1. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany.
Built in the 11th century, then completely destroyed in 1423 and reconstructed in 1461. This 855 m castle stands on top of Mount Hohenzollern and located about 50 kilometers (30 mil) south of Stuttgart, the capital of the Baden-Württemberg state.
3. Castle Howard, England.
It’s a private residence of the Howard family that has resided in the complex for more than 300 years. Located in North Yorkshire, England, and is one of the largest residences in Britain. Its construction commenced at the end of the 17th century and lasted around 15 years.
3. Alcázar of Segovia, Spain.
Located in an ancient town of Segovia in central Spain, started off as an Arab fort in the 12th century. In the Middle Ages Alcazar was a key fortress in the defense of the country. Apparently, it was a source of inspiration for many of the castles produced by Walt Disney.
4. Himeji Castle, Japan.
It’s a stunning complex comprised of 83 wooden buildings, also known as White Heron Castle due to its amazing white exterior. The gates and baileys are designed so as to force approaching intruders to travel into spiral pattern, facing many dead ends. It was originally built in the 14th century and is located in the Kansai region of Japan.
5. Prague Castle, The Czech Republic.
It’s one of the largest and oldest castles in the world. It is about 570 meter long and 130 meter wide, and its design represents literally every architectural style of the last millennium, from Gothic to Romanesque and Baroque features. The first buildings of the complex emerged as early as in the 9th century.
6. Peles Castle, Romania.
Started in 1873, the construction of the complex was quite international an undertaking. Located in an idyllic setting in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the Peles Castle is truly a fairytale construction.
7. Chambord Castle, France.
Built to serve only as a hunting lodge. The location of the castle was chosen by King François I as he desired to be near his mistress, Claude Rohan, whose palace was located adjacently. The massive castle has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces, and 84 staircases, and it is the largest chateaux in the Loire Valley in France.
8. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany.
Situated on a rugged hill, in southwest Bavaria, today the castle is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. The construction began in 1896, was designed by Christian Jank, a theatrical set designer rather than an architect, for who was declared insane before the castle’s completion. This explains a lot. The architecture, the location and the size of the Neuschwanstein are spectacular and somewhat crazy.
9. Corfe Castle, England.
Located in the county of Dorset on the Isle of Purbeck, the castle dates back to the 9th century. It is believed, however, that Corfe might have emerged much earlier and was a Roman defensive site. The parts whose remnants you can see today were constructed in the 11th century, and two centuries later the fortress was used as a royal treasure storehouse and prison.
10. Matsumoto Castle, Japan.
Matsumoto Castle is an absolutely stunning Japanese castle located in the city of Matsumoto, within easy reach of Tokyo. The castle was built in 1504 and today it is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. It was in use until mid-19th century. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the new Japanese government was so broke that it decided to demolish the castle and sell the timber and the iron fittings (this was the fate of many castles in Japan at the time). Matsumoto was rescued by local citizens who purchased it in 1878.
11. Burg Eltz Castle, Germany.
This amazing medieval construction in southwest Germany is still owned by a branch of the same family that resided there over 800 years ago. The present owner of the castle is Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz who represents the 33rd generation of the House of Eltz.
12. Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland.
Built in the 13th century to hold back the Vikings, today Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most famous sites in Scotland. Most probably it was named after Bishop Donan who came to Scotland in the 6th century. It is situated on an island, surrounded by the amazing scenery of the Scottish highlands. The fortress has been rebuilt at least four times and for around 200 years (from 18th to 20th century) it actually laid in ruins. It was re-opened in 1932 and since then it has been visited by thousands of travelers from around the world.
13. Neuchâtel Castle. Switzerland.
The castle, built at the end of the 10th century, was a gift of Rudolph III King of Burgundy to his wife. This very generous present gave its name to the town, the lake and then the Swiss canton where the castle is situated. Rebuilt in the 15th and 17th century, today the castle is the seat of cantonal government and the law courts.
14. Guaita Fortress, San Marino.
Guaita fortress, located on Guaita peak and overlooking the city of San Marino, is an iconic image of this micro country embraced by Italy. The fortress was constructed in the 11th century and served as a prison for some time. Guaita is one of the Three Towers of San Marino, located on the three peaks of Monte Titano. The towers are depicted on the San Marino’s national flag and its coat of arms.
15. Conwy Castle, Wales.
Conwy is one of the most prominent fortresses built by Edward I in the 13th century. It is one of the key castles of the king’s “iron ring” of fortresses constructed in Wales. The stronghold was quite an expensive undertaking – it is estimated that Edward spent £15,000 (£162 million in 2009) on the construction, which makes it the most costly castle in the Welsh history. Today Conwy is declared a World Heritage Site and its eight towers, overlooking the Conwy estuary, are the iconic image of North Wales.
- Fairy Tale Castles (explorationart.wordpress.com)
- A Japanese Castle? Gifu Castle (cincinnatisistercity.wordpress.com)
- Check Out The Transylvanian Castle Where Dracula Lived (businessinsider.com)
- Café vs Castle: How Contemporary Buildings Impact Historic Urban Areas (sustainablecitiescollective.com)
- A mystery into Lord Egerton’s castle … (anyiko.wordpress.com)