This castle was originally commissioned by Francois I, so that he could be closer to his mistress. But when the affair was over, the castle was mostly forgotten. The chateau – with its giant hallways and ornate decorations – was picked apart and left to crumble until the Post WWII-era, when it was finally restored.
Matsumoto Castle, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior, is one of Japan’s premier historic castles. It is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Tokyo by road or rail
Rochefoucauld Castle has been owned by the same family for more than a thousand years. Originally, it was a simple castle, meant to protect its residents. But over time, its beauty has unfolded, in many forms – including a sprawling staircase, sky-piercing towers and large, wide balconies.
The Alcázar of Segovia (literally, Segovia Castle) is a stone fortification, located in the old city of Segovia, Spain. Rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of the rivers Eresma and Clamores near the Guadarrama mountains, it is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then
Château de Saumur is perhaps the mostly beautiful fortified structure. Originally used as a military barrier between Norman aggressors and the families that would eventually give birth to England’s most famous monarchs, the castle has changed hands numerous times over the centuries.
The palace stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th century Romanticism in the world.
Frederiksborg Castle is a water castle in Hillerød on the Danish island of Zealand . It is the largest and most important building of the Northern Renaissance and today houses the Danish National Museum.
Sigmaringen Castle (German: Schloss Sigmaringen) was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain.
This magnificent building was commonly visited by Charles IV, stolen away from its rightful owner by Nazis, then re-vamped and opened to the public since the 1950s.
Kasteel de Haar has been rebuilt and torn down multiple times since its conception in 1391. Hundreds of rooms and dozens of bathrooms are in this castle. The intricate woodwork in the interior of the castle is on par with the great Roman Catholic cathedrals in the same region.
Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War.
Chateau Chenonceau was under the direction of Diane de Poitiers who was the king’s mistress at the time. But when the king passed away, his widow, Catherine de Medici, forced out the mistress and made the chateau her own place of residence. During World War II, the castle served as a barrier between the German-controlled puppet government in France and the actual free world.
Kilchurn Castle is a ruined 15th century structure on the northeastern end of Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was the ancestral home of the Campbells of Glen Orchy, who later became the Earls of Breadalbane also known as the Breadalbane family branch, of the Clan Campbell. The earliest construction on the castle was the towerhouse and Laich Hall (looks onto Loch Awe). Today, its picturesque setting and romantic state of decay make it one of the most photographed structures in Scotland.
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country’s north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41, as of 2006. The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery, from which it draws the name.
Gripsholm Castle is a castle in Mariefred, Södermanland, in Sweden and is regarded as one of Sweden’s finest historical monuments. It is located by lake Mälaren in south central Sweden, in the municipality of Strängnäs, about 60 km west of Stockholm.
Trakai Island Castle is exactly what its name suggests: an entire island. The castle was made with thick, brick walls, firing galleries galore and is surrounded by a series of locking gates. The castle currently serves as a prominent tourist magnet.
Eltz Castle is a well-known structure because it used to be a visible presence on Germany’s currency. Built in the middle ages, it now acts as an intricate apartment complex, housing a large number of families who all have some small ownership claim.
Dracula’s Castle is situated between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, right where you enter Rucar-Bran Pass.
This castle is relatively recent: built in the 1800s to pay tribute to the bygone era. In addition to being wonderfully beautiful, the castle houses a large collection of weapons, on display to curious tourists.
Built in the 19th century, this castle is truly a work of art. The castle was considered an architectural translation of Wagner’s music, which can explain some of the high peaks, asymmetrical outlines, the presence of the Rectangular Tower and multiple references to the mystic Holy Grail.