5 Must-See European Castles for Your Travel List

5 Must-See European Castles for Your Travel List

Magical Castles 2024-04-05 ParkingNearAirports.io

Majestic fortifications, meandering water passages, mysterious dungeons, and concealed staircases – Europe's renowned castles offer abundant opportunities for exploration. These historic strongholds in Europe are teeming with captivating legends, intriguing histories, and impressive architecture. Nearly every European country boasts numerous castles located in bustling cities, as well as remote rural areas.

Today, we're excited to present to you our top selections of European castles. Whether you're planning a family trip or simply appreciate a touch of enchantment, here are 5 essential fortresses across the continent that you should consider visiting next time. Let's begin!

So which European castles should you make sure to include in your travel plans?

1. Neuschwanstein, Germany

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Can you discuss European fortresses without referring to the palace that served as inspiration for Walt Disney? Neuschwanstein was constructed by King Ludwig II near Füssen in the southern region of Bavaria, Germany during the 19th century. At that time, defensive fortifications were no longer necessary, but the imaginative King desired a castle, and so a castle he erected. He spared no effort in its construction, resulting in a magnificent palace unlike any other. Named "New Swan Castle," it reflects the monarch's fondness for Wagner operas, and although Ludwig passed away before its completion, this remarkable structure has captivated countless visitors ever since.

2. Eilean Donan, Scotland

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Located on an island where three sea lochs meet, Eilean Donan is a well-known castle in Scotland. This impressive building blends in beautifully with the surrounding natural environment. People have been living on the island since the 6th century, with the first fortified castle built there in the 13th century. The castle was left in ruins following a Jacobite revolt in the early 18th century, but it was later restored and reopened in 1932.

3. Segovia Alcazar, Spain

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In Spain's arid interior, Segovia's skyline is marked by two remarkable structures – its cathedral and its fortress, the Alcazar. The castle's origins can be traced back to the Roman era, but the current fortress as we see it today was constructed in the 16th century. Now serving as a museum, it captivates numerous visitors with its extravagantly adorned interior. The Sala de las Piñas, adorned with golden pineapples on its ceiling, is particularly captivating, yet the highlight is the panoramic view from the Torre de Juan II, offering a stunning vista of the vast Spanish landscape.

4. Bran Castle, Romania

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Bran Castle attracts many tourists who come to Transylvania in search of the legend of Dracula. Even though Bram Stoker, the author of the renowned vampire tale, never actually visited this place, the castle closely resembles the description of Count Dracula's isolated stronghold. Originally constructed as a fortress by the Teutonic Knights, it later became a royal residence for Queen Maria of Romania. Nevertheless, Dracula enthusiasts should be prepared for a flood of references and souvenirs related to the iconic vampire as soon as they arrive.

5. Gravensteen, Belgium

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Gravensteen, built in 1180 under Count Philip of Alsace's guidance, draws inspiration from the Crusader fortifications he saw during his time in the military. Situated by the Leie River, this medieval fortress is a prominent symbol in the Belgian city. Over time, it functioned as a courthouse, a prison, and a factory, but now, it commands attention as one of Ghent's top tourist destinations.

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