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.
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
The Aljaferia Palace is a fortified medieval Islamic palace built during the second half of the 11th century in the Taifa of Zaragoza of Al-Andalus, present day Zaragoza, Spain. The palace reflects the splendor attained by the kingdom of the taifa of Zaragoza at the height of its grandeur.
The palace currently contains the Cortes (regional parliament) of the autonomous community of Aragon. The structure holds unique importance in that it is the only conserved testimony of a large building of Spanish Islamic architecture of the era of the Taifas (independent kingdoms).... view details
Located on a steep hill in the deep Perigordian forest, the Castle of Puymartin draws visitors attention with its crenelated towers. With strong defensive walls and a substantial main building, it has still the appearance of a medieval castle despite the many changes that were made over the years.
The castle was built in the late 13th century and, like many of the castles in the region, it played a key role during the Hundred Years War, and later in the Wars of Religion. At the beginning of the Hundred Years War, it formed the border between France and England; as a result, it changed hands several times during the war between French and English. The castle was destroyed towards the end of ...... view details
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
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
The Castle of San Servando is a medieval castle in Toledo, Spain, near the Tagus River. It was begun as a monastery, occupied first by monks and later by the Knights Templar.
In 1874 the castle was named a national monument. The fortress was depicted in El Greco's painting View of Toledo. It is currently used as a youth hostel.... view details
Castelo de Santiago do Cacem was built by the moors. During the Iberian peninsula's Reconquista period, Santiago do Cacem was taken for the first time in 1157 by the forces of Afonso I of Portugal (1112-1185).
The town lost strategic importance after the Portuguese Restoration War, in the 17th century. The castle and its domain returned to crown control in 1759. The old castle was gradually abandoned and fell to ruin. The site's grounds were used as the town's cemetery in the 19th century. The castle was declared a national monument on 23 June 1910.
More recently, the Portuguese DGEMN (Direccao Geral dos Edificios e Monumentos Nacionais) has funded restoration projects.... view details
The stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley was first fortified in the eleventh century by the Norman seigneur of Usse, Gueldin de Saumur, who surrounded the fort with a palisade on a high terrace. The site passed to the Comte de Blois, who rebuilt in stone.
Famed for its picturesque aspect, Usse was the subject of a French railroad poster issued by the Chemin de Fer de Paris a Orleans in the 1920s and was one of several that inspired Walt Disney in the creation of many of the Disney Castles.... view details
Belem Tower is a fortified tower and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jeronimos Monastery) because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries.
The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. It was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles.
The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30-metre four-storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and ...... view details
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
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
The royal Chateau at Amboise was confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it became a favoured royal residence and was extensively rebuilt. King Charles VIII died at the chateau in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel.
The chateau fell into decline from the second half of the 16th century and the majority of the interior buildings were later demolished, but some survived and have been restored, along with the outer defensive circuit of towers and walls. It has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1840.
Leonardo da Vinci is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, adjoining the Chateau, which had been built in 1491-96.... view details
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
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
The Gravensteen is a castle in Ghent originating from the Middle Ages. It was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after the crusaders castles that Philip of Alsace encountered while he participated in the second crusade.
The castle served as the seat of the Counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century. The castle was then used as a courthouse, a prison and eventually decayed. At one time it even served as a factory.
In 1885 the city of Ghent bought the castle and started a renovation project. The newly built houses around the castle were removed and the walls and keep were restored to their original condition. The castle houses a museum with various torture devices (and a guillotine) that were ...... view details
The Castle of Almourol is a medieval castle, located on a small islet in the middle of the Tagus River. It was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar, and a stronghold used during the Portuguese Reconquista.
The Castle of Almourol is one of the more emblematic medieval military monuments of the Reconquista, and best representation of the influence of the Knights Templar in Portugal. When it was conquered in 1129, by forces loyal to the Portuguese nobility, it was known as Almorolan, and placed in the trust of Gualdim Pais, the master of the Knights Templar in Portugal, who rebuilt the structure.
Losing its strategic place, it was abandoned resulting in its fall into ruins. In the 19th century, it was "reinvented" by ...... view details
The Castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg was built in a strategic location, on a rocky promontory, high above the Upper Rhine valley at an altitude of more than 700 meters. This site was ideal for observing the main routes in the region and provided a great defensive position for the fortress.
The first castle, called Castrum Estuphin dates back to aprox. 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (which in German means "royal castle") about 10 years later. Successive powers used the castle from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War.
After the castle was destroyed in 1462 in a siege let by a coalition of forces of the cities of Colmar, Strasbourg, and Basel, the Habsburg emperor Frederick III handed the ...... view details
Beaumaris Castle was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales after 1282.
Historian Arnold Taylor described Beaumaris Castle as Britain's "most perfect example of symmetrical concentric planning". The fortification is built of local stone, with a moated outer ward guarded by twelve towers and two gatehouses, overlooked by an inner ward with two large, D-shaped gatehouses and six massive towers.... view details
The first historical information about the area date back to the reign of the first King of Portugal Afonso I (1112-1185), when the landlord of region donated the lands to the Bishop of Coimbra on 6 May 1168.
After the establishment of the Alcanices Treaty in 1297 with the consequent expansion of the frontiers to the west, the Belmonte Castle lost strategic importance, while the town was developing extramural.
In the midst of the war of Restoration for Portuguese's independence, the castle received some modernization efforts but it was damaged by fire in 1694. The building next to the castle was employed as a prison in the 18th century.... view details
The Chateau de Fougeres is an imposing fort, built on a naturally protected site, a rock emerging from a swamp surrounded by a loop of the Nancon river acting as a natural moat.
It had three different enclosures: the first for defensive purposes; the second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege; and the last for the protection of the keep. In all it has an impressive 13 towers.... view details
This "top" is based on user ratings and it can change based on users votes; be sure to rate your favourite castles and check back soon.