Castles were built as fortified mansions for nobility. Even though the need for castles has largely faded, many remain as an awesome symbol of history and culture.
Bratislava castle, Slovakia Bratislava castle is still the most dramatic feature in the city of Bratislava, Slovakia today. The humongous castle sits on the top of the hill in the center of the city. The location provides excellent views of three countries (Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary).
Chenonceau Castle, France (Château de Chenonceau) This French castle is often called the Ladies’ Castle due to feminine influence in its development. I credit the feminine touch to the extreme beauty of this structure.
Reichsburg Castle, Germany Reichsburg castle in Cochem, Germany as it stands today was built about 150 years ago. Even though it is “newer” than many of the others on this list, the original construction was more than 1,000 years ago.
Corvin Castle, Romania The Corvin castle in Romania is often cited as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Regardless if that is true or not, it definitely fits the vampire theme for me.
Mont Saint Michel, France Aside from the attractions in Paris, the Mont Saint Michel is the most visited tourist attraction in France. The massive edifice sits on its own island, and not only includes an incredible abbey, but an entire city.
Chateau de Chambord, France Most people realize the Chateau de Chambord in France is large, but most people don’t realize just how large. It contains 440 rooms and 365 fireplaces.
Vianden Castle, Luxembourg Vianden castle in Luxembourg sits on top of the city. Also worth noting is that even in modern warfare, this castle was used in defense against the Nazis.
Prague Castle, Czech Republic Prague castle is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. It is also the largest ancient castle in the world.
Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, Ukraine This castle now sits in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. This castle was originally built to protect a bridge connecting bridge. It obviously must have been an important bridge to justify this type of defense.
Boldt Castle, USA Power House of Boldt Castle in Thousand Islands New York, USA (yes, a castle in the USA). The castle currently serves as a museum to show how electrical power was obtained in the early 1900’s.
Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany This German castle near the town of Fussen amazingly received no damage in World War I or World War II.
Pena Palace, Portugal Fairy Palace is located in Sintra, Portugal. The castle is used today by the President of Portugal and other officials for state events. If you could, why wouldn’t you?
Trencin Castle, Slovakia Trencin Castle – Even though Slovakia is a small country, it has a lot of beautiful and well preserved castles. Trencin castle is an example of one.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany If you love the classic Disney movies, then this castle should look familiar as it was the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty. Neuschwanstein castle was actually only built for one person, King Ludwig II (and my husband thinks I’m high maintenance). Oh… and did I mention that he only slept in the castle for 11 nights! Neuschwanstein is a VERY popular tourist destination; it has been visited by more than 61 million people since being opened to the public.
Eltz Castle, Germany The Eltz castle in Germany has been family owned since this 12th century. Even today descendants of the original owners own and operate tours of the castle.
Schönbühel Castle, Austria Another beautiful castle on the Danube river in Austria.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland Eileen Donan Scotland – This castle was built to protect what is now Scotland against Viking invasions. The castle was destroyed by its own government due to the owners involvement in the Jacobite rebellions. It was restored in the 20th century.
Chateau des Milandes, France Milandes – When I look at the French castle Milandes, it is hard to belive that castles were originally built as defensive structures. The combination of castle and gardens make this one of the most beautiufl in the world.
Oberhofen Castle, Swiss Alps fa Oberhofen castle is located in the middle of the Swiss Alps. The beatiful castle sits on the shore of lake Thun, and is open as a museum that even offers training on how to be a medieval knight or lady.