Top 20 most beautiful castles in World



There are so many amazing castles around the world and it is very hard to make a list of the top 20. We've put together a list of the most breathtaking castles around the world that are already in our database. This list will continually change as our visitors vote for their favourite castles and new ones are added to our database.

20.Eilean Donan Castle, United Kingdom

eilean donan castle

Eilean Donan Castle is a picturesque castle that frequently appears in photographs, film and television; it dominates the small tidal island of Eilean Donan, which lies about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the village of Dornie.
The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. Since the castle's restoration in the early 20th century, a footbridge has connected the island to the mainland.... view details


19.Walzin Castle, Belgium

walzin castle

Walzin Castle was constructed in the 13th century, but the castle was burned down by the French army in 1554. A Renaissance horseshoe tower with four cannon ports was added in the 15th century, and that tower still exists today. There were several restorations later, the latest by Baron Frederic Brugman between 1930 and 1932. Victor Hugo made a drawing of the castle in 1863.... view details


18.Bodiam Castle, United Kingdom

bodiam castle

Bodiam Castle is one of the most picturesque and beloved castles in Great Britain. Many historians consider that Bodiam represents the popular ideal of a medieval castle.

Often portrayed as "the perfect English castle", Bodiam's pictures have been embellished on numerous books, chocolate boxes, wallpapers which are shipped all around the world.

Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, apparently to defend the area against French invasions during the Hundred Years' War. There is a constant debate among historians whether the castle was built for military strength or as a romantic country home designed to evoke the ideas of grandeur ...... view details


17.Dover Castle, United Kingdom

dover castle

Dover Castle is a medieval castle founded in the 11th century and described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.
The castle is a Grade I listed building, and recognised as an internationally important structure. The castle, secret tunnels, and surrounding land are now owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction.... view details


16.Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

hohenzollern castle

Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. The third of three castles on the site, it is located atop Berg Hohenzollern, a 234-metre bluff rising above the towns of Hechingen and Bisingen in the foothills of the Swabian Alps of central Baden-Wurttemberg.
The present structure was built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial by Hohenzollern scion King Frederick William IV of Prussia. The design was based on English Gothic Revival architecture and the Chateaux of the Loire Valley.
Among the historical artifacts of Prussian history contained in the castle are the Crown of Wilhelm II, some of the personal effects of King Frederick the Great, and a letter from US President George Washington thanking Hohenzollern descendant Baron von Steuben for his service in ...... view details


15.Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite, Spain

palace of the kings of navarre of olite

The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite or The Royal Palace of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its union with Castile (1512).
In the 15th-century, a German traveller wrote his impressions about the palace in his diary (which is now conserved in the British Museum in London):
"Surely there is no king with a more beautiful castle or palace and with so many gilded rooms (...) it could not say or even could imagine how magnificent and sumptuous is this palace (...)"
The monument was damaged in 1813 by a fire during the Napoleonic French Invasion. It was largely restored in the first half of the 20th century, in works that ...... view details


14.Castle of Chambord, France

castle of chambord

The royal Chateau de Chambord is one of the most recognizable castles in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King Francis I of France.
Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire Valley; it was built to serve as a hunting lodge for Francis I, who maintained his royal residences at the chateaux of Blois and Amboise. The original design of the Chateau de Chambord is attributed, though with some doubt, to Domenico da Cortona; Leonardo da Vinci may also have been involved.... view details


13.Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

neuschwanstein castle

Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The "fairy-tale" palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, whom the king has greatly admired.
The castle was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king Ludwig, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886.
Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.
The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner; it embodies both the contemporaneous architectural fashion known as castle romanticism, and Ludwig II's immoderate enthusiasm for the operas of ...... view details


12.Lichtenstein Castle, Germany

lichtenstein castle

Often hailed as the "fairy-tale castle of Württemberg", Lichtenstein Castle is a romantic castle built by Count Wilhelm of Württemberg to pay homage to medieval times.

The structure we see today was largely inspired by the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff. The castle has an impressive location: perched on an 800 meters-high cliff just on the edge of the Swabian Alps, it offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and the valley of the Echaz river, a small tributary of the Neckar river.

The name Lichtenstein translates as "shining stone".


