Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we have all seen movies, read books, or been in a school where the topic has been royalty, and we started to daydream about what it would like to be royalty. Whether it is an empire from long ago or a royal family that is still around today, there is something about royalty that fascinates. The royal family, courts, power, customs, etc., are all intriguing, especially in today’s culture.
Today there isn’t much left of these past kingdoms in terms of royalty, customs, and so on. There is, however, the magnificent castles in which the rulers of centuries past built and ruled in. They stand as landmarks and allow visitors to be able to immediately transport back in time. For a short period, visitors can experience what it was like to be royalty as they walk through the halls and great rooms. They are able to play out different famous historical stories in their minds or make up new ones as they go.
So whether you are planning a trip, or just love researching different castles, this list will provide a glimpse into seven castles that are sure to impress. And, the great thing about most castles is that their outside lawns and gardens are sometimes just as impressive as the inside. You will have all of the exploring you can handle if you are fortunate enough to visit any of these castles.
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Construction Started: 870
As the largest castle complex in the world, it is easy to see why we started this list off with Prague Castle. The construction of the castle began in 870, but it is still actively used today (when visiting, you can see the changing of the guards to prove it). When looking at the many different angles of the castle, you will be able to appreciate the Roman and Gothic architecture and all of the detail that went into designing the castle. And not to mention, Prague is one of the best cities to visit. So along with seeing the castle, you will be able to explore everything else that the city has to offer.
Location: Schwangau, Germany
Construction Started: 1869
If you have ever seen Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Neuschwanstein Castle might look familiar to you as that was the castle it was modeled after. Outside of it being used in a fairytale, though, it is stunning in real life. The castle’s limestone facade stands in stark contrast the greenery of the trees and hills that surround the castle. Inside, the castle is full of intricate detail and an interesting history to match.
MONT SAINT MICHEL
Location: Normandy, France
Construction Started: 14th Century
Mont Saint Michel is not your typical castle. Having started out as a church, it didn’t become a castle till centuries later. And then, during the French revolution, it became a prison for a short period of time. In the 19th Century, it was finally restored, and today it stands as a UNESCO world heritage site that is enjoyed by many. If you are looking for a unique castle with a ton of history, look no further than Mont Saint Michel.
Location: Bamburgh, United Kingdom
Construction Started: 11th Century
When it comes to fortresses, it doesn’t get much better than Bamburgh Castle. The defenses of the castle are extremely evident as you approach, and it is easy to see why it was the “royal seat to the kings of Northumbria” in centuries past. Today, there are plenty of things to see and do inside and out of Bamburg Castle, and it is a place that is enjoyed by many a tourist.
Location: Schwerin, Germany
Construction Started: 900s
When you think of Schwerin Castle, one word should come to mind, “immaculate.” Everything from the grounds to the outside of the castle to the 653 rooms located inside is full of intricate details. The entire castle is stunning, and you will be awe-inspired as you begin your walk up to it until you leave. It is full of luxury and truly gives you a look back into when royalty reigned supreme. If you ever find yourself in Germany, Schwerin Castle should be at the top of your list of must-see locations.
Location: Bran, Romania
Construction Started: Late 1300s
Vampires, anyone? Bran Castle is a medieval fortress from the late 1300s, but it is probably best known for Dracula as it was the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Don’t worry, though, there is nothing to be scared of, and all of the fantastic views will have you quickly forgetting about anything to do with vampires. Also, with the castle being set out in the mountains, there is plenty of outdoor exploring to do around the castle as well.
Location: Berkshire, United Kingdom
Construction Started: 11th Century
Windsor Castle is the home to Queen of England (tea, anyone?), and it is also the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. So while the entire interior may not be as open to exploring as some of the other castles on this list, it still offers a lot for visitors to see. Even just seeing the outside of the castle and the magnificent grounds would be worth the visit. And who knows? Maybe you will get lucky and catch a glimpse of the Queen from afar!
Becoming Royalty: 7 Castles That are Sure to Impress Conclusion
Well, unfortunately, we can’t all be royalty. We can, however, visit and explore all of these fantastic castles. As you walk up the outskirts of any of these castles, you will immediately be struck with awe. And as you continue to experience the courtyards and inner workings of the castle, that awe will only continue to grow. Now throw in the history that accompanies each of these castles, and it is easy to see why they are all a must-see.
So start planning out your trip, and begin crossing off these different castles from your travel bucket list.