They are majestic and impregnable, romantic and grim, mystical and legendary…European castles will attract guests with their grand architecture, historical heritage background, and jaw-dropping views. They are the silent witnesses of a plethora of historical events and royal dramas and they invite you to be a part of it for some time. Next time you decide to go sightseeing, here are 8 European castles you absolutely cannot miss out on!
1. Chillon Castle (Switzerland)
This beautiful European Castle is a complex of 25 construction elements located by the lake of Geneva, 3 kilometers away from the city of Montreux. The road beside the castles served as a strategically important and exclusive (at that time) transportation route between the Northern and the Southern parts of Europe. It was crucial for the past proprietors to control keep the road in control thus providing personal safety and security from frequent cases of the onslaught. The stone wall of the castle that faces the road is fortified with three towers and part of it is actually residential. Like most castles, Chillon Castle also served as a prison. During the time of the typhoid epidemic in Europe, in the mid-14th century, it was common for the Jew to be accused of the “dissemination” of the disease; they were subjected to physical torture at the Chillon Castle.
2. Conwy Castle (Wales)
Back in the day, the grand walls of the magnificent Conwy Castle, once inhabited by the infamous William Wallace’s antagonist King Edward I, repelled a series of attacks and sieges. Nowadays, this medieval fortress is open for visitors from all around the world. The towers of Conwy offer an overwhelming view of the city and the beautiful quay.
3. The Alcázar of Segovia (Spain)
This European castle is a rock fortress of the Spanish kings Alcazar located in the heritage district in the city of Segovia. Over the years, the castle served not only as a royal palace but also a prison as well as an artillery academy. According to some archaeologists, back in ancient Roman times, there was a military fortification in place of the castle. The Alcázar was turned into a museum in 1953. At present, the castle remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe. You have a chance to attend 11 halls as well as the tallest tower in the castle: the Tower of Juan II.
4. Bran Castle (Romania)
This shrouded in mystery legendary castle is located in in the immediate vicinity of the picturesque city of Brasov. It was originally built at the end of the 14th century with the local diaspora money to become tax exempt for a few centuries ahead. Due to its location and the trapezoidal structure, this European castle used to serve as a coastal fortification. The proprietors vary from Mircea the Elder to the inhabitants of Brasov to the Habsburg Empire to the infamous voivode Vlad Dracula.
5. Eltz Castle (Germany)
Burg Eltz is a stunning European castle that is located in the valley of the Elzbach river. Together with the palace of Burresheim, the castle is considered as the only construction in western Germany that has never been subjected to seizure or demolishing. For instance, it was not even slightly damaged during the French Revolution as well as both World Wars.
6. Trakai Island Castle (Lithuania)
The largest of the ancient castles preserved in the present time in Lithuania, Trakai Island Castle is located in the ancient residence of the Lithuanian dukes – the city of Trakai. The castle used to be the most powerful construction in the area and one of the most impregnable fortresses in Eastern Europe. Since its heyday during the reign of Prince Vitovt, the museum inside the castle has become one of the most popular and entertaining tourist attractions in the country.