If you are an architecture lover, then surely the images of the most beautiful castles in the world will be an interesting discovery. They are not only beautiful in terms of architecture but also in terms of the surrounding landscapes, which can be described as idyllic. The beauty of the historical value combined with modern features will leave anyone in awe. Let’s discover together the top ten most beautiful castles in the world!
1. Hohenzollern Castle
The first castle that we mention is Hohenzollern, the grandest and most ancient castle in Germany. Frederick William IV of Prussia was a king who was passionate about architecture. Therefore, he asked to build a magnificent palace from ruins and desolation with a unique and luxurious construction style. The interior is decorated with gold-plated ceilings, luxurious furnishings, and extravagant rooms for the royal family along with displays of historical artifacts and libraries. If you ever set foot here, you will not want to leave due to the ethereal beauty shrouded in mist throughout the year. It reminds us of fairy tales or stories from our childhood. Located on the top of Hohenzollern mountain at a height of 2,800 meters above sea level, Hohenzollern Castle looks like a mysterious flying castle at first glance.
Especially, the scenery from the mountaintop is a romantic green color of the old forest. When the night falls, the castle is like wearing a new glamorous and magical dress, swaying among the mountains and forests. In winter, the landscape turns into a pure white color, covered in snow, and the castle becomes enchanting. Nowadays, more facilities have been built to make the castle more modern, including a cinema and outdoor concerts. It is also the venue for the annual Christmas fair. Children from difficult backgrounds can enjoy a free holiday here. Tourists can hike or drive on winding roads up the mountain to visit the castle, enjoy the romantic atmosphere, and admire the beautiful scenery.
2. Schloss Neuschwanstein Castle
Schloss Neuschwanstein is a castle created based on the dream of King Ludwig of Bavaria. It can be said that this is a masterpiece combining rich imagination and real-life elements mixed with medieval legends. The castle structure consists of Gothic pointed towers, Romanesque arched windows, and unique rock formations combined with gold decorations, creating a strong and unforgettable impression. Located in the peaceful and picturesque Schwangau region amidst beautiful mountains, meadows, and lakes, Neuschwanstein Castle has become a dream paradise with a veil of mist that everyone desires. The romance and passion of the king are clearly reflected inside the fairytale castle. Each room is built in a different architectural style, honoring the arts. This is particularly evident in the paintings and elegant decorations that are both sophisticated and luxurious.
Under the golden hue of autumn, the white castle stands out in a strange way. As winter arrives, its enchanting beauty captivates everyone. In the early morning, thin layers of mist envelop the castle, and from a distance, all you can see are sharp tower spires hidden in the clouds, a scene resembling a fairy world. This castle is the model for the castles in Disneyland and has appeared in many fairy tale movies. If you stand on the balcony of the castle and look far away, you will admire the panoramic view of the majestic Schwangau meadow in the Bavarian region, endless, the Alpsee and Schwansee lakes lying side by side, and in the distance the Tyrolean mountain range marking the border between Germany and Austria.
3. Mont Saint Michel Castle
Mont Saint Michel castle is located on a small island in the northwestern part of France, in the Bay of Saint-Malo. This is the third most popular tourist destination in France, after the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles. The castle is connected to the mainland by a natural causeway. In the past, before this road was elevated, it only appeared during low tide and disappeared during high tide, leaving behind a beautiful island in the midst of the vast ocean, adding to the mystery of the castle. The first church was built by Bishop Aubert in 708 and was named Mont Saint Michel after he dreamed of the Archangel Michael – believed to be the leader of God’s army – giving him a vision. At the foot of Mont Saint Michel castle are small, tightly built houses. Above them are sturdy monastery buildings located at 73m above sea level. Many of these monastery buildings were built in the 13th century and feature Gothic architecture.
In 1421, a devastating fire destroyed the town and the church. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 16th century, after the Hundred Years’ War with England ended, that France began rebuilding the castle, along with the Saint Michel monastery on its summit. After centuries of construction and improvement, this ancient castle has been considered one of the ten most beautiful castles in Europe. In 1979, Mont Saint Michel was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site due to its cultural, historical, and stunning Gothic architectural features. However, nowadays, it has been restored for easier tourist access. At the foot of the castle are small, closely spaced houses, while the monasteries above are built in the Gothic style. The castle is made entirely of granite, except for a few monasteries built of limestone. Inside, there is a green garden, sculptures, reliefs, and ancient-style paintings that are still preserved today.
