25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World

Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World is a book that can be enjoyed by all age groups. The castles, which are inspired from the Middle Ages Europe are located in Spain, France and England. Some of the best castles which are inspired from the Middle Ages can be found in Salzburg in Austria where there is a castle called Salzburg palace, which is surrounded by the splendid scenery. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are mainly used for wedding occasions. There are many other castles which are also inspired from the Middle Ages and they have become very popular places to visit and stay in these days.

1. Eltz Castle, Germany

Eltz Castle, Germany

Eltz Castle has steadily grown into among the most-photographed castles on Instagram with many landscape photographers opting to catch it throughout the eerie hours of the afternoon.

The castle sits on top of a mountain surrounded by a thick woods, adding to the mysterious feel. Located in Rheinland-Palatine, called the Moselle wine area famous for Riesling wine, because of its secluded place, it seems worlds away.

Exactly like many medieval castles, Eltz Castle has seen its fair share of battle but was not destroyed over the centuries. Interestingly, Eltz Family has ownership of the castle to this day.

2. Mont-Saint-Michel, France

Mont-Saint-Michel, France

If you watched Disney’s Rapunzel movie,”Tangled,” then Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy will seem familiar to you. The castle in which the long-haired princess is maintained seems much like the stunning ancient abbey, which becomes surrounded by water during certain high tides. Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s most visited historic places, with 2.5 million tourists grabbing an abysmal look at the stunning medieval architecture each year.

3. Eilean Donan, Scotland

Eilean Donan, Scotland

As a result of its appearance in the 1986 motion picture Highlander, Eilean Donan is arguably among the most famous medieval castles around Earth. It’s one of those”must-see” attractions when visiting Scotland’s popular Western Highlands. This castle is located on an isle involving a trio of sea lochs–Loch Alsh, Loch Duich, and Loch Long. Erected in the 1200s, this was the Clan Mackenzie’s stronghold. The first was destroyed in the 1700s and rebuilt in the 1900s.

4. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Unsurprising, considering the vast majority of medieval castles had strategic places; the key has been able to observe the enemy and stay difficult to reach.

A dramatic history did not spare Edinburgh Castle because of the tensions between England and Scotland. During the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independence, the possession of the castle changed between the Scottish and the English several times.

To this day, Edinburgh Castle remains a top attraction for anybody visiting the town and tourists can participate in various guided tours and events.

5. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

The attractiveness of Neuschwanstein, perched high on a hill in southwest Bavaria, motivated among America’s most famous and photographed castles: Disneyland’s famed Sleeping Beauty castle. The slim spires and towering roofs are remarkable, but nothing compared to this ornately decorated interiors. Neuschwanstein is among the most visited castles in Europe, seeing 1.4 million individuals each year. Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

6. Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

Kilkenny Castle is said to be a real Anglo-Norman stone castle. It started as little more than a wooden fort at the 1100s. Since that time it has gone through many changes shown by its own mix of architectural styles including Gothic Revival. The castle includes a historically significant place at a place strategic to controlling the River Nore’s crossing. Today the castle is surrounded by manicured lawns and striking, gorgeous gardens. Tours of the castle can be found.

7. Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania

When speaking about medieval castles, mentioning Romania is essential. Most people will instantly think of Dracula and Transylvania. Many believe Bran Castle in Central Romania directly connected to Bram Stoker’s personality, but no direct links to this exist.

Bran Castle sits atop a former Teutonic Knights stronghold dating back to the early 13th century, however, the castle itself first appeared in documents dating back to 1377.

The castle is approximately 2500 feet above sea level and rises from between encircling trees. It overlooks the scenic village of Bran, and the many towers and turrets give it a mysterious mood.

8. Windsor Castle, England

Windsor Castle, England

The royal family might be best correlated with Buckingham Palace, but it is this castle in the historic market town of Windsor that’s been the family home to kings and queens for over 1,000 years. The castle is a whopping 13 acres, which makes it the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. Guests are welcome to tour yearlong, and the home is so enormous that three hours are suggested to see everything. As soon as the Royal Standard flag is flying out of the castle’s Round Tower, the queen is home.

9. Castel del Monte, Italy

Castel del Monte, Italy

The unique Castel del Monte is a stick out structure situated high on a rocky summit in one of Southern Italy’s manicured forests. This citadel in the 1200s is located from the Apulia region. It was built under the orders of Emperor Frederick II. Since its first construction, the building has gone through no substantial structural changes. The austere octagon fortress-like façade consists of architectural elements of southern Cistercian Gothic, Islamic Orient, and traditional antiquity.

10. Osaka Castle, Japan

Osaka Castle, Japan

Beautiful Osaka Castle, in Osaka, Japan, was constructed in 1583 and is particularly popular during the spring cherry-blossom season. The now-modernized interior houses a museum about the castle’s history and Western pioneer Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The exterior hosts, in authentic castle style, turrets, rock walls, a huge backyard, and moats. Film buffs might recognize this one from the 1955 movie,”Godzilla Raids Again,” where the castle was destroyed by the renowned monster.

