A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by nobility. It is distinct from a palace and usually consider to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. They are usually historical hot spots – touchstones where we can connect with the real-life men and women that led nations, produced famous art, fought battles, and inspired legends.
They are feats of architectural genius, wealth, and human will, and they can be works of art in and of themselves. And if none of that interests you, well, they’re still pretty darn impressive to look at. So if you’re planning a vacation anywhere in the world, consider one of these: 10 gorgeous castles from around the world.
10. Kronborg Castle – Denmark
One of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe, Kronborg was built in the 1420s. It has been immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
9. Peleș Castle – Romania
This Neo-Renaissance castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains. It was built between 1873 and 1914.
8. Kilkenny Castle – Ireland
Kilkenny was built in 1195 by William Marshal. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch. Now it serves as a conference and graduation venue.
7. Hohenwerfen Castle – Austria
Hohenwerfen Castle StandS high above the Austrian town of Werfen in the Salzach valley. This 11th-century castle is surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennengebirge mountain range. Exterior shots of the castle were used as a French hotel in the movie Just Married.
6. Osaka Castle – Japan
One of Japan’s most famous castles. Osaka has a five-story exterior and an eight-story interior. It was built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers during the 16th century. The castle played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
5. Château de Chambord – France
The one of the most recognizable castle in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King François I. It was built to serve as a hunting lodge for king. It opened to the public in 2007 and has drawn in more than 700,000 visitors.
4. Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany
It is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. Ludwig II of Bavaria built this castle as a personal refuge. After he died in 1886, Neuschwanstein opened to the paying public and has since had over 60 million visitors.
3. Malbork Castle – Poland
Malbork is the largest castle in the world (surface area), and the largest brick building in Europe. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and, on its completion in 1406, was the world’s largest brick castle.
2. Castle Howard – Yorkshire
Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire, England. One of the grandest private residences in Britain, this beautiful estate has been home to the Howard family for over 300 years.
1. Castle Hohenschwangau – Germany
Located in the German village of Hohenschwangau, It’s a 19th-century palace in southern Germany. It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. It receives more than 300,000 visitors per year.