Best castles in the world
Knight, dragons, princesses, or ghosts are so many things that lulled your childhood, and you still have some thrills by seeing those beautiful strongholds, relics of the past, and testimony of the Dark Ages. How not to be amazed by their tall greystone structures, their great walls, and their high towers; structures hosting at that time the royal family and his court, the temple of a whole feudal system, organized around feasts with troubadours and minstrels. Europe is known for hosting the most famous medieval castles in the world, and you’ll find here medieval stone walls, sky-high towers, and bridges arching over lakes. To enjoy this jump back in time, we did a review of the best castles around the world for you, and if you open your ears carefully, you’ll maybe hear some flute, lute, or lyre coming straight from the past.
Eltz Castle, Germany
Eltz Castle rapidly became one of the most famous castles in the world, as tons of tourist comes every year to photograph it in the eerie hours of the day. Sitting on top of a hill and surrounded by a dense forest, the place gives a mysterious feeling of entering our favorite Disney anime ambiance, ready to sing to animals like Cinderella (well, probably the side effects of being isolated…), or wait for our charming prince (or princess, 2020, come on…) like sleeping beauty. The Castle is located in Rheinland-Palatine, known as the Moselle wine region producing the famous Riesling wine; to give a tipsy taste to your trip, and who knows, you’ll really start singing to talk with animals afterward…
Eilean Donan, Scotland
Probably the most famous castle in Europe as the medieval castle of Eilean Donan can be easily recognized by anyone. The 1986 movie Highlander made his features recognizable by almost anyone, and it became now a must-see place in the Western Highlands of Scotland. Located on an island between three sea lochs, the place has the look of the world’s end, surrounded by nothing but water and a beautiful mountain landscape. Built-in the 13th century, the castle we enjoy now is actually a reconstruction of the 20th century, as it suffered destruction in the 18th century during the Jacobite rebellions.
Mont-Saint-Michl is probably the most impressive castle in the world, and possibly also one of the most beautiful castles; you won’t see many magical places like that. Located in the intersection between Normandy and Brittany, the island is otherworldly unique and magnificent. On top of the island sits a medieval monastery attracting pilgrims for centuries. The construction of the Benedictine abbey on the top of the island started in the late 10th century, and the legend says that bishop Aubert was ordered directly by Archangel Michael to build it; we tend to believe it, the place is too beautiful to be the result of human touch. The view as well as breathtaking, with a big range of different landscapes, the castle is probably one of the greatest castles in the world, and the island can be reached on foot during the low tide, but be careful not to be trapped…
In a less tremendous style, the typical castle of Chillon in Switzerland will be maybe more familiar to you as the castle of Prince Erice in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was inspired by the lake of Geneva Structure. In use since the bronze age as a fortress, the castle is mostly famous for its prison, mostly through the magical pen of Lord Byron, who gave romantic features to the place in his poem of 1816 “The prisoner of Chillon”. The place remains a popular destination not only for tourists but also for Swiss people, as a historic destination and a must-see for day-trippers.
Winsdor Castel, England
Possibly Europes’ most famous castle is Windsor Castle in England as it was home for the British royalty for centuries, ever since Henri I reigned over England in the 12th century, and is known as having the longest occupancy for palace in Europe. The place features a fortification, a palace, and a small town. Every year tons of tourists come to admire the Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, and gothic features an impressive mix of period and a real-time journey. As it’s one of the three official residences of the Queen, the place is really active, and receiving tons of tourists Is not the original purpose of the place but more a side effect.
Castel Del Monte in Andria, Italy
This impressive complex is considered as a masterpiece of medieval architecture but is mostly known for the mystery around it, as the purposes of its construction are not so clear. Built-in 1240 By Emperor Frederik II with no means of protection and soon abandoned as built by the decorated emperor, a lot of questions remain regarding his clear intentions. Nevertheless, it’s probably one of the coolest castles in the world, with a very specific architecture, where its fortress is shaped in an octagonal base with towers at each corner and hosting eight trapezoidal rooms. It’s thought that the peculiar geometrical shape of the castle has actually a deeper symbolic and makes reference to the Holy Grail, the never-ending mythological pursuit of the medieval knights, and the relationship between humanity and God. Anyway, we will never know the mysterious origin of the castle, but we know that it became one of southern Italy’s most visited landmarks and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Who would have thought that UNESCO World Heritage includes national parks! Read more in our article five largest national parks