Europe’s 10 Most Beautiful Castles

Europe’s 10 Most Beautiful Castles

The 10 most beautiful castles in Europe

Once there was just a modest chapel, but now the castle is rightly included among the seven wonders of Portugal.

A walk through Europe. Excursion tours: pros and cons The castle hosts official receptions and events organized by the president and government officials of the country. The interior of the Château de la Pena has remained unchanged for a century: it seems that the rooms and halls have only recently left their last hostess, Queen Amelia. By the way, this castle impressed Russian patron Arseny Morozov so much that he undertook the construction of a mansion in the same style in Moscow on Vozdvizhenka.

Neuschwanstein (Germany)

Order to build this castle was given at the end of XIX century by King Ludwig II, whom contemporaries nicknamed “fabulous”. By the way, this nickname he owes to Neuschwanstein, because the castle really resembles the palace of an enchanted princess or a powerful sorceress.

It was this castle that once inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake (the name Neuschwanstein translates from German as “the new swan cliff”). And the castle of Sleeping Beauty in Disneyland Paris was also “copied” from it.

Chillon Castle (Switzerland)

The first buildings in this picturesque place on the shore of Lake Geneva appeared in IX century, and the present complex consisting of 25 structures, was created at different times and by different masters.

Once there were prisoners kept behind these gloomy walls, and even when in 1887 the castle was turned into a museum, the upper floors were still occupied by cells for criminals. Now, of course, there is no trace of the prison left, and the castle itself is a unique combination of gloomy and impregnable walls with the luxury and elegance of the interiors.

Eileen Donan (Scotland).

The castle stands on a rocky island in the fjord Loch Duich. It gives mixed impression: some people consider it one of the most romantic, others – one of the gloomiest in all Europe.

Probably it is the versatility of this castle that made it a true star of cinema: at different times such popular movies as “Highlander”, “Mio, my Mio”, “And the whole world is not enough” and “Bride’s friend” were shot here. And Eileen-Donan Castle is also known for its delicious heather honey and excellent Scotch whiskey!

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Drachenburg (Germany).

The majestic Neo-Gothic building is actually a cross between a castle, a villa and a palace. In 1884, when the castle was completed, locals unanimously recognized it as the largest and most beautiful in the entire area.

Some even said that it surpassed Neuschwanstein in sophistication! Whether it’s true or not – you decide, but a visit to Drachtenburg (“the palace of the dragon”, as they call it) is definitely worth including in your plan of travel in Germany. Not without reason even the prime minister of the country has chosen the place near this castle on the picturesque banks of the Rhine for his residence.

Predyamsky Castle (Slovenia)

The name can be translated into Russian as “pre-cave castle”, and it best characterizes this unique construction. The architectural masterpiece is gracefully inscribed into the rock and covers the entrance to the huge cave.

Especially for romantics and lovers of medieval culture there is still a tradition of annual jousting tournaments. Brave young men in shining armor, beautiful ladies, for whose hand and heart the duels are fought over. And at the end of the tournament – a sumptuous feast for all guests and participants! Such a visit to the castle will produce a much greater impression than an ordinary excursion!

Corvinov Castle (Romania)

In Romania, there is probably not a single castle, which legends would not be associated with Vlad Tepes – the historical prototype of the vampire Count Dracula. As for this castle, it is said that it was in its cellars where they kept Tepesh after he was dethroned.

Is it true or not, historians can not say. If we talk about the architecture of the Corvinov castle, it is quite unique. At various times this place changed more than 20 owners, and each of them wanted to rebuild everything in their own way, so now you can find the features of different styles, from Renaissance to Gothic, in the external appearance of the castle.

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Trakai Castle (Lithuania)

Today it is the largest and perhaps the most famous castle in Lithuania. It was built taking into account the natural features of the area, so that the fortress in the Gothic style perfectly performed the defensive function and was virtually impregnable.

It used to be the residence of Lithuanian princes, and the halls of the castle were used for feasts and luxurious receptions. Later the building was used as a prison (only rich and famous criminals were kept here). Nowadays, inside the castle there is a museum of Trakai history. The Trakai Park is the place where the town festivals, festivals and fairs are held.

Pierrefonds Castle (France)

If you think you’ve already seen this castle somewhere, even if you’ve never been to France, you’re not mistaken! Because of its fabulous and a bit mystical appearance, it often served as a backdrop for the shooting of various films. By the way, the first picture was filmed here back in 1924! It is in Pierrefonds that “Iron Mask”, “Aliens”, “The Hunchback” and “Merlin” films take place.

Originally the castle looked much more modest and fulfilled only defensive function, but in the middle of XIX century Emperor Napoleon III decided to make this place his residence and invited for the reconstruction of architect Viollet de Duc (he was engaged in restoration of Notre Dame in Paris) – he transformed a gloomy fortress in a work of architecture.

Vyborg Castle (Russia)

To admire a true medieval castle, do not necessarily go abroad: on a small island in the Gulf of Finland is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. This castle was founded centuries ago by the Swedes during one of their campaigns.

