8 most beautiful castles in Europe that will make you believe in a fairy tale
If you are thinking where you would go next time, look at Europe, or rather — to the fabulous palaces and residences, many of which operate now. Lovers of romantic (or even mystical) adventures will surely appreciate our selection of ancient European castles that really deserve attention. So, for example, visiting one of the residences is inspired in the time of Peter Tchaikovsky on the creation of the work “Swan lake”, and other palaces and even served as a film set for the filming of cult films.
Chambord castle, France (XVI century)
Chambord (FR. Château de Chambord) — perhaps one of the most recognizable castles in France, which is considered an architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance. It was built by order of Francis I, who dreams of spending more time near his beloved lady — Countess Turi, who lives nearby. According to numerous historical studies, Leonardo da Vinci himself took part in the design of this masterpiece, so the building, which has 426 rooms, 77 stairs, 282 fireplaces and 800 decorated capitals, is really worthy of attention. Enjoy the castle, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, at any time of the year, but in the autumn and winter it looks especially impressive. About 13 years ago, the castle, on the second floor of which is now a branch of the Museum of hunting and nature, has acquired the status of the state socio-commercial enterprise.
Alcázar castle, Spain (IX century)
During the years of its existence, the residence of the Spanish kings alcázar (Spanish Alcázar), located right on a rock in the historical part of the city of Segovia, managed to visit not only the Royal castle, but also the fortress, prison and even the artillery Academy. Back in 1953, the Alcazar, which was considered during the middle Ages the favorite residence of the kings of Castile, became a Museum where furniture, interiors, a collection of weapons and portraits of Spanish kings. Now it is one of the most visited places in Spain, and every tourist considers it his duty to bypass all 11 halls in the castle and climb the highest tower — the tower of Juan II.
Residence of Alhambra, Spain (XIII century)
This castle, which is a whole complex, was built about two centuries — from 1230 to 1492, during the reign of the dynasty of Narsis. The residence essentially consists of two picturesque courtyards connected by a passage and surrounded by palaces, churches, gardens and residential buildings. You can wander around the complex for a long time, which is considered a real miracle of the world, and look at the decorative elements, paintings, architectural delights and an abundance of Muslim motifs, harmoniously blended into the overall atmosphere of the grandiose building.
Walsen castle, Belgium (XI century)
One of the largest castles in Belgium (Belg. Château de Walzin), built by the Bishop of Liege Divinum (Teodelina) of the Bavarian defence, is right on the cliff, in the village of the same name. It is noteworthy that his romantic image of Walsen acquired after reconstruction and restoration (the first was conducted by the architect Emil Ganle in 1881, and the second, which was attended by Olivier Flanno in 1930). The castle, which is now owned by the count and Countess de Limburg-Stirum, direct descendants of Henry IV Duke of Limburg and Guillaume de La Mark, is closed to visitors, but to admire from afar, no one forbids.
Schönbrunn Palace, Austria (XVII century)
Schönbrunn Palace (him. Schloß Schönbrunn), formerly belonging to the Habsburg dynasty and numbering 1441 rooms in the Rococo style, is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. At one time, the Empress Maria Theresa, Napoleon, Mozart, Queen Sissi (wife of Emperor Franz Joseph) stayed here, and since 1918, after the fall of the monarchy, the residence became available to the General public. Now there is a Museum, picturesque gardens, cozy pavilions and a labyrinth on which it is possible to wander for hours.
Neuschwanstein castle, Germany, Bavaria (XIX century)
Neuschwanstein castle (it. Schloß Neuschwanstein) is located near the town of füssen in southwestern Bavaria, and, remarkably, has become a source of inspiration for architects in the construction of the Sleeping beauty castle in Disneyland Paris. Historians, by the way, claim that the romantic views of the castle at the time was fascinated and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and it was after visiting the residence of king Ludwig II, he had the idea of creating a ballet “Swan lake”. In addition, Neuschwanstein was shown in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as the castle of the fictional land of Vulgaria, as well as in the 1955 paintings “Ludwig II: the Shine and fall of the king”, 1972 “Ludwig” and 2012 “Ludwig of Bavaria”.
Castle of Sanssouci, Germany (XVIII century)
The name of the most famous Palace of Frederick the Great (Schloss Sanssouci) is translated as “without worries” and accurately reflects the mood of the Prussian king, who wanted to build something just for the soul and personally participated in the decoration of rooms. According to the Governor, this castle was to become a place where people could be alone with nature and enjoy life. That is why the Palace is divided in front of multi-level vineyards, and the residence itself is located in a huge Park with flower beds and numerous fountains, among which you can leisurely stroll and reflect on the eternal.
Hohenschwangau castle, Germany, Bavaria (XIX century)
The fate of this castle would have been less rosy if king Maximilian II, having discovered the ruins of the Schwanstein fortress, had not bought the land from its aristocratic owners and in 1832 had not begun to build his summer residence on the site of the ruins. The neo-Gothic style was designed by architect Domenico Kuala, and now the castle is considered one of the most unusual and beautiful. After Maximilian’s death, his son Ludwig lived here for some time, but then he decided to build his own castle, which surpassed the popularity of Hohenschwangau — the romantic Neuschwanstein Palace.