Many of us build our travels around big cities and popular resorts, for some reason not including modest suburbs or even godforsaken places in the program. Today we will rush through 21 of the most interesting castles in Europe and show what we are depriving ourselves of, staying on the beaches and in noisy metropolitan areas.
1. Warwick Castle, England
Situated on the outskirts of Warwick, this castle fits seamlessly into the cityscape. In the neighborhood there is a pretty Mill Garden and a cozy Mill Street, built up with old houses.
In addition to external inspection, Warwick is worth seeing from the inside: admire its interiors and be sure to look into the towers where local ghosts live!
2. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
3. Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
Despite his not quite a fortune, Dunnottar looks very impressive. This is due to its location on a huge cliff, which abruptly drops right into the sea. It is difficult to find a more picturesque place for an old castle. So decided and the director of the film «Hamlet», who chose Dunnottar as a location for filming his film.
4. Rock of Cashel, Ireland
5. Kronborg Castle, Denmark
The Danish castle looks much more positive and more whole than its Western counterparts. Towering over the waters of the Baltic, Kronborg has always been a temptation for its Swedish neighbors, so it was built as an intricate defensive structure with a castle in the center. In addition to military purposes, the citadel also received a romantic role, becoming the scene of the play by William Shakespeare «Hamlet». Since then, the piece has been staged in the castle every summer.
6. Kalmar Castle, Sweden
Будучи шведским конкурентом Кронборга, Кальмар, в свою очередь, не давал покоя датчанам. Однако укрепить его столь же запутанно не получилось, поэтому по территории крепости особо не разгуляешься. С другой стороны компактность придаёт ей удивительную атмосферу уюта. А вот «разгуляться» при желании можно по самому городку Кальмар, считающемуся одним из старейших в Швеции.
7. Крепость Олавинлинна, Финляндия
In the Middle Ages, the Swedes quarreled not only with Denmark, but also with Russia. To oppose the latter, the castle of St. Olaf or Olavinlinna was erected . The fortress is picturesquely located on a rock in the middle of one of the thousands of Finnish lakes, surrounded by amazing Karelian landscapes. In addition to its beauty, Olavinlinna attracts guests with an annual opera festival held right within the walls of the castle.
8. Castle Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
Not all European castles performed military functions, some had more interesting activities, for example, pleasing the eyes of their owners. Best of all, the white-stone beauty Gluboka nad Vltava coped with this matter . 140 rooms with knightly armor, hunting trophies, antique furniture and a collection of paintings, weapons and tapestries are just some of what you can admire in the castle.
9. Bran Castle, Romania
This castle is famous not so much for its military successes as for one of its guests. It is believed that the famous voivode Vlad Dracula spent the night in Bran during his campaigns. Other sources claim that Turkish invaders were held captive in the dungeons of the castle. Who knows, maybe his spirit still lives there ?! Worth checking out!
10. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
One of the brightest representatives of the Alpine castles, picturesquely located on a mountain top above the valley of the Salzach River. On all sides Hohenwerfen is surrounded by the giants-Alps, covered with snow caps until late spring. Meanwhile, below, summer is already in full swing, and Milka and Burenka’s cows graze on the emerald fields. Idyll, and more!
11. Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria
Another Austrian castle is inscribed in the urban landscape of Salzburg. From the height of the medieval walls, the whole city is in full view, with its numerous spiers, domes and seemingly toy houses. A little further, you can see the same Salzach River, dividing Salzburg into two parts. By the way, when you come down from the castle, don’t forget to visit Mozart, because his house is located very close!
12. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
We will return to the Alps and go to one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, Neuschwanstein . Not only we, but also the creators of Disneyland Paris, who built the Sleeping Beauty fairytale castle in the image and likeness of his German relative, honored him with such a high assessment. Neuschwanstein also inspired composers: it is believed that it was here that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky first thought about the ballet Swan Lake.
13. Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, Germany
Not only castles in the mountains can be beautiful and interesting, but also … on uninhabited islands! The best example is a tiny piece of land in the middle of the turbulent Rhine River. As if a snow-white ship rises here a castle with a completely unpronounceable name — Pfalzgrafenstein . Initially, the building was conceived as a customs house, then it served as a beacon and finally became a museum, which can only be reached by a special ferry.
14. Castle Oberhofen, Switzerland
15. Castle of Castel del Monte, Italy
It is believed that by the penetration of light into the rooms of Castel del Monte , it can be identified as an astronomical device. The first floor of the castle is a solar calendar, and the second is a sundial.
16. Aragonese castle, Italy
17. Chateau d’If, France
18. Chenonceau Castle, France
Chenonceau’s watery zest is especially felt in the absence of current, when the castle is reflected in the river as if in a natural mirror.
19. Castle of Monteagudo, Spain
A distinctive feature of Monteagudo is the 14-meter sculpture of Jesus, visible from afar, crowning the top of the cliff.
20. Alcazar Castle, Spain
Due to its location on a hill on the outskirts of Segovia, the Alcazar boasts an almost 360-degree view: from one side to the Cathedral and the city walls, on the other — to the Castilian valley with its neat lonely churches.
21. Pena Castle-Palace, Portugal
The most amusing castle was built by residents of one of the most cheerful countries in Europe. Foam is a combination of the incompatible, a riot of colors and a mixture of styles, but this is precisely its main highlight! It is like a parody of all the most beautiful European castles, which makes it look especially fantastic … and fantastically attractive!
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On such a bright and positive note, we will end our review of the most interesting castles in Europe, but do not think that the list ends there. Remember: wherever you go, besides the usual museums and the warm sea, there will always be some unknown ancient castle nearby with a must-have in the bargain!
✈ When preparing to explore the most interesting castles in Europe on your trip, do not forget about a visa to the UK and a Schengen visa. You can find information on the visa regime for Russians on our interactive visa card .