I have a fascination with castles. I love all types of castles from the romantic, to the medieval and mysterious. There’s something magical about their history and architecture. This is a list of 10 castles we are going to visit when we go back to Europe.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)
You’ve probably have seen photos and videos of this castle as it is a very popular site in Europe. Neuschwanstein Castle was dreamt up and brought to life by King Ludwig II who was often called Bavaria’s “Mad King”. I’ve researched that it’s a 2-hour train ride from Munich and it’s wise to reserve your tickets in advance because it fills up quickly. Apparently people take a trip all the way there just to find they can’t get into one of the tours – bummer!
2. Eltz Castle (Germany)
Another amazing castle in Germany! Eltz Castle looks like one of those cute fairy tale castles you’d see in children’s books. It’s surrounded by a forest and the castle is probably the only castle in Europe that has been left unscathed by wars and remodeling. It is also owned and maintained by the same family who built it in the 12th century!
3. Bran Castle (Romania)
One name: Dracula. Bran Castle helped fuel Bram Stoker’s imagination when he wrote the classic novel, Dracula. Many people also like to associate the castle with Vlad III aka Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) or Vlad Dracula. He was the Prince of Wallachia (now Romania) and is said to have done cruel acts of punishments including dining while watching hundreds of people be impaled in his presence. Even worse, I’ve read he also did this to women with their babies on the same stake! If that’s not Dracula enough for you, then I don’t know what is!
4. Versailles (France)
Let’s move on to something less dark…..The beautiful Chateau de Versailles also made my list. Ever since Sofia Coppola’s movie, Marie Antoinette I’ve been inspired to visit Versailles. It looks so cute! Versailles is where King Louis XIV ruled France instead of in the busy city of Paris. He wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris so he moved the entire royal court to Versailles.
5. Hohenzollern Castle (Germany)
I’m thanking Instagram for this castle. I came across it on my feed and was very inspired to put this beauty on my castle viewing bucket list. It was the Prussian royal house and has been around since the 11th century. In 1423, it was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1454 before deteriorating again and undergoing constant reconstruction over the centuries. On a foggy day it looks literally like a “castle in the sky”.
6. Cesky Krumlov Castle (Czech Republic)
So many eerie tales about this castle! They claim to have numerous ghosts, strange noises, even a butler who still looks after the wine cellar after his death. There is a castle moat with a live bear (apparently bear keeping has been a long tradition at this castle), castle gardens and a Baroque theater.
7. Alcázar of Seville (Spain)
All I have to say about this is Game of Thrones. I am a huge fan and I think the main reason why I know about this place is because it was used as one of the film locations. Also, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site where Moorish kings ruled hundreds of years ago. Now it functions as Spain’s royal palace. It has beautiful interior and gardens so I can understand why it was chosen as the landscape for Dorne in Game of Thrones.
8. Windsor Castle (England)
Speaking of royalty! Windsor Castle is still used by Her Majesty The Queen (Queen Elizabeth II) for private weekends, Easter and often visits in the summer months. William the Conqueror began building the castle around 1070 where it was also used as a royal residence.
9. Tintagel Castle (England)
We absolutely need to see Tintagel Castle! It has long been associated with King Arthur. We are fans of his Knights of the Round table and that’s how we got Tristan’s name. Tristan was one of the knights. Tintagel has been around since at least the 5th century. Although it is in ruins, it is still an important site to visit – the history behind it is spectacular!
10. Eilean Castle (Scotland)
This castle is on its own little island overlooking the Isle of Sky. It is also one of the most famous castles you’ve probably seen on postcards and films. It was reconstructed in 1911 after being bought by Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap and was completed in 1932.
Have you been to any of these castles on my list and if so, what did you think? Most of all, do you have any recommendations for other castles we should plan to visit?
Photos sourced from Pixabay