Castles are like a window to a fairytale land, they bring about a unique charisma to the landscapes around them. All castles tell an incredible story of the history and architecture of the place. This is the place where plots were hatched, marriages were consummated, babies born, murders carried out and so on. Castles possess a certain magic that enchants people from all across the globe. It is a magical place just like the fairy tales. Although we have seen and read a lot about castles, here’s our chance to revisit the castles to get a taste of the charming tales from our bedtime story books. 

What Are Castles And What Is So Special About Them That Fascinates People From Around The World Since Ages?

A castle is a large fortified structure with thick strong walls built by the king or lord of the territory for protection against attacks. It was first built during the middle ages and was generally used as the residence of the leader of that territory. There has always been a debate on the scope of the word castle. Is it the same as a mansion, palace and villa? The main purpose of a mansion, palace and villa was exclusively for pleasure, whereas a castle is a type of fortified structure where its essential role is the defense of a region. Castles were also used by powerful people to display their wealth and power by using lavish architectural styles and decorations. Use of the term has varied from time to time. People have always been fascinated with castles as each of them have tales of heroic battles or tragic love stories attached to it.

Types Of Castles

There are different kinds of castles which can be classified under the three primary types based on their form and function: Motte-and-bailey castles, stone keep castles, and concentric castles.

Motte-And-Bailey Castles – This is relatively a simple one where wooden or stone is kept on top of a raised earthwork, next to a walled compound which was usually protected by a palisade or a moat.

Stone Keep Castles – During the 10th and 11th century castles across Europe used this style which centered around larger free-standing stone keeps, with a rectangular floor plan which also had extremely thick walls.

Concentric Castles – This type of castle became popular during the 12th and 13th centuries. Here the towers were connected by curtain walls in a concentric shaped compound. Two or more such curtain walls were arranged one inside the other to give the castle more protection.

8 Gorgeous Castles Around The World

Discover the majestic castles while learning about their history, architecture, and significance. From the medieval fortresses to the eye-catching architecture, take a look at some of the world’s most magical castles right here.

Matsumoto Castle, Japan

Japans caste is one of the best castles around the world
A flatland castle form Japan

Japan’s most famous castle, Matsumoto Castle, is located just 135 miles from Tokyo. The origin of the Castle can be dated back to 1504 where it represented six different daimyo families. This 16th century castle is a flatland castle because it stands on a plain surface and not on a hilltop or amid rivers. It has sophisticated inter-connecting walls, moats and gatehouses which take care of the security. With the passage of time its design evolved into a tall three-towered structure with black walls and roofs. This looked like the spreading wings of a crow and since then came to be called the “Crow Castle.” In 1872 when the castle faced possible demolition, it was saved by the residents of Matsumoto and later came to be officially named as the national treasure of Japan. This last standing example of a daimyo castle is one of the most beautiful castles in the world.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

most beautiful castles in the world
Neuschwanstein castle in Germany looks truly out of a fairytale movie

With the snow capped Alps as a backdrop and the Bavarian plains spread out beneath, Neuschwanstein castle is the ultimate fairytale castle. It proudly stands on the hill above the village of Hohenschwangau and Füssen in Germany. It was built on the instructions of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. After the death of the king in 1886, it was open to the public and since then over 50 million people have visited Neuschwanstein. Though Germany has so many awe-inspiring castles, Neuschwanstein happens to be the epitome of them all. Its beauty is such that it was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castles. Neuschwanstein is a true beauty as the ornately decorated interiors are as beautiful as the slender spires and towering roofs of the exterior. It’s not just one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations but also the most photographed place in all of Germany.

Windsor Castle, England

constructed in the 11th century it is the oldest castles in the world
Queen Elizebeth’s favorite place is the Windsor castle

Windsor Castle that sits south of the River Thames is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. The castle was constructed in the 11th century with Georgian, Victorian, Gothic, Baroque, and modern architecture styles. This 1,000-year-old British royal residence covers a whopping 13-acre of land which needs at least three hours to see it all. It has been the family home of the kings and queens for more than 900 years.

Queen Elizabeth spent most of her weekends at the castle as it was her favorite place. Inside the massive castle complex is the famous St. George’s Chapel which is the site for royal weddings, ceremonies and burials. The castle has seen many renovations but the fire that broke out in 1992 destroyed more than 100 rooms, it was fully restored to its original state five years later. Undoubtedly one of the most loved real life castles in the world.

