10 Magnificent Fairytale Castles around the World
When you were a little child you’ve probably seen a lot of castles in Disney cartoons. But did you know that castles from Frozen or Sleeping Beauty have their own equally impressive, real counterparts? Castles are very fascinating buildings built mostly in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. Here’s a quick tour of the most beautiful castles around the world.
1. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
Hohenzollern Castle is located above the towns of Hechingen and Bisingen in the foothills of the Swabian Alps of central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Hohenzollern Castle is a monument to German Romanticism which incorporated an idealized vision of a medieval knight’s castle. (read more)
2. Swallow’s Nest, Crimea
The Swallow’s Nest is a decorative castle located on top of the 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff off the coast of the Black Sea on the disputed territory of Crimea. It was built between 1911 and 1912 in a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood for the Baltic German oil millionaire Baron von Steingel. The castle looks like it is hung in the air. Despite numerous earthquakes the building survived intact. (read more)
3. Hochosterwitz Castle, Austria
Like “Swallow’s Nest”, the castle Hochosterwitz in Austria has also been built on a rock. It is situated on a 172 metres (564 ft) high Dolomite rock near Sankt Georgen am Längsee. Hochosterwitz is an example of ancient, medieval castles built on high hills and mountains for safety. To the castle leads a 620 m long road with 14 richly decorated defense gates. Each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate.
There was also an alternative route called the “fools stairs”. It lead over the steep and rocky west slope of the mountain. It was carved in the rock and allows entering the castle without passing the gates. Because of the danger of falling from a cliff is no longer available for tourists. (read more)
4. Château de Chambord, France
The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord located in Loir-et-Cher, France, is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King Francis I of France. THe castle has 440 exceptional rooms and amazing staircase, which was designed probably by Leonardo da Vinci, but this has not been confirmed. (read more)
5. Corvin Castle, Romania
Corvin Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and figures in a top of seven wonders of Romania. There are a few legends about this castle. One of them is that it was the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (commonly known as Vlad the Impaler) was held prisoner by John Hunyadi. Vlad III was the inspiration for the Dracula character in many books and films. (read more)
6. Rock of Cashel, Ireland
The Rock of Cashel is a historic site located at Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil’s Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock’s landing in Cashel. (read more)
7. Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia is a stone fortress located in the old city of Segovia. It’s one of the most distinctive castles in Spain by the virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. (read more)
8. Château de Chenonceau, France
The Château de Chenonceau is located on near the small village of Chenonceaux. It’s an architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance, The first mention about the building dates back to the 11th century, but the current château was built in 1514–1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. (read more)
9. Himeji Castle, Japan
Himeji Castle was built as a fort in 1333 on top of Himeyama hill in Himeji, Japan. The fort was dismantled and rebuilt as Himeyama Castle in 1346, and then remodeled into Himeji Castle two centuries later. It is the great example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture, comprising a network of 83 buildings with advanced defensive systems from the feudal period. (read more)
10. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This impressive nineteenth-century castle is located at the foot of the picturesque Alps in Germany. The building represents the architecture of the Romantic period. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune. He strongly manifested the desire for opulence, so many chambers in the castle have decorative purpose rather than utility.
The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures. (read more)