The oldest castle in the world is the Citadel of Aleppo in Aleppo, Syria, constructed in 3000 BCE. Although it still stands, large sections of the Citadel of Aleppo have been damaged by the war in Syria, and unfortunately, it’s no longer a place where you can travel to in order to see it. Since the Citadel of Aleppo, many other castles have been built around the world, and some of them are absolutely breathtaking. If you’re one for castles and love to explore them and learn about their history, here are our top five picks of the most beautiful castles in Europe.
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Neuschwanstein Castle, located in Schwangau, Germany, is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and one of the most popular ones, too. King Ludwig II initiated the construction of the castle but died in 1886, never seeing the Castle’s completion in 1892. The Neuschwanstein Castle is so beautiful that Disney was inspired to build its iconic castles around it. The Castle features 14 rooms that tourists can visit, each one with religious and political paintings. However, if King Ludwig II didn’t pass away suddenly, the Castle would have had over 200 rooms. The exterior of Neuschwanstein Castle is breathtaking, standing 213 feet tall and due to its position on top of a hill, the Castle looks as tall as a giant and the view is amazing regardless of the season.
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Peles Castle, located in Sinaia, Romania is another beautiful castle in Europe we love. Completed in 1914, the Peles Castle was the summer home for the Romainian Royals for a few decades up until World War II. Peles Castle features 160 rooms decorated with Turkish silks, grandeur chandeliers and furnishings from Vienna. Some of the most interesting rooms are the Theater Room, Imperial Suite decorated in 500-year-old leather, Turkish Parlor with copper utensils and Ottoman-style decor, Big Armory Room and the Moorish Saloon with an indoor fountain made from Carrara marble. The outside of Peles Castle looks straight out of a fairytale book, with outdoor gardens featuring fountains, stairways, marble pathways and statues.
Castello di Miramare
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Miramare Castle is another one of Europe’s most beautiful castles, located in Trieste, Italy. Completed in 1860, the Castle overlooks the Gulf of Trieste, making the view even more enticing to capture. Inside Miramare Castle are over 20 rooms, all of which have the original furnishings and two of the rooms are a must-see. The first is the bedroom, once belonging to Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, which he designed to look like the interior of a cabin on a ship, and the second room is the Throne Room. Outside Miramare Castle is an extensive garden spreading across 54 acres full of different species of trees and plants.
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Schwerin Castle, located in Schwerin, Germany, was first constructed from 1847 to 1857, however, records show a castle stood here in 973 CE. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Schwerin Castle underwent many changes, but the majority of it was built in the 19th century. Dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg resided in the Castle, but today, it’s used by the state parliament. Some highlights of the Schwerin Castle are the Chapel, which was built in the mid-1500s, the artillery room, parlors, throne room and the exterior gardens and surrounding lake. The Castle has 635 different rooms and the garden spans 50 acres with beautiful views of Schwerin Castle and the city behind it.
Mont Saint-Michel Castle
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France has a very interesting castle called Mont Saint-Michel, situated on an island in Normandy, France covering 988 acres. The first part of the Castle was constructed in the 8th century and continued to be expanded and built upon well into the 21st century. Mont Saint-Michel was featured in several Harry Potter films (hello, Hogwartz!) due to its location and beauty. The main attraction is the Abby, which is the oldest part of the Castle, but there are other things to see and explore such as the city’s streets lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, the house of Knight Bertrand du Guesclin Museum and the Historic Museum featuring weapons, iron cages, prisons and more. There are boutique hotels within the city, but we don’t recommend staying there overnight unless you are arriving late at night and have a tour first thing in the morning.
Have you been to any of these beautiful castles? And out of all the ones you’ve seen, which castles do you find to be the most beautiful in Europe?