11. Alhambra, Spain

Alhambra, Spain

It features a palace and fortress built in the 1200s. Alhambra was commissioned by none besides Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the renowned Emirate of Granada.

It was really erected over old Roman ruins. Designated a royal palace in 1333, the site was declared the official Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella 100 years after. This was where Christopher Columbus received the official endorsement for his famous expedition.

12. Glamis Castle, Scotland

Glamis Castle, Scotland

Glamis Castle in Angus, Scotland, is a must-visit for history fans, being a royal home since 1372, the inspiration for”Macbeth” and the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The history of the castle’s property dates all the way back to 1034. A visit can have a tour, walking through formal gardens, and afternoon tea in Glamis Castle Kitchen and several events are also held on the grounds.

13. Vianden Castle, Luxembourg

Vianden Castle, Luxembourg

In the tiny European country of Luxembourg, nestled between France, Germany, and Belgium, there’s among the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine — Vianden Castle.

Despite the fact that origins date back to the 10th century, the castle was built over three centuries between the 11th and the 14th century. Vianden Castle is a good example of the Romanesque style with semi-circular arches, though there were Gothic additions in the future.

Exactly like many other medieval castles, Vianden Castle lies on top of a mountain overlooking the town of Vianden.

Until the early 15th century it was the seat of notable counts of Vianden with close connections to the Royal Family of France and the German royal court.

14. Leeds Castle, England

Leeds Castle, England

Leeds Castle in Kent, England, climbs off islands at the middle of a lake as if from a childhood fairy tale. And it’s the royal pedigree to back it up: Six of England’s medieval queens lived here and Henry VIII transformed it into a stunning palace he and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, could see in authentic royal luxury. Castle crusaders who can not catch everything in 1 trip are in luck: An admission ticket allows as many visits as you would like for 12 months.

15. Malbork Castle, Poland

Malbork Castle, Poland

According to UNESCO, it’s the biggest castle in the world measured by property area.

When it was finished in 1406, it was the biggest brick castle in the world. Due to a rising number of Teutonic Knights, the castle has been enlarged several times. At one stage, it placed over 3000 knights.

Owing to its strategic location close to the Baltic Sea and River Vistula, Teutonic Knights managed to collect tolls from trading boats and barges.

16. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania

Lithuania’s Trakai Island Castle is another significant brick castle located in Eastern Europe. Located on beautiful Lake Galvė, the building of the castle began in the late 1300s. It wouldn’t be completed until 1410. This island castle was of great import to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It dropped its value to the army after the terrible Battle of Grunwald when the Lithuanian-Polish army conquered the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

17. Bodiam Castle, England

Bodiam Castle, England
Bodiam Castle, England

Section of England’s historical importance nowadays can be appreciated through the many castles scattered throughout the nation, and Bodiam Castle is one of one of the most famous medieval examples after Windsor.

The 14th-century moated castle in East Sussex was constructed by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III.

Bodiam Castle is one of the few quadrangular castles and contains chambers on the outer walls and inner courts. To this day, however, the interior of the castle hasn’t remained.

The castle comes with a central courtyard, and there are rounded and square towers, originally constructed for defense. There are three coats of arms in the arch over the main gate.

18. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

When visiting Connemara in Ireland’s Galway, make sure you snap a photo before stunning Kylemore Abbey. Built as a physician’s family home in 1868, the castle and its own walled garden are currently home to a community of Benedictine nuns who create and sell chocolates and other products. Families are invited to visit for lakeshore walks, stories of local legends, and performances from the neo-Gothic church.

19. Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

Bojnice Castle, Slovakia

Bojnice Castle is Situated on a travertine hill, it started as little more than a wooden stronghold from the 1100s. It went through numerous changes depending on the tastes of successive rulers. Count Janos Ferenc Palffy was especially influential as he adorned it with artwork, antiques, and vibrant tapestries. Today it includes a historic museum and hosts the International Festival of Ghosts and Spooks every spring.

20. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

Inspired by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the adjoining Tennen Mountains, this medieval stone castle is located approximately 25 miles south of Salzburg.

The fortification was built in the late 11th century to serve as a strategic bulwark in addition to a 500 feet high stone. Over the years it functioned not only as a military base for Salzburg rulers but also as a home and hunting retreat.

Later on, the castle gained an eerie reputation because of being used as a state prison.

Nowadays the castle complex acts as a museum showcasing the history and the huge weapons collection. An interesting addition is the Falconry Centre offering flight demonstrations with a variety of birds of prey, including eagles, falcons, hawks, and vultures.

21. Corvin Castle, Romania

Corvin Castle, Romania
Corvin Castle, Romania

Corvin Castle, also known as Hunedoara Castle or Hunyadi Castle is situated in Hunedoara. This Gothic-Renaissance castle was built towards the close of the Middle Ages. It’s reportedly among Europe’s largest castles.

The castle is an imposingly large construction. It comes complete with bastions, diversely colored roofs, tall towers, rows of balconies and windows, and an interior courtyard. Each balcony includes stone carvings. The impressive Buzdugan Tower was constructed for purposes of protection.

