Europe is famous worldwide for its rich history, culture and impressive architecture that tells the story about its people and its history. These castles are evidence of the European history its powerful kings and nobles who used to live in these fortified structures. It is not possible to pick the best out of them as each one is steeped in history. Here are Travelila’s top picks of Medieval Castles in Europe.
Windsor Castle, England
Windsor Castle is a royal residence and the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It is located in Berkshire, England and was originally built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. It was built shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and is used as a royal residence since the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) and since then the lavish castle has been used by succeeded monarchs. Although it is a royal residence, it is still open to visitors. The castle is not open for visitors when the royals arrive thus it is recommended to check the visiting hours before.
Alhambra of Granada, Spain
Alhambra of Granada is an impressive Moorish palace and fortress which was built between 1238 and 1358. It got its name from an Arabic phrase meaning “red castle” because of its reddish towers and walls. The castle is included as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and also the most popular tourist site in Spain. During the summer season, more than 6000 visitors visit this place every day so it is recommended not to visit this place during summer and try visiting the castle during off seasons.
Dunnottar Castle, Scotland
Dunnottar Castle is said to be the first castle ever built in Scotland in the early middle ages. Despite the weather changes and other issues the castle’s remains still include its 14th-century tower house as well as its 16th-century palace and were home of the most powerful families of Scottish history.
The Buda Castle, Hungary
This most beautiful Buda Castle was originally constructed in the 13th century, but the work didn’t stop there. There were extension and renovation going on continuously to the castle over the next two centuries. Some of the renovations are still carried out in the current scenario. This jaw-dropping Castle is not just a place for visitors but also a home to several galleries, including the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. However, only fragments are preserved later medieval additions as most of the castle’s present-day appearance dates to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Carreg Cennen Castle, Wales
Wales is home to more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Carreg Cennen, out of them, is one of the most beautiful castles even today because of its rugged location on a limestone hilltop in the Brecon Beacons National Park. However, the castle is not in a very good condition and is ruined but you can still visit the place during springs and summers.
Prague Castle, The Czech Republic
Prague Castle is one of the oldest castles as its history dates back to the 9th century. It served as the seat of the president of the Czechoslovak Republic from 1918 to World War II. Even today, it serves as the residence of the Czech Head of State but still is open for tourists and visitors.