15 castles in Europe, which should be seen by everyone

Romantic and sinister, these stone buildings often shrouded in legends and myths — such as elusive as the mists that rise from the bottom of their ditches. In the Middle ages castles were fortresses, in the Renaissance and the reformation became residences for members of the Royal family and home to craftsmen, artists and playwrights. Here is a reminder that all this beauty can be seen not only in the historical series, and calls the top 15 castles of the Old world.

Eilean Donan Castle



Scotland, UK
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In Scotland many castles, but of Eilean Donan unanimously considered the most romantic. The reason for that secluded location and lots of mysterious legends to boot. The castle is not only a favorite "model" to countless tourists, but the star of the show: it can be seen in "the Highlander", one of the parts of James bond ("the world is not enough") and Comedy "the Other bride". In the past Eilean Donan becomes the wedding venue, and this is not fiction but a real story, even if not advertising: a thousand pound to play in the castle the wedding of any couple.
About other sights and castles in Scotland read guide to the country.
About the most popular cities — London, Manchester, Liverpool and others, read guide UK.

alcázar



Segovia, Spain
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the Most beautiful Spanish castle, which towers on a cliff in the town of Segovia, managed to visit and a luxurious Royal residence — there was crowned on the throne of Isabella, and the city prison, and a military College for officers. Is just a copy restored after the fire in 1862, based on sketches of the XV century.
In the Alcazar several rooms: antique tapestries, suits of armor, fantastic Golden ceilings and beautiful stained glass Windows Medieval in its purest form. Perhaps the most interesting hall — the Throne (original design in the Moorish style) and a weapon with a rich collection of weapons from different eras. Should also visit the small chapel — the place of the wedding of king Philip II, there is also the famous painting Bartolome, Carducho 1600 "adoration of the Magi". And breaking the 152 steps, don't forget to take some excellent panoramic shots from the top of the tower of Juan II.
About other sights and castles of Spain read guide to the country.
About Madrid's attractions and routes read city guide.
full list of free travel guides on Spain can be found at "Cities and regions of Spain".

château de Chambord



the Loire Valley, France
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This is the most recognizable castle in Loire Valley, become one of the symbols of France. Besides, is a recognized masterpiece of the Renaissance. Its erection was a matter of life for king Francis I, who did not stop nor the astronomical cost of works or marshy soil, where a 12-meter depth had to be butchered oak piles.
the Interior design is poor. But there is nothing. We must, as a minimum, go through the double spiral staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci, look at the bed where the kings slept sitting up, and walk among the chimneys on the roof of the building.
About other castles of the Loire Valley and route read in the guide region.
About other attractions in France read guide to the country.
full list of free travel guides to cities and regions of France can be found at "Cities and regions of France".

hohenwerfen Castle



Salzburg, Austria
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One of the most picturesque Austrian castles located on the 150-meter high rock above the Salzach valley (40 km from Salzburg). History Hohenwerfen began in the XI century, and during its long history it managed to evolve a lot of times, surviving the great fire and several global reconstructions. Today, this huge castle with two pairs of gates, bulwark, tower, underground chapel and other buildings open to the public. On its territory there are several museums (don't miss the Museum of falconry), tavern, exhibition of ancient weapons and a nice Park in the courtyard, where you can rest. To the top of the cliff where the castle stands, gives tourists a special funicular.
About other sights and castles of Austria, read guide to the country.
About other sights of Salzburg, read city guide.

Kilkenny Castle



Kilkenny, Ireland
Marcus Meissner / Flickr.com

Kilkenny is one of the oldest castles in Ireland, who was lucky to survive to our days in very good condition. The greatest damage to the building caused Oliver Cromwell, who during the siege in the XVII century, destroyed one of its walls and tower. However, the owners of the castle, representatives of an influential Irish clan Butlers (Ormondo), all returned to their seats. And years later, after castle had departed the city, reconstruction continued. Next was a beautiful garden, scored once again in the fountain of the XVII century, was added one run in the castle Park. By the way, take a stroll through this Park, it is very beautiful.
About other landmarks and castles of Ireland read guide to the country.

Edinburgh castle



Edinburgh, UK
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the Famous castle, the symbol of Scotland, can be seen practically from any part of Edinburgh, because it is right in the middle of the city on a high cliff that was once an active volcano.
Inside the medieval walls, a treasure chest, which houses ancient weapons, jewelry and other historical values. The most important of them — the Golden crown of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny (or the stone of Scone), on which Scottish rulers sat during their coronation, hoping that the stone will give them the wisdom and insight needed to govern the country.
About other sights and castles in Scotland read guide to the country.

