Fairy tale castles and impressive fortresses or palaces are often a must-see when visiting European countries. You’ll find beautiful castles across Europe from north south and east to west… Here is a selection of 15 of Europe’s most beautiful fairytale castles!
Architects from the middle ages built castles to show the strength and power of their inhabitants. Kings, Dukes and Aristocrats gained more respect from their subjects if their castles were impressive and imposing. Not only were castles built to be defensive strongholds, many were build to highlight their inhabitants power and wealth so they could exert control over their subjects.
1/ Bled Castle, Slovenia
Bled Castle is a medieval castle built on a 100 metre cliff. It overlooks Lake Bled and is one of the main tourist attractions of the country. The castle was a residence for the Serbian dynasty and later for the Marshall Josip Broz Tito.
2/ Mont-Saint-Michel, France
The impregnable castle of Mont-Saint-Michel is surrounded on all sides by the sea. Every year there are organised pilgrimages to the abbey from across the North of Europe. However there is much debate about which region of France the castle belongs to… whether it is Brittany or Normandy!
3/ Trakai Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Castle in Lithuania is situated on an island on Lake Galve. It was constructed during the 14th century and was a strategic centre for the Duchy of Lithuania. It is the only island castle in Eastern Europe. The castle was restored in the early 20th century after it fell into disrepair.
4/ Reichsburg Cochem, Germany
This castle has a long history. In fact it was the residence of the King of Germany Conrad III and then Louis XIV. The castle was burned by the French in 1689 and was forgotten about. However a German businessman bought the castle in 1868 and invested a lot of his fortune in its restoration. In 1942, the castle fortress was give to a public body. Since 1978 it belongs to the town of Cochem.
5/ Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
Hohenzollern castle is located around 50 kilometres to the south of Stuttgart in Germany. It is considered the ancestral fief of the royal imperial Hohenzollern family. This new-Gothic styled castle is build 855 metres above sea level. During its height this fortress was main residence for Prussian emperors.
6/ Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein castle was build by Ledwig II of Barvaria in the 19th century. It is now considered to be one of Germany’s most well known castles as every year 1 million visitors visit this castle. There are around 6,000 tourists per day during the height of summer. You certainly won’t have an intimate viewing of this castle!
7/ Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
This is one of the most well known Scottish Castles after Edinburgh Castle. The castle, which sits of the shores of Loch Duich not far from the Isle of Skye, was initially built in the 13th century. However the castle underwent a restoration in the 19th century. Now it has been a site for many film sets including Made of Honour, Bonnie Prince Charlie and James Bond.