22. Catherine Palace, Russia

Catherine Palace, Russia
Catherine Palace, Russia

Many castles stick to neutral and natural colours, but not the Catherine Palace, located 18 miles south of St. Petersburg, Russia. The vibrant, Rococo-style palace includes a sky blue and white façade gilded with gold. Within the palace sits the extraordinary Amber Room. Completed in 1770, the area was lined with panels of amber mosaic that comprised gilded carving and mirrors so delicate that the room had its own caretaker. But German troops took over the town in 1941 and broke down the room in under 40 hours. Work to restore the area to its former glory started in 1982 and took over 20 years.

23. Doorwerth Castle, Netherlands

Doorwerth Castle, Netherlands
Doorwerth Castle, Netherlands

Not far from Arnhem lies the charming castle of Doorwerth located on the river Rhine. The first castle, probably a wooden structure, was first mentioned in documents around the second half of the 13th century. Afterwards it was rebuilt from rock.

The castle of Doorwerth includes a unique and truly delightful look. Its picturesque surroundings increase the character, and despite being surrounded by a moat, it seems inviting.

The grounds of the castle feature among the oldest trees in Holland. The acacia tree has been planted there around the year 1600.

Nowadays the castle is available for visitors, it’s three museums, along with the impressive great hall is available for events and receptions.

24. Fenis Castle, Italy

Fenis Castle, Italy
Fenis Castle, Italy

Fénis castle is located on the top of a little knoll unlike a number of other castles built for defense and military functions. Despite its defense structure, its purpose was just to be the chair of the Chalfant family.

Its design is robust but harmonious. Its pentagonal design features corners with round towers. An exception is a south-west corner, which has a gigantic tower, as well as the southern corner having a square-plan tower. The keep is included in a double perimeter wall, with watchtowers connected by a walkway.

The square tower provides entry to the castle and the interior courtyard has a semicircular staircase and wooden balcony, decorated with beautiful frescoes.

25. Bunratty Castle, Ireland

Bunratty Castle, Ireland
Bunratty Castle, Ireland

Like many other fortresses on this list, the area of Bunratty Castle has been inhabited for over 1,000 years by the likes of Vikings and Irish lords and is home to a number of the nation’s most beautiful medieval furniture. Unlike a number of other fortresses on this listing, visitors have the choice of being transported in time with the Bunratty Banquet, where guests really dress up to dine on a four-course meal within the castle while being entertained by period singers.

26. Castillo de Coca, Spain

Castillo de Coca, Spain
Castillo de Coca, Spain

You will find Castillo de Coca in Segovia in Central Spain. This castle was constructed in the 1400s. Travel experts report it is maybe one of the best examples of old Spanish Mudejar brickwork. The bricks which were used in construction Castillo de Coca are significantly different than bricks in that they’re in fact hardened to better withstand an enemy onslaught.

27. Prince’s Palace of Monaco

Prince's Palace of Monaco
Prince’s Palace of Monaco

The Prince’s Palace has been the royal residence of the Monaco ruling family for centuries, but among its most famous residents was an American. Actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly lived here with her husband Prince Rainier in their glorious 1956 royal wedding before her shocking death in a 1982 car crash. Now it is home for their son, Prince Albert II, and remains a working palace in addition to a tourist attraction.

28. Burghausen Castle, Germany

Burghausen Castle, Germany
Burghausen Castle, Germany

The must-see medieval Burghausen Castle is located close to the borders of Austria and Germany. It has almost all of its first fortifications intact. Burghausen Castle is among the world’s largest castle complexes.

According to Guinness World Record officials, it’s also the longest. Constructed traditional Gothic style, it was the next house of the Dukes of Lower Bavaria. The castle’s gallery also has an impressive selection of Gothic panel paintings

List of Image Sources

25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World

1. Eltz Castle, Germany / Canva

2. Mont-Saint-Michel, France  / Canva

3. Eilean Donan, Scotland  / Canva

4. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland  / Canva

5. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany  / Canva

6. Kilkenny Castle, Ireland  / Canva

7. Bran Castle, Romania  / Canva

8. Windsor Castle, England  / Canva

9. Castel del Monte, Italy  / Canva

10. Osaka Castle, Japan  / Canva

11. Alhambra, Spain  / Canva

12. Glamis Castle, Scotland  / Canva

13. Vianden Castle, Luxembourg  / Canva

14. Leeds Castle, England  / Canva

15. Malbork Castle, Poland  / Canva

16. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania  / Canva

17. Bodiam Castle, England  / Canva

18. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland  / Canva

19. Bojnice Castle, Slovakia  / Canva

20. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria  / Canva

21. Corvin Castle, Romania  / Canva

22. Catherine Palace, Russia  / Canva

23. Doorwerth Castle, Netherlands  / Canva

24. Fenis Castle, Italy  / Canva

25. Bunratty Castle, Ireland  / Canva

26. Castillo de Coca, Spain  / Canva

27. Prince’s Palace of Monaco  / Canva

28. Burghausen Castle, Germany  / Canva

Author: Locations Unknown

Locations Unknown is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world. Content is written by several freelance writers/travelers based on their own experiences and/or researching the web.

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