For centuries, people have been fascinated with castles. Whether they were home to cruel leaders or the settings of love stories. These magnificent structures have survived wars, fires and dozens of generations. From the Greek Islands to the rocky cliffs of Scotland, each castle brings with it hundreds of years of human history, and perhaps a ghost story or two. The castles always played an important part in European history.
The Palace of Pena, Sintra Portugal
The oldest palace inspired by European Romanticism stands on top of a hill overlooking the city of Sintra. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park. Built in 1854, the castle is still often used by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials. The place remained in ruins for decades until in 1838 when Ferdinand II bought the area and decided to build a palace. The palace is a true expression of the European Romanticism, mixing several different styles like Neo-Gothic, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance.
The Alcazar, Segovia Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia, located 53 miles northwest of Madrid, was originally built as a fortress on a hillside between two rivers. It has also served as a royal palace, a state prison, and a military academy. The earliest documentation of the Alcázar dates back to the early 12th century. Today the castle is one of the three major attractions in the city and one of the most popular historic sites in the country.
The Castle In Love with the Wind, Ravadinovo Bulgaria
“In Love with the Wind” is a contemporary castle built in 1996 by Georgi Kostadinov Tumpalov to fulfill his childhood dream. The castle with the magnificent structures made of marble and metamorphosed limestone. The place where the Castle is built is a unique natural phenomenon. Here, the wind loves the sun and always when the sun shines, there is a wind.
Tintagel Castle, Tintagel England
Tintagel Castle is so old its history remains a bit of a mystery. Its wonderful location, set high on the rugged North Cornwall coast, offers dramatic views, and its fascinating ruins and stunning beach cafe make it a perfect place to visit. The large castle that once stood is now reduced to ruins. The Castle has reportedly been inhabited since the late Roman period but gained most of its fame in the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth named it as the place where King Arthur was conceived.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, a famous castle in Europe, was opened to the public just seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886 and has since become a popular destination for travelers who share the late king’s love of medieval romance. Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.4 million people visit “the castle of the fairy-tale king”.
The Eltz Castle, Germany
Eltz Castle (known in German as Burg Eltz) is a medieval castle located in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a majestic castle situated on the top of a rock within a small wooded valley in Germany. Be it through luck or strategy, the castle has been mostly spared from the ravages of war. Apart from the stunning appearance, another interesting fact about this castle is that it has been owned by the same family for more than 800 years.
The Château de Chambord, France
Chateau de Chambord was built by Francis I as a royal hunting lodge but became the largest Renaissance castle in the Loire Valley. It was favored by kings fond of hunting such as Henry II and Louis XIV. Although never fully completed, Chambord is still the largest chateau in the Loire Valley. It was an architectural jewel that the king liked to show to visiting crowned heads and ambassadors as a symbol of his power.
Culzean Castle, Maybole Scotland
Culzean Castle stands on the brink of 150ft cliffs that drop sheer into the Firth of Clyde. Regarded by many as one of the finest examples of the architect’s art in Scotland, both externally and internally, it is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. This grand cliff-top country house was remodelled in the late 18th century by the renowned architect Robert Adam in his trademark neo-classical Georgian style.
Eilean Donan Castle, Highlands Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, near Dornie, is one of the most easily recognized castles in Scotland and probably appears on more calendars than any other. It is, without any exaggeration, a Scottish icon. Eilean Donan is certainly one of the most photographed castle. Ruined in the early 18th century, it was restored to all its glory some two centuries later and is now the headquarters of the Clan Mac Rae.
Chenonceau Castle, France
Built directly over the River Cher about fifteen minutes outside of Amboise, Chateau Chenonceau offers visitors a unique look at over 500 years of French history. It is an exceptional site not only because of its original design, the richness of its collections, its furniture and its decorations, but also because of its destiny, since it was loved, administrated and protected by women, who were all extraordinary and who, for the most part have marked history.
Lichtenstein Castle, Germany
Located on the edge of the Swabian Alps in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg lies the Lichtenstein Castle. This gothic-style castle is perched on a beautiful exposed cliff overlooking a wooded valley, you can also see the southern part of the town of Lichtenstein from the castle. Today, the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Urach, but is open to visitors. The castle contains a large collection of historic weapons and armour.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Perched atop a towering cliff, the mysterious and magnificent Predjama Castle has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the largest cave castle in the world. Built directly into a rocky cliff face, Predjama Castle was considered virtually impenetrable when it was constructed in the 13th century. Between the months of May and September visitors can explore the tunnels and caves used by Erazem and various others, as well as the newly renovated attic room that boasts astonishing views of the valleys and roads leading up to the stronghold.
There are many more castles which you can visit and explore. So why to wait any longer book your trip with us and start exploring the castles all around the world!!!