4. Himeji Castle
The Himeji Castle was first built in 1333 under the orders of Lord Norimura Akamatsu of Harima Province, as a defensive fortress. In 1346, his son Sadanori added residential quarters and other auxiliary structures. Later, the castle was controlled by the Kotera and Kuroda clans. Some researchers believe that the main castle was built in the mid-16th century when Shigetaka Kuroda and his son Mototaka Kuroda held control of the area. During his control of the castle, Kanbei Shigetaka Kuroda built a three-story castle of his own there, and Hideyoshi Hashiba came to the castle and built his own three-story castle. Later, Hideyoshi Hashiba and Iesada Kinoshita successfully controlled the castle. After the Sekigahara civil war, Lord Terumasa Ikeda, the adopted son of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, came to the castle to rule over it.
The magnificent White Heron Castle that we see today was completely finished in 1618. After the Honda family, there were other lords such as the Matsudaira family and the Sakakibara family. Finally, Tadazumi Sakai became the lord in 1749. His descendants participated in the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the Shogun era came to an end. In 1931, Himeji Castle was recognized by UNESCO as a National Treasure, one of only four castles in Japan to receive this honor. The preserved structures include the main tower, smaller towers, connecting corridors, 27 yagura (storehouses for weapons and supplies), 15 gates, and 100-meter walls. A section of the moat and the entire inner moat have also been preserved in their original medieval form.
5. Versailles Castle
The Versailles Castle, also known as the Palace of Versailles, was built in 1624 in the city of Versailles, Paris, and is an iconic symbol of the supreme power of the French monarchy. Versailles can be considered a masterpiece of French art, with its architecture adhering to the standards of classical antiquity, including grand palaces, large and small castles. The castle grounds also include a park modeled after a small village, with lakes and many water features. If you want to visit the main sights of the castle in one day, you will need transportation instead of walking as the area is too vast. In addition to the grandeur of the castle with its 700 different rooms, the most famous room that many people know of is the Hall of Mirrors, a room exclusively reserved for the Queen with the largest area. The room is 73 meters long and equipped with 17 extremely large mirrors. This is a very famous room because of its lavishness, as mirrors were a very expensive and difficult material to produce during that time.
In addition, the Versailles Palace has 55 different large and small lakes. Among them, the Grand Canal is the largest with a width of 23 hectares, containing about 500,000m3 of water. Around the palace are 35km of canals with about 600 beautifully decorated water jets. The Versailles Palace has a park that is up to 800 hectares in size. To visit all of this, tourists would probably have to spend the entire day. The park has 372 decorative statues and 42 km of beautiful stone paved trails. The Versailles Palace has up to 400 security personnel working at the same time to manage the palace, as there are more than 3 million visitors coming to this place each year. The Versailles Palace is considered a pride of France. Tourists from all over the world always want to come here to admire this place, so 70% of visitors to this place are foreign tourists. In 1979, UNESCO recognized the Versailles Palace as a world heritage site.
3. Malbork Castle
When it comes to the Malbork Castle in Poland, people will immediately think of an image of a Gothic-style castle made of bricks, which is the largest in the world in terms of its land area. The castle was built in the early 13th century and has a characteristic red color of bricks that creates a mysterious and attractive look. In addition, Malbork is a typical shape of a medieval fortress. The scenery both inside and outside the castle is highlighted by the green color of tall trees combined with the Gothic architecture creating a very ancient beauty, reminiscent of the time of knights. The castle was built by the Teutonic knights, and according to legend, the castle is a symbol of the sacred brotherhood of the warriors mixed with loyalty and even terrible fear. They were loyal, brave, and fought for the kingdom that they wholeheartedly believed in. Initially, the castle was built for military purposes and was named Marienburg. It was not until 1945 that the castle became part of Poland and was given the name Malbork.