About the most popular cities — London, Manchester, Liverpool and others, read guide UK.

Moritzburg Castle



Saxony, Germany
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fans of the fairy tale films the sign of Moritzburg in the old movie "Three nuts for Cinderella". This magnificent Baroque building performs the role in the movie the king's residence, the future father-in-law of Cinderella.
And in the XVI century it was a modest hunting castle. And only in the XVIII century when Augustus the Strong Moritzburg was truly luxurious. The entrance was decorated with huge antlers, each entry to the castle — sculptures and balustrades. The interior of the Lighthouse also makes an impression: embossed leather Wallpaper, a collection of rare porcelain, Baroque furniture, paintings by European masters of the eighteenth century and Europe's largest collection of hunting trophies.
About other sights and castles of Saxony, read the guide region.
About the attractions of the towns and lands of Germany, read guide to the country.

full list of free guides to cities and regions of Germany can be found at "Cities and regions of Germany".

Trakai island castle



Trakai, Lithuania
V. Valužis / LithuanianTravel.lt
One of the main architectural beauties of Lithuania is in the ancient capital of the country — Trakai, where in Medieval times was the residence of the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The main feature of this building — the position of the island: the castle stands on a small plot of land in the middle of a huge lake Galve and with a striking resemblance to the largest brick castle world in the Polish town of Malbork.
within the walls of Trakai castle the stored value of the city's historical Museum, like the collection of Smoking pipes or antique furniture. And the castle is a large stage venue for all kinds of concerts, festivals, and folk festivals.
About other sights and cities of Lithuania read guide to the country.

Vyborg castle



Vyborg, Russia
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the Main landmark of Vyborg is the medieval castle, around which is built the city. The Fort was built by the Swedish knights in the XIII century, and on its territory there are many interesting historical pieces. The main thing you need to do is to climb the spiral staircase to the lookout tower of St. Olaf (height 48 metres) and survey the neighborhood. The reward for this will be stunning views of the old streets of the city and the Bay of Vyborg, on the shore of which it lies. In the castle there is a Museum of local lore, telling about local nature.
About other attractions in Russia, see guide to the country.
full list of free travel guides to cities and regions can be found at "Cities and regions".

Malbork Castle



Poland

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the Castle Malbork (or Marienburg) has the status of the largest medieval brick castle in the world. The building was founded by the Teutonic knights in the XIII century and its construction took more than four million bricks. The castle has survived many sieges, and frequently changed their masters: after the Thirteen years ' war passed into the hands of the poles, was later captured by the Swedes, and then became the property of the Prussians. The greatest damage Malborku, however, caused the Germans, who during world war II turned the castle into ruins. Here the restoration is still ongoing.
Malbork, in fact, consists of three castles — the Upper, Middle and Lower which are United by a system of fortifications. All of them you can visit to see the residential apartments of the knights, mint, stables, bakery and other buildings, as well as to look at the exhibition of ancient weapons and amber.
About other sights and castles in Poland, read guide to the country.

Windsor castle



Windsor, UK
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Windsor is the most famous castle in the world and the millennial symbol of the British monarchy. Of course, from the Norman citadel, which was founded in 1070 by William the Conqueror, was left almost nothing. For his mighty history of Windsor has gone through many reconstructions and extensions, overgrown walls, towers, and chapels, at the same time trying to play the role of the Royal Palace, where he held lavish parties and were made decisions, and fortresses that can withstand any siege.

a Thoughtful tour of the Windsor is at least half a day though to remember the names of many monarchs will become hard after an hour. Among the must see are the Round tower, beating with access to the terrace of the castle (a great viewpoint), Front apartment, with miles of Rubens, van Dyck and other great painters, as well as the Throne room, which is knighted the new members of the order of the Garter, the chapel of St. George‑the Royal tomb and the standard of English perpendicular Gothic, and of course the Park, which is such a long alley, while walking will have to do at least a couple of breaks.
About London, Manchester, Liverpool and other popular cities and the most interesting sights of the country, read guide UK.

the bran Castle



Brasov, Romania
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bran Castle is built on the edge of the gorge in the Carpathian mountains 30 km from Brasov, on the border Munteniya and Transylvania. It was built by local residents. For this they have long been exempt from taxes to the state Treasury. On the whole brane world famous for the fact that once it spent the night Prince Vlad III the Impaler, considered to be the prototype of the protagonist of Bram Stoker's "Dracula." One night the Prince was enough to lock permanently attached to the image "nest of vampires". Add to this rather grim interior consisting of a labyrinth of halls and rooms and get ready scenery for a horror movie