We must admit that castles possess a medieval charm that draws us in as contemporary travelers. It’s time to live out those childhood fairy-tale fantasies and create your own happily-ever-after experience in one of the most impressive castles in the world!
From ornate and luxurious chambers to imposing walls, gorgeous partitions and jaw-dropping throne rooms that display wealth and power for everyone to see, these royal residences are essential in telling the rich history and culture of a place.
The towering structures of these castles and the dramatic settings on the valley pinnacles, glistening lakes and surrounded by excess gardens allow us to take a generous glimpse into the past. Here are 10 beautiful castles around the world you should visit;
10 Beautiful Castles Around the World You Should Visit
1. MATSUMOTO CASTLE, JAPAN: Matsumoto Castle is a national treasure in Matsumoto, Japan, dating as far back as 1504! It was built as a refuge by the Ogasawara clan to drive back invaders before being captured by Takeda Shingen, the mighty warlord. The castle was shifted eventually between hands throughout history. Nicknamed as the Crow Castle, the castle’s structure is a tall three-towered layout with inky black walls and roofs.
2. CHÂTEAU DE CHENONCEAU, FRANCE: The Château de Chenonceau castle in Chenonceaux, France, seems to float elegantly over the dreamy Cher River and is encircled by beautiful gardens. It is filled with significant historical experiences as the castle prevailed from one powerful woman to another before it suffered severe destruction during World War II. The Menier family entitled architect Bernard Voisin in 1951 to return the structure and the gardens to their grand prestige.
3. NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY: Though King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany, in 1868, he never got to see the completed building that inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle. It was opened to the public in 1886 and is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, which stands on a rugged hill with blue turrets and a white limestone façade.
4. BRAN CASTLE, ROMANIA: Bran Castle is the most iconic and famous castle in Romania, about 100 miles (174km) north of the capital of Romania, Bucharest and located on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia in central Romania. The castle is nicknamed Dracula’s Castle because its architectural structure is linked with the image of Dracula, Bram Stoker’s popular novel. It was built in the 13th century, towering majestically over a cliff.
5. CASTEL SANT ANGELO: Castel Sant Angelo in Rome is an awe-inspiring museum that tells the story of its history, right from the original prison cells to the Roman remains of the Mausoleum of Hadrian, papal apartments and remnants of the fortified castle. It was built as the grand Mausoleum of Hadrian from 117AD to 138AD in a fortress-like structure. Castel Sant Angelo served as a medieval refuge, prison and several purposes for subsequent Roman emperors and leaders before becoming what it is today.
6. ALHAMBRA, SPAIN: As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, is a hilltop fortress that embodies the diverse cultural heritage of Spain. It is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and worldwide, which makes it a top tourist attraction where people come to take Instagram-worthy pictures. The Alhambra castle, now a royal palace, is surrounded by sophisticated architecture, verdant gardens and an incredible display of Islamic art.
7. QAITBAY FORT, EGYPT: Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria, Egypt, is an austere fortress on the Mediterranean Sea built-in 1477 after Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay discovered the Ottoman troops were moving towards Alexandria. The fort was neglected in the harbor after the Ottoman Empire invaded Egypt and the British dominated in 1882. In the 20th century, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities rebuilt the fort to its original glory. It now serves as a maritime museum to convey the stories.
8. SPIS CASTLE, SLOVAKIA: Apart from being a remarkable castle with towers and majestic stone walls, Spis Castle in northeast Slovakia is also an inspiring and educational museum. Spis Castle was built in 1241 with striking views of the hills and valleys that can be seen from its battlements. The magnificent fort of this beautiful Romanesque palace is a must-see in Slovakia.
9. KARLŠTEJN, CZECH REPUBLIC: Karlštejn Castle in the Czech Republic is roughly 20 miles from Prague and was constructed in the mid-14th century. The castle was to serve as a safe spot for keeping the crown jewels, Imperial Regalia, holy relics, and other royal treasures. This Gothic architectural castle is one of the most visited attractions in the Czech Republic.
10. WINDSOR CASTLE, ENGLAND: Known as one of the most beautiful castles in England, Windsor Castle is located 30 miles from London and was built about a millennium ago. It is the royal residence of Queen Elizabeth and the most prominent and oldest occupied castle in the world, where state meetings are held. It is a magnificent castle structure where you’ll also discover St. George’s Chapel, a religious site for royal ceremonies, weddings, and burials.