History

At the beginning of the 12th century, the Lords of Lichtenstein - a respectable and noble family - owned much ...... view details


11.Atalaya Castle, Spain

atalaya castle

The Atalaya Castle is located over a spur of the Sierra de la Villa mountains, in the north-western part of the province of Alicante, and it commands the former frontier between Castile and Kingdom of Aragon.
The castle was an important stronghold on the northern frontier of the Islamic emirate of Iberia, and resisted to three different sieges laid by James I of Aragon. He was finally able to conquer it in 1240, although the castle was handed over to the Kingdom of Castile after the Treaty of Almizra of 1244.
The castle is now in good conditions and is the centre of the yearly Moros y Cristianos feast.... view details


10.Tower of London, United Kingdom

tower of london

The Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England.
The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although that was not its primary purpose.
A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century ...... view details


9.Castle of Chenonceau, France

castle of chenonceau

The Chateau de Chenonceau spans the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux. It is one of the best-known chateaux of the Loire valley.
The estate of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century. The current chateau was built in 1514-1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. The bridge over the river was built (1556-1559) to designs by the French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme, and the gallery on the bridge (1570-1576) to designs by Jean Bullant.... view details


8.Castle of Pierrefonds, France

castle of pierrefonds

The Chateau de Pierrefonds is a castle situated on the southeast edge of the Forest of Compiegne, north east of Paris, between Villers-Cotterets and Compiegne.
In the 12th century, a castle was built on this site. Two centuries later, in 1392, King Charles VI turned the County of Valois (of which Pierrefonds was part) into a Duchy and gave it to his brother Louis, Duke of Orleans. From 1393 to his death in 1407, the latter had the castle totally rebuilt.
The chateau was taken down in the 17th century and was in ruins when Napoleon III decided to commission architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc to rebuild it. He applied his architectural designs to create the ideal chateau, such as would have existed in the Middle Ages.
The Castle of Pierrefonds has ...... view details


7.Castle of Fontainebleau, France

castle of fontainebleau

The castle of Fontainebleau is one of the biggest royal castles in France; it is located in the town of Fontainebleau, 55 km from Paris.
The Chateau de Fontainebleau can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capetiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orleans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls.
Kings and queens, emperors and empresses have all striven to make their own improvements to the chateau built around the original keep. The estate quickly became a huge palace in which many momentous historical events have been played out.... view details


6.Pena Palace, Portugal

pena palace

The Pena Palace stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains 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. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.... view details


5.Alcazar of Segovia, Spain

alcazar of segovia

The Alcazar of Segovia is rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers 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 Alcazar 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. It is currently used as a museum and a military archives building.... view details


4.Windsor Castle, United Kingdom

windsor castle

Windsor Castle is a royal residence, notable for its long association with the English and later British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror.
Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle State Apartments are considered by many historians as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste.
It is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II. Today, more than 500 people live and work in Windsor Castle - the largest inhabited castle in the world.... view details


3.Bamburgh Castle, United Kingdom

bamburgh castle

Built on a dolerite outcrop, the location was previously home to a fort of the native Britons. The Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one.
As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from Scotland. In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery.
The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family, and is opened to the public. It also hosts weddings and corporate events. It has been used as a film location since the 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1982), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Elizabeth (1998) and both the 1971 and 2015 adaptions of Macbeth.
It's also used as a filming location ...... view details


2.Citadel of Carcassonne, France

citadel of carcassonne

The medieval Citadel of Carcassonne is located on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude, in the south-east part of the city proper. Founded during the Gallo-Roman period, the citadel derives its reputation from its 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long double surrounding walls interspersed by 52 towers.
The town of Carcassonne has about 2,500 years of history and has seen the Romans, Visigoths, Saracens and Crusaders. The citadel was restored at the end of the 19th century and in 1997 it was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.... view details


1.Burg Rappottenstein, Austria

burg rappottenstein

Burg Rappottenstein is a medieval castle located in the north-west part of Lower Austria. The hill-castle was never conquered and is therefore one of the best preserved castles in Austria.
A TV show featured on a German channel, showed how people lived in a castle in the Middle Ages, based on the inner life of Rappottenstein Castle.... view details


This "top" is based on user ratings (min. 30 votes needed) and it can change based on users votes; be sure to rate your favourite castles and check back soon.