The heart of the fortress is the Tower of St. Olaf: previously it was used to serve as a sentry to warn of enemy attacks, and now at the top there is an observation deck, which offers a picturesque view of the surrounding area. Every spring, costume festivals are held at the castle, bringing guests back to the era of noble knights and beautiful ladies.

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10 castles of Europe which are worth visiting at least once in your life

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Majestic and gloomy, ancient and not so old, former fortifications, prisons and residences – all these are castles of Europe. For almost a thousand years, monarchs of Europe, military-monastic orders and aristocrats built castles. Many of them survived to this day. Each of them is a true landmark, worthy of a visit.

1. Neuschwanstein, Germany (Bavaria)

Forever Sad.

German castle in Bavaria made in Neo-Romanesque style. It was built in 1886. Literally, the name of this place translates as “New Swan Cliff”. Construction was initiated by King Ludwig II, who ordered specially for the construction of Neuschwanstein to lower the local plateau at 8 meters by undermining the soil. During the life of Ludwig castle was not completed. His successor Regent was forced to open Neuschwanstein to the public, pay his lenders and finish the construction. Today the place officially has the status of a museum.

2. Eileen-Donan, UK (Scotland)

A little gloomy place.

The castle on a rocky island in the Loch Duich Fjord has the most ambivalent reputation in the world. Some people consider it one of the most romantic places in all misty Albion, while others consider it one of the darkest castles in Europe. The castle was often used as a shooting ground. By the way, the Highlander movies were shot here, as well as one of the parts of the Bond movies “And the whole world is not enough”. This castle was built back in the 13th century.

3. Predjamski Castle, Slovenia

It's worse than Helm's Deep.

One of the oldest castles of the country. It is located 10 km from the town of Postojna, which today is one of the local tourist centers. The name of the castle speaks for itself, but wants to explain that the word “Jama” in Slovene means “cave”. The graceful incorporation of the building into the rock is its main feature. The castle was built in 1202 and is one of the symbols of independence of the state. The building is made in Gothic style.

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4. Corvinov Castle, Romania

Dracula was held here.

The ancestral home of the House of Hunyadi. The castle is located in southern Transylvania. Built in the mid-15th century and is an example of Neo-Gothic style. The castle is also interesting because Vlad Tepes (Count Dracula) himself spent 7 years there as a prisoner after his overthrow. It is impossible not to mention that Corvinov is one of the brightest and most beautiful castles in all of Europe. Despite a series of fires in the last three centuries, the castle was able to resist and today is a place of pilgrimage of tourists.

5. Trakai Castle, Lithuania

The residence of princes.

In Lithuania, unfortunately, not so many castles remained. The reason for this is very simple – the numerous wars that have passed through this land. Nevertheless, the Trakai Castle has survived. Today it is the largest of the survivors. Once it was a residence of Lithuanian princes. Grand Duke Vitovt was born there. Tarakai castle was built in the 13th century. It was originally built to defend against the Teutonic Order, but rapidly lost its strategic importance after the Battle of Grunwald on July 15, 1410.

6. Pierrefonds Castle, France

It's a popular movie set.

A movie star castle. Even if you have never been to France, you have surely seen Pierrefonds. It would be hard to count the films in which it has served as a backdrop. Films have been made here since 1924. The films “Iron Mask”, “Aliens”, “The Hunchback” and “Merlin” are just a small part of those associated with this place. By the way, the castle originally looked much more modest. It has been rebuilt several times. The biggest “repair” waited for the construction under Emperor Napoleon III, who unexpectedly decided to make this place his residence.

7. Drachtenburg, Germany

A palace, actually.

The construction of Castle Drachtenburg was completed in 1884. The building is made in neo-Gothic style. In fact, it is not really a castle, as elements of a villa and even a palace can be traced in Drachenburg. Contemporaries argued that the sophistication of this building even surpasses the lauded Neuschwanstein! By the way, the name of this place is translated as “The Dragon’s Court”. Many German prime ministers chose this place as their residence.

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8. Chillon Castle, Switzerland.

It was mostly a prison.

The castle, which appeared in the 9th century on the shores of Lake Geneva. Subsequently it became a whole complex of 25 different buildings. For the most part this gloomy place was used for holding prisoners of all sorts. Only at the end of the 19th century the castle began to gradually transform into a museum, although criminals were still kept on the upper floors. Today the only thing that remains of the prison is a macabre story.

9. De la Pena, Portugal

It's a beautiful place.

Pena Palace in Sintra. The founder of this quaint castle was Fernando II. The complex was built in 1838. The castle is a representative of romantic architecture. It was used mainly as a residence, including for all kinds of celebrations.

10. Vyborg Castle, Russia

He knew a lot of warriors.

The castle on a small island in the Gulf of Finland. It is the oldest local fortification. Vyborg Castle appeared in the 13th century. It was founded by Swedes, during the Third Crusade to Karelian land. For understandable reasons the castle was rebuilt many times, as it was an important strategic object. At the moment it has the status of cultural heritage of Russia.

Do you want to see more interesting things? How about taking a look at these 10 libraries of the world, the interior of which is able to distract from reading the most interesting books, so good it is.

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