Top 10 Most Beautiful Castles in the World
No matter how mature we all pretend to be, secretly or openly, we have all loved the fairy tales. We have adored the romance, the innocence as well the grandeur of their surroundings. Be it Cinderella, Snow white, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty etc all these have had one thing in common and that is the coziness of a warm palatial castle. We always try to find in this real world the elements of our beloved fairy tales. Well I have found some fairy tale architectures to be honest. The world history has been rich with artists and architects who have embedded their names in the structures they built. These centuries old monuments still have so much of life in them. You will forget all the fairy tales with just one look at these glorious homes. Each brick in their walls speaks of a lavish history and every eye gazing at them just wishes to get more of it. It is hard to say which one is more beautiful, but after a lot of effort I offer you the 10 most beautiful castles in the world.
10. Mont Saint Michel, France.
Mont Saint Michel is actually an island commune located in Normandy in France. The island drives its name from a monastery that has been on this island this the 8th century AD. This island along with its bay is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The island inhabits less than 50 people but sees more than 3 million tourists every year. The island was accessible earlier through tidal causeway. A tidal causeway is path that is revealed at low tides and is submerged at high tides. Over the years, this has been greatly altered causing silting in the bay. Around 1879, the causeway was permanently raised as a dry way. The government in 2006 announced that Mont will be converted to an island once again and the project will be soon completed in 2015.
9. Kilkenny Castle, Ireland.
The castle has been named Kilkenny Castle because it is located in Kilkenny in Ireland. It was built almost 900 years back in the year 1195 by 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal. It was built from a strategic point of view to control the fording point on the Nore river. In the year 1967, the castle was handed over to the people for a sum of £50 and is now managed by the Office of Public Works. At present, the parkland and gardens adjacent to the palace are open to the public. The Award ceremonies for the students of the Kilkenny Campus are being held here, at the castle, since the year 2002.
8. Prague Castle, Czech Republic.
This is one of the most iconic castles in the world. The castles gets it’s name from the capital city of Prague in which it is located. It might interest you to know that this castle has been tagged by the Guinness Book of World records as the largest Ancient castle in the world. The construction of the Prague castle began way back in the 9th century and the final portions of the castle were completed in the 14th century. It is covering an area of an astounding 70,000 sq. mt. The Prague castle has served as the office for royalties like Kings of Bohemia, Roman emperors, Presidents of Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia. The jewels which were embedded in the Bohemian Crown are hidden in a secret room in this castle. The entire castle includes several churches, palaces, gardens, a monastery and defense towers. What acts as the main center of attraction is the myth which says that the world’s most ferocious vampire, Dracula, was imprisoned here.
7. Château de Chambord, France.
Chateau de Chambord is located in Loir-et-Cher division in France. Chateau basically means a royal residence belonging to the lord of the country or manor. This Chateau was built by the King Francois I and it is remarkable to note that the construction of this building was never completed. In spite of this, the Château de Chambord is one of the most iconic Chateaux in the world due to its blend of French Renaissance combination architectural style. This was constructed by the King to be used as a hunting lodge. The designer of this splendid monument is surprising still not confirmed although it is believed to be Domenico da Cortona. It has been open to people since 2007 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Château de Versailles, France
Also called as Palace of Versailles, this is also a royal residence located in Ile-de-France region in the country. The construction of the early parts of this palace dates back to the 16th century by King Louis XIII. In between 1952 and 1980 the palace underwent a mega renovation and restoration. Today the ground floor is housing a museum which is considered as one of the biggest tourist attraction in the country.
5. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany.
Neuschwanstein Castle which means in English the New Swan Stone castle is a splendid 19th century structure that seems to have been transported from a fairy tale book into the real world. It is a Romanesque palace that is located on a hill in the village of Hohenschwangau in Germany. The palace belonged to King Ludwig II of Bavaria and after his death in the year 1886; the palace was opened to the public. The palace sees today on an average 1.6 million people annually. The palace has inspired the creation of the Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle in California.
4. Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Castle Howard is located in North Yorkshire in UK and is one of the grandest residences in the country. Most part of this grand monument was constructed between 1699 and 1712. This castle has been a residence for the Howard family for over 300 years. The castle has a huge estate with an area of 13,000 acres surrounding it. Until 1950s, the castle had its own railway station. There is also a lake on both the sides of the house. Since 1952, the castle is open to the public for tourism.
3. Lowenburg Castle, Germany.
Lowenburg castle literally translates to Lion’s castle in English. It is located in the breath taking, scenic valley of Kassel in Germany. This castle has been built on the remains of another castle. The castle has been used as a private residence by the owner, Landgrave Wilhelm IX of Kassel. The castle also served as his burial place. The architecture is considered to be out of the league and one of the earliest examples of the Gothic Revival.
2. Catherine Palace, Russia.
The Catherine Palace is located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo in the city of St. Petersburg in Russia. The palaces was constructed for Catherine I of Russia in the year 1717. In the year 1733 the original Palace was expanded. In the year 1752, the entire palace was demolished by Empress Elizabeth as she found it outdated. A new palace was then built which was a much grander monument. The palace that we see today was completed in the year 1756 and was constructed in 4 years only.
1. Windsor Castle, England.
Windsor Castle is located in the Berkshire County at Windsor. The castle is popular because it has been associated with the British Royal family since a long time. The Windsor Castle is covering an area of 13 acres and includes the palace, a small town and fortification. This is the largest inhabited castle in the world.