The Most Beautiful Castles In The World
These castles are considered the most beautiful in the world. See why.

Mossy Kingdom

A verdant castle,
Reigns over moistened bogscapes: 
Royal reflections.

– Raul Moreno

Castles have been homes to royal families since the Middle Ages. The fortified structures originated in Europe and the Middle East to serve as residences of nobility. Over the centuries, many castles were destroyed due to the ravages of war and nature. Nevertheless, there are those that survived and continue to stand high and proud. They are a testament to their history and legacy. Let’s appreciate these fortresses that remain and are considered the most beautiful in the world.

Alcazar of Segovia (Spain)

Alcazar

The “Segovia Fortress” is one of the most distinctive palaces in Spain because of its shape. It’s shaped much like a ship’s bow. Originally, it was built as a fortress in the 12th century. Over the years, it has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy.

Currently, the castle houses a museum and a military archives building.  It was when the royal court moved to Madrid that the castle became a state prison for almost two centuries. Restoration of the structure took place in 1882, a work that lasted for fourteen years. Alcazar is one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. It was also the French home of Sir Lancelot du Lac in the 1967 musical film “Camelot.”

Bodiam Castle (East Sussex, England)

Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III,  built the castle in 1385. The 14th-century moated castle was erected to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. The quadrangle-shape fortress has no keep. Its chambers and private courts were built around the outer defensive walls of the castle.

Bodiam castle was the center manor of Bodiam and home of the Dalyngrigge family for several generations until their line became extinct. The Lewknor family inherited the castle and owned the place until the 16th century. In 1829, John Fuller purchased the Bodiam ruins after wars led to the destruction of the castle. Under his auspices, he restored it and sold it to George Cubitt, 1st Baron Ashcombe, and then to Lord Curzon. Today, The National Trust takes care of the castle since Lord Curzon’s death.

“If you see a castle under fog, you must walk there to meet the extraordinary dreams!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

Conwy Castle (Wales, United Kingdom)

Edward 1 built the medieval castle during his conquest of Wales in the 13th century. Conwy is described as Edward’s most expensive and most famous castle ever created. It cost £15,000, which was an enormous amount at that time. The fortress was constructed as part of a wider project to build the walled town of Conwy.

In the next few centuries following the castle’s creation, it played an important part in several wars, until it was completely ruined in 1665. Restoration work began in the middle of the 19th century. Soon after, the castle opened to visitors from all over the world. UNESCO described Conwy as “one of the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th-century military  architecture in Europe.”

Hohensalzburg Castle (Salzburg, Austria)

Hohensalzburg

The name means “High Salzburg Fortress.” The castle was built in the 11th century and expanded three centuries later. It is one of the oldest, most preserved, and one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The structure is at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. It sits at the top of Festungsberg, a small hill in Salzburg, Austria. The castle’s dimensions are eight-hundred-twenty feet long and four-hundred-ninety feet wide. Refurbishing of the castle started in the late 19th century. Soon, it became a major tourist attraction in 1892.

Kilkenny Castle (Ireland)

William Marshal, the 1st Earl of Pembroke, built the castle in 1195. It was constructed to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. The castle symbolizes the Norman occupation. Back in the 13th century, it stood as a fortress to Kilkenny town with its four huge circular corner towers and an enormous ditch. Since 1967, the people of Kilkenny own the property. Today, the Office of Public Works manage the castle.

Miranda Castle (Celles, Belgium)

Also known as Chateau Miranda, the 19th-century structure is a neo-Gothic castle in the region of Ardennes, Belgium. It was built in 1866 by English architect Edward Milner under commission from the Liedekerke-De-Beaufort family. Milner did not live to see the work complete. However, the castle was completed in 1907 after the erection of the clock tower. The descendants of the family lived in the castle until World War II when German forces occupied the fortress.

The National Railway Company of Belgium took over the place in 1950. It renamed the castle Chateau de Noisy, turning it into an orphanage and a holiday camp for sickly children. But since 1991, Miranda has stood empty and abandoned. The corporation left it in a derelict state due to the high cost of restoration. Nevertheless, city explorers trooped to the place until the middle of 2016 when a private owner took over. Demolition and a complete restoration are underway.

“I thought of the soul as resembling a castle, formed of a single diamond or a very transparent crystal, and containing many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.” – Saint Teresa of Avila

Mont Saint-Michel (France)

mont_saint-michel

The castle sits on a rocky tidal island in Normandy, France. It is situated about a kilometer off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of Couesnon River. The structure rises three-hundred-one feet above sea level. It has a population of less than fifty, but it’s flocked by millions of tourists each year. The island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century AD. It has also been the seat of the monastery from which its name is derived. Mont Saint-Michel depicts the feudal society that constructed it: God, the abbey and monastery on top; then great halls, stores, and housing below; and outside the walls, houses for farmers and fishermen at the bottom.

Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)

The nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace is perched on a rugged hill above the Hohenschwangau village near southwest Bavaria, Germany. Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the construction of the castle as an homage to Richard Wagner and as a retreat. He used his borrowed money. Ludwig II passed away before the castle was opened to the paying public in 1886. Originally intended as a personal refuge for the king, Neuschwanstein has welcomed sixty-one million people since it became a tourist spot. Every year, more than a million people visit the enchanted castle.

Prague Castle (Prague, Czech Republic)

Prague

The castle was constructed in the 9th century, making it one the oldest castles in the world. It is also one of the largest, having an area of 70,000m2. The five-hundred-seventy-meter long and one-hundred-thirty-meter wide fortress was a seat of power for Holy Roman emperors, kings of Bohemia, and Czechoslovakian presidents.

The castle was initially a walled building called the Church of the Virgin Mary. After this, the Basilica of Saint George and the Basilica of St. Vitus were constructed. Later, a Romanesque palace followed in the 12th century. During the 14th century, Prague Castle was rebuilt in Gothic style, and the fortifications were strengthened. St. Vitus was also replaced by a vast Gothic church that took centuries to complete. Prague Castle now is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.

(Windsor) is one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic designs.
Windsor Castle (Berkshire, England)

The original castle was constructed in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. From the time of Henry I, the castle has been used by the reigning monarch. It is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The lavish early 19th century State Apartments and overall architecture of Windsor make it one of the most prominent castles in England, aside from being long associated with the British royal family.

Historian John Martin Robinson describes the castle’s 15th-century St. George’s Chapel as “one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic designs.” Windsor was originally built to protect London’s outskirts from Norman dominance. The castle survived wars and endured renovations. Today, it boasts of its Rococo, Gothic, and Baroque architecture and interiors. It is the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II and a popular venue for hosting state visits. More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor Castle.

YOUR REACTION?



Facebook Conversations