Bran Castle, Romania

beautiful roman castles in the cold winter
This dramatic castle is also know as the Dracula Castle

Bran Castle, also referred to as Dracula’s Castle, is a 13th-century iconic castle in Romania. The medieval fortress stands majestically atop the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. Due to its dramatic architecture and its connection to Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’, it is always surrounded by lore and mystery. It’s believed the castle’s mysterious setting inspired Stoker’s novel and has since been linked to the vampire legend. Vlad Tepes, the historical figure in the novel actually did not live here, he only spent two days locked in the dungeon. What was once used as defense against the Ottoman Empire in 1378 was converted into a royal residence until 1947 and in 1993 it was open to the public as a museum. 

Suggested Reads: This year, you can celebrate Halloween at Dracula’s castle

Alcázar of Segovia, Spain

looking for some medieval castles
Home of the Kings and Queens in the 12th century

This 12th century castle in central Spain was the favorite residence of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Castile. Rising out on a rocky crag, Alcázar is a magical castle at the junction of two rivers Eresma and Clamores. This medieval castle with its deep moat, drawbridge, round guard towers, rocky promontory and royally decorated chambers makes it one of the most striking castles in all of Europe. It was built as a fort for the defense of the kingdom but went on to serve as a state prison, a Royal Artillery College, a military academy and a royal palace. Segovia Castle was home of Queen Isabella and Phillip II before it was moved to Madrid. Just like how Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany inspired Walt Disney’s sleeping beauty, the Alcázar of Segovia inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland

one of the most beautiful castles in world
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The Castle of Chillon (Château de Chillon) is located between the shores of Lake Geneva and the Alps. This historic building in Switzerland is considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. From the 12th – 16th century the Castle belonged to the Savoy family, then it was inhabited by the Bern’s and later by the Vaud. Each of them built their own buildings and gradually all these independent buildings connected and are now a single whole. The entire place consists of 25 buildings with three courtyards that are protected by two circular walls. Even today the 14th century wall paintings, subterranean vaults, parade halls and the bedroom are all preserved in its original form. There are guided tours that will take you through the inside and outside of the castle. This place is open for events too.

Prague Castle, Czech Republic

come discover the world of castles
Fully lit Prague Castle in the night

Built in the 9th century, Prague Castle is one of the most iconic structures in the Czech Republic. It is the oldest castle in the world and was built mixing various styles of architecture, like Baroque, Romanesque, and Gothic. Kings and emperors once lived here but today it is the official residence and office of the president of the Czech Republic. As per the Guinness Book of World Records the sprawling castle complex is the largest (750,000 square feet) in the world. Other places to look out for while here are the St Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, a gallery, ten gardens and a row of 16th-century cottages. One can opt for day or night guided tours that will take three hours to complete.

Conwy Castle, Wales

real life castles to visit
This castle is an example of military architecture in Europe

Conwy Castle, built between 1283 and 1289 is the finest example of military architecture in Europe. It was built by King Edward on a rock promontory which had the latest defensive design features: massive round towers, a double courtyard and outer barbican walls and towers. It consists of eight massive round towers that form a rectangle. Conwy castle was so important to Edward that he bought in 1,500 craftsmen to speed up the building process. The work was completed in only four years, which was a great achievement in those days. The total cost of the castle building was ten times more than King Edward’s annual income. This beautiful limestone and sandstone castle has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Also Read: 18 Of The Most Stunning Castles In Wales

These gorgeous castles are both a feast to the eyes as well as a time machine to travel back to the magical world. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and set on a journey to the fairy land where everything ends with a “happily ever after.”

How many castles are there in the world?

There is no exact figure for the number of castles in the world, however there are more than one million castles in the world, each with a significance of their own.

Which is the most beautiful castle in the world?

Neuschwanstein in Germany has stunning architecture and breathtaking views making it the most beautiful castle in the world.

Which country has the most number of castles in the world?

Despite its small size, Wales has the most number of castles per square mile in the world. There are over 400 castles waiting to be explored by visitors.

Which are the oldest castles in the world?

The Citadel of Aleppo and Reichsburg Cochem are some of the old castles in the world.


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