Castles stand as memories of the glorious past and they remind us of great historic events, of legends and romantic stories. It’s hard to make a selection, but we chose 10 of the most beautiful castles in the world. Check out our list:
10 – Mont Saint Michel, France
Part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, the small island of Saint Michel is one of the most famous landmarks in France. The monastery/castle from which it draws its name was built as a medieval castle. It has two large towers to defend the entrance to the castle. This sanctuary became a symbol of the allied landing in Normandy during the Second World War.
09 – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace was built on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau, located in southwest Bavaria. The palace is an homage to Richard Wagner from Ludwig II of Bavaria. More than 1.3 million people visit the monument each year. The palace has appeared in several famous movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
08 – Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria
One of the largest medieval castles in Europe, Hohensalzburg Castle is situated on a small hill in the Austrian city of Salzburg, at an altitude of 506 m. The beautiful castle was refurbished from the late 19th century onwards and became a major tourist attraction with the Festungsbahn cable car, opened in 1892, leading up from the town to the Haingraben Bastei. It stands today as one of the best preserved castles in Europe.
07 – Conwy Castle, Wales
UNESCO stated that Conwy is one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe”, and it is classed as a World Heritage site. The medieval fortification was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales. The castle played an important role in several wars and it acted as a temporary haven for Richard II in 1399.
06 – Prague Castle, Czech Republic
According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. It dates from the 9th century and it is currently the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it.
05 – Bran Castle, Romania
Bran Castle, situated near Brașov, Romania, is a national landmark, surrounded by the famous legend of Dracula. It is in fact the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula.The castle is currently a popular museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour.
04 – Osaka Castle, Japan
The castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Toyotomi Hideyoshi wanted the castle to become the center of a unified Japan under Toyotomi rule.However, a few years after Hideyoshi’s death, Tokugawa troops attacked the castle and destroyed the Toyotomi lineage in 1615. Osaka Castle was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada in the 1620s, but its main tower was struck by lightening in 1665 and burnt.It was refurbished years later, in 1931.
03 – Peleș Castle, Romania
Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle situated in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, Romania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914.It was built by Charles I and it was inaugurated in 1833. Nowadays, it is one of the most visited monuments in Romania.
02 – Versaille Castle, France
Château of Versailles is situated in a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when king Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is not famous only for its beauty, but also for its historic meaning, being the symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.
01 – Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is an island castle located on Lake Geneva, in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone. Therefore, the landscape surrounding the castle is truly beautiful, making Chillon one of the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.