Visitors to Malbork are not only attracted by its striking Gothic architecture with its eye-catching red brick, but also to discover its ancient history and the era of the warriors. The Malbork Castle in Poland has a total area of 143,591m2, making it the largest castle in the world today. From the capital Vacsava, it is about 315km away, but the road there does not have many highways running straight. Therefore, to visit and explore Malbork, tourists will have to spend a lot of time traveling. However, once you reach this castle, you will understand why many people, despite the difficulties in traveling and moving, still want to see the majestic and proud beauty of Malbork Castle with their own eyes. Legend has it that this castle was the place where the sacred brotherhood of German knights was engraved. They were born and died together, and their unshakable loyalty created an immortal monument that stands to this day.
6. Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes in Greece is a classic medieval castle located on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea. Originally built as a Byzantine fortress, it was rebuilt in its current Gothic style by the Knights St John when Rhodes served as their grand master’s headquarters. The palace is one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. This site was formerly a fortress of the Knights Hospitaller that functioned as a palace, headquarters, and stronghold.
During Italy’s brief occupation of the Dodecanese islands, Benito Mussolini used the castle as a vacation home. Regular archaeological exhibitions display artifacts from ancient Greece and the early period of Christianity. The leader of the Knights St. John was called the Grand Master, and this was his residence. The massive palace is built around a large courtyard.
The Palace has 158 rooms, with 24 rooms open to visitors. There is an admission fee to visit the palace, but the interior furnishings and carvings make the cost worthwhile.
8. Segovia Castle
Segovia Castle, located on a narrow rocky outcrop overlooking the Old Castile plain in central Spain, is one of the most prominent castles in Europe.
Although originally a Roman fortress, over hundreds of years, this structure developed into a prototype medieval castle with deep moats, drawbridges, round watchtowers, and sturdy fortifications, as well as elaborately decorated royal chambers. The most famous aspect of Segovia Castle is that it was the residence of Queen Isabella and the powerful King Phillip II before the court was moved to Madrid.
Today, the castle serves as a museum and welcomes visitors. The structure is surrounded by a deep moat, and visitors can enter the interior by crossing a modern bridge. The ceilings inside the rooms are intricately designed, adorned with the golden glow of precious materials. The windows are made of stained glass – a characteristic architectural style of Spain. From the castle balcony, visitors can admire the UNESCO recognized world heritage city below. In the distance are fields that shimmer in golden sunlight.
9. Kalmar Castle
The Kalmar Castle is not only one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Sweden, but also a historical symbol of the country. Located in the eastern part of Sweden, in the picturesque coastal town of Kalmar, it is peaceful and beautiful. The castle was built from the 1180s and was initially a watchtower. During the reign of King Magnus Ladulås, it was transformed into the most modern fortress of the time.
In 1937, an important diplomatic treaty was signed between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway at the castle, which made it a political icon of the four Nordic countries. The castle was also once a watchtower that protected Sweden from pirate attacks from 100 to 1200. Through the ups and downs of history and its strategic location, the castle gradually became a sturdy fortress, then quickly transformed into the most magnificent and luxurious castle in the country.
10. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle – The most magnificent structure in the United Kingdom. Formerly, Edinburgh was built as a fortress and the residence of the Scottish monarchy. Due to its location on Castle Rock – a high and majestic volcanic rock formation, the view from the castle to the outside world is incredibly vast.
Built for the purpose of a fortress, Edinburgh Castle consists of many walls with loopholes, watchtowers, and a tightly built prison system – they have gone through many different historical periods and are still preserved to this day.
Due to its history as a prison for many inmates, Edinburgh Castle is rumored to be a place with many ghosts and particularly haunted spirits that have not yet been released. This rumor has been around for hundreds of years and has yet to be scientifically verified. With its grand and majestic appearance, beautiful views, and mysterious stories, Edinburgh Castle is always the top tourist destination in England. If you are someone who loves beauty and has a bit of courage, then surely no traveler would dare to miss such an exciting destination.
The beauty of those castles not only opens up a unique perspective on architecture but also records a history that has spanned hundreds of years. To this day, the timeless beauty still captivates people’s hearts and millions of hearts tremble. For many people, the image of a castle evokes memories of a beautiful, innocent childhood, associated with stories, and nostalgic animated films that can never be found again when they grow up.