The best European castles you can visit were built as a residential place of rulers, inflict power and the most important of all spurn the prospective attackers. Nowadays, these castles appear majestic, solitary and petrified in time. Attackers have long been vanished and now the best European castles are invaded regularly by camera clutching invaders, who are all prepared in inspecting the past grandeur.
1. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Built in 870 AD, Prague Castle is the world’s biggest castle complex. It used to be the home of Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors and the presidents of Czech Republic. The castle is about 570m in length, 130m in width and takes up an area of over 70,000 sq m.
2. Bran Castle, Romania
Built back in 1212, this castle is considered to be a landmark and national monument in Romania. List of popular inhabitants include Teutonic Knights, Vlad III, MIrcea the Elder and the Romanian royalty.
3. Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
The construction work began in the year 1869 under the watchful eyes of King Ludwig II. Since then, over 60 million visitors have visited this castle, with 1.3 million every year. It also inspired the Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disney’s.
4. Leeds Castle, Kent, England
Built in 1119, this castle was the favourite residence of Edward I. This castle was used by Henry VIII as the residence of Catherine of Aragon, his first wife. Since 1976, it has been made open to the public.
5. Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England
This royal residence is renowned for its architecture and being a favourite of the British royal family. It is Europe’s longest occupied palace and employs more than 500 people. The castle attracts thousands of tourists every year and is known for being the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II.
6. Mont Saint-Michel, France
This 10th century castle is amongst the most recognisable landmarks in France and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Over 3 million visitors come here every year.
7. Château de Chambord, France
When it comes to the best European castles, nothing can compete with this beauty. This is amongst the world’s most identifiable châteaux because of the unique French Renaissance architecture, blending classical Renaissance structures with that of traditional medieval forms.
8. Hohenwerfen, Salzburg, Austria
Surrounded by Tennengebirge mountain range and the Berchtesgaden Alps, this castle was built in 1078 AD and used to provide shelter to the rulers and prisoners of Salzburg.
9. Buda Castle, Hungary
Built in 1265, this historic palace and castle sheltered the Hungarian kings and has often been termed as the Royal Castle and the Royal Palace. Since 1987, it has been a World Heritage Site.
10. The Alhambra, Granada, Spain
The best way to round up the list of the best European castles is with the inclusion of this magnificent one. Known as Calat Alhambra, this fortress and palace complex originates back in 14th century with Islamic palaces being built for the Muslim emirs.