Published on : Saturday, October 16, 2021
The medieval castles around the world allure derive from history and political drama. These beautiful landmarks with astonishing architecture were once the dwelling places of ruling dynasties.
Built by the kings to protect and rule their realms, these instagrammable castles had not only to be able to withstand attack but project power and wealth for all to see.
Now, some of these castles are converted into museums and some are in poor condition. These palatial building are sturdy and keep and imposing walls were erected alongside marvellous palaces, full of ornate and elaborate chambers, halls, and throne rooms.
Eltz Castle, Germany
Eltz Castle is one of the most-photographed castles with many landscape photographers choosing to capture it during the eerie hours of the day. The castle sits on top of a hill surrounded by a thick forest, adding to the mysterious feel. Located in Rheinland-Palatine, known as the Moselle wine region famous for Riesling wine, due to its secluded position, it feels worlds away.
Eilean Donan, Scotland
Eilean Donan is of the most well-known castles in Scotland. This castle is easily recognised by almost anyone. Partly, thanks to being featured in the 1986 film Highlander, but also as one of the must-see places in the Western Highlands of Scotland. This highland gem is located on an island between three sea lochs – Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is another beautiful castle, sitting on top of Castle Rock. It overlooks the capital of Scotland. Unsurprising, considering the majority of medieval castles had strategic locations; the key was being able to see the enemy and remain difficult to reach. A dramatic history didn’t spare Edinburgh Castle due to the tensions between England and Scotland. During the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independence, the ownership of the castle changed between the Scottish and the English several times.
Mont-Saint-Michel Bay in France is one of the most magical castles. The awe-inspiring island located where Normandy and Brittany meet is otherworldly and unique. Even though not technically a castle, it would be difficult for anyone to deny its magnificence.
Castel del Monte, Italy
Castel del Monte is a 13th-century citadel in Apulia region was built by Emperor Frederick II. The ascetic and fortress-like octagon facade features elements from classical antiquity, the Islamic Orient and north European Cistercian Gothic. The castle sits on a rocky peak in a secluded forest, and the building itself has undergone no significant structural changes.
Vianden Castle, Luxembourg
Vianden Castle was steadily built over three centuries between the 11th and the 14th century. Vianden Castle is an example of the Romanesque style with semi-circular arches, even though there were Gothic additions later on. Just like many other medieval castles, Vianden Castle lies on top of a hill overlooking the town of Vianden.
Citadel of Qaitbay, Egypt
Construction of Citadel of Qaitbay on the Mediterranean Sea began in 1477 after Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay learned of Ottoman troops advancing toward Alexandria. The castle plans were cleverly laid out on the ruins of the fallen Pharos Lighthouse, where workers could salvage pieces of the previous structure to build red granite columns in the mosque and entrance.
Matsumoto Castle, Japan
The origins of Japanese castle Matsumoto Castle date back to the 1504, when the Ogasawara clan started to build a fort to fend off other invaders. Only a few years after its completion, the powerful warlord Takeda Shingen captured the military fortification. As the castle switched hands throughout history, its design evolved into a tall, three-towered structure with inky black walls and roofs that earned it the nickname “the Crow Castle.”
Around 1872, the castle faced possible demolition after developers wanted to build newer buildings and housing complexes on the site. However, the residents of Matsumoto start a campaign to save the tower and, eventually, it were acquired by the city government.
Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle is a Romanesque castle may have first been built as a wooden fort as early as 1113. Stone slowly began to replace the wood, and by the 12th century, the castle boasted Gothic and Renaissance elements.
Château de Chenonceau, France
Château de Chenonceau appears as though it’s elegantly floating over the reflective Cher River. The original structure can be traced back to the 11th century, but it was Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of Henry II, who commissioned Philibert de l’Orme to build the castle’s hallmark feature, the arched bridge.
Nakhal Fort, Oman
Upon first glance at the magnificent fortress above Oman’s Batinah Plain, you may notice its rather irregular shape. The original structure of the Nakhal Fort, which predates the Islamic era, was built around a large boulder at the foot of Mount Nakhal, causing it to look a bit imperfect.
Red Fort, India
The Indian Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan laid the foundation of the Red Fort, or Lal Qila, after moving the empire’s capital from Agra to the newly built city of Delhi. Behind the rather modest red sandstone façade laid an intricate web of inlaid-paneled halls and chambers mixing traditional Mughal style with elements of Persian, Timurid, and Hindu design.
Pena National Palace, Portugal
Influenced by Middle Eastern and European Baroque styles, the Pena National Palace represents the eccentric and colorful flair of 19th-century Romanticism in Portugal. King Ferdinand II designed the castle on a hill in the Sintra Mountains to be a summer home for the Portuguese royal family.
Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
Located on three small isles on the Castle Lake, the distinguished Frederiksborg Castle was built as a symbol of King Christian IV’s power as ruler of Denmark and Norway. The Renaissance castle was the official royal residence for more than 100 years before its original structure was destroyed in a fire in 1859.
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