The European continent is filled with gems of beauty that would cater to anyone with a case of wanderlust. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventurer, architecture lover, or a history buff, Europe has something to offer to all kinds of travelers. However, the manmade architectural marvels dotting the European landscape are each worthy of their own fairytales. The beautiful castles and fortresses of Europe have stood the test of time and often come out victorious. These majestic structures that are immersed in torrid history once served as fortresses, abbeys or homes for the royals. Let us look at some of the most beautiful castles in Europe worth visiting.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
This enchanting castle looks like something out of a fairytale. However, it is believed to be the inspiration behind the famous castle of Disney’s sleeping beauty! The Neuschwanstein castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival-style castle commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a personal home. The picturesque façade, charming interiors, and beautiful landscape of this castle make it one of the most visited palaces of Europe. This architectural masterpiece is certainly a site worth visiting for history buffs and lovers of beauty and architecture.
Peles Castle, Romania
Romania is home to some of the most beautiful castles in all of Europe with cultural and architectural heritage that is truly unique. However, tours in Romania are never complete without a visit to the idyllic Peles Castle. Located in the picturesque town of Sinaia, this castle is considered a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Currently a museum, Peles Castle boasts of 160 lavishly decorated rooms with valuable collections of European art, German stained-glass windows, and a collection of 4000 weapons.
Prague Castle, Prague, Czech Republic
The Prague castle in the Czech Republic is considered the largest coherent castle complex in the world. This sprawling castle was founded in the 9th century as a fortress by Prince Borivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty and consists of many palaces and building made in a variety of architectural styles throughout the centuries. The Prague castle was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO and houses several museums and important buildings most of which is open to the public.
Chateau De Chenonceau, France
Chenonceau castle is located on the River Cher in a small village of Chenonceaux in Loire Valley, France. This idyllic castle has a medieval Gothic architecture with renaissance detailing. The castle was built from 1513 to 1517, while the bridge that spans the river was finished in 1576. Nicknamed “Chateau des Dames”, this beautiful castle owes its charms to some of the most influential ladies in French history. The Chateau de Chenonceau has a lovely white facade with beautiful arches and turrets. Surrounding the castle are exquisite gardens with pathways that lead to a central, historic fountain. Castle interiors also feature opulent tapestries, intricately carved and painted furniture, and gilded decorations.
Eilean Donan, Scotland
Situated on an island where three great sea lochs meet, Eilean Donan is arguably one of the most visited attractions in the Scottish Highlands. The Scottish icon sits on the Eilean Donan Island that has been fortified since at least the Iron Age. However, the current castle was only rebuilt between the years 1913 and 1932. The castle is much larger, complex, and multi-faceted than it appears in the photographs. The unexpected depth of charm and character of this castle along with its idyllic location makes it one of the most visited and photographed castles of Europe.