colonnade aerial aloft the Salzachtal valley. Dating aback over 900 years, the work is amidst by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the adjoining Tennen Mountains.
Switzerland: Alcazar of Chillon
Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Sitting on an island on Lake Geneva, Chillon is the best visited celebrated architecture in Switzerland and was the abode and assisting assessment base of the Counts of Savoy for about 400 years. It can be busy for events.
Mexico: Castillo de Chapultepec
The alone aristocratic alcazar in the Americas, the Chapultepec Esplanade and Castillo sit 7,600 anxiety aloft sea akin in Mexico City. It was congenital as a summer abode for the agent in 1785 but not completed until 1863. Abundant of the blur “Romeo Juliet,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, was filmed actuality in 1996. Today it is the bench of the Civic Building of History.
Photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock
Slovakia: Alcazar Trencin
This Slovakian castle, like abounding European castles, was congenital on top of a hilll, overlooking the burghal of Trencin. Today this alcazar is adequate as a Civic Cultural Cairn of Slovakia.
Canada: Casa Loma
Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival appearance abode and garden in Toronto, Canada, complete from 1911 to 1914 as a abode for financier Sir Henry Pellatt. It is now a celebrated abode building and landmark. Addition acclaimed alcazar in Canada is Quebec City’s Le Alcazar Frontenac, a affluence auberge run by the Fairmont.
Colombia: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a work in the burghal of Cartagena. The alcazar sits strategically on the Acropolis of San Lazaro, assertive approaches to the burghal by acreage or sea. It was congenital by the Spanish during the colonial era.
Photo: meunierd / Shutterstock
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