Top 5 Castles in Europe

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Aug 14, 2014 by Smart Blog

How about a fascinating holiday exploring the top five castles in Europe? Some of the best castles in the world are located in Europe. There is something romantic about visiting medieval castles, with their interesting history and wonderful architecture. You will feel like a child again, anticipating the many nooks, alleyways and hidden doorways in the massive rooms. 

Castle Neuschwanstein

Let's start off in Germany and visit the Castle Neuschwanstein, Germany's fairy-tale castle. This massive, breathtaking castle was built in the 1800's, and is located in the Bavarian Alps. Castle Neuschwanstein was built for King Ludwig II as a retreat. Inside you will marvel at the two storey throne room encircled by galleries on both floors. The second floor rooms were never completed and you will find the cafeteria, gift shop and multimedia room on this floor. The third and fourth floors house the state rooms and apartments of the King. After his death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. One of the most popular castles in Europe, it draws 1.4 million visitors a year. 

Bran castle

Travel to Romania for a museum tour of picturesque Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. Set in the hills, the castle is a national monument and landmark. The fortress displays furniture and art that was collected by Queen Marie. The castle was a royal residence in 1920 and was a favourite home and retreat of Queen Marie. Princess Ileana, Queen Marie's daughter inherited the castle and in 1948 it was seized by the communist regime. Dominic von Habsburg, the son of Princess Ileana and rightful heir, regained ownership in 2005. The castle was opened to the public in 2009, and has been a tourist draw ever since. The castle, with its turrets and towers, looks even more imposing because of its location, perched on top of a 200 foot high rock. Visitors will view underground passages, and travel through narrow winding stairways.

Chateau de Versailles

Chateau de Versailles in France is one of the most famous world heritage monuments. Built as a hunting lodge by Louis the XIII, it then became the official residence of the Court of France. The castle comprises the Royal Apartments, the Chapel, and the Museum of the History of France, the Royal Opera, and the Hall of Mirrors. The French-style gardens are magnificent, with its splendid fountains and over 400 bronze and marble statues, flowers and buildings. 

Brodick Castle

Now over to Scotland in the Isle of Arran, you will find Brodick Castle with roots traced back to the Vikings. Tour the art collection, period furniture, porcelain, silver, and sporting trophies. The interior is furnished as it was when the Duke and Duchess of Montrose inhabited the castle. Outside, you can view the wonderful rhododendron collection, woodland garden, pond garden, ice house, Bavarian summerhouse and lime kiln. Stop for a cuppa in the tea room in the old servant’s hall before heading out. This grand castle has stunning views and is set against Goat Fell Mountain. 

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle in England is the official residence of The Queen, therefore being the largest occupied castle in the world. This working palace is used as a private residence, and a Royal residence as well with The Queen performing formal duties here. The Castle houses St. George's Chapel, the location of many Royal weddings including Prince Edward, with daily services that are open for all to attend. The Royal Archives and the Royal Photograph Collection are located in the castle's Round Tower. There is a Print Room and Royal Library where manuscripts, prints, books and drawings are kept. Parts of the castle that are open to the public are the State Apartments, St. George's Chapel, Queen Mary's famous dolls' house, Albert Memorial Chapel, and the precincts. 

These top five castles are just some of the unique destinations in Europe. Start planning your memorable castle holiday today. Remember to plan well, be safe, and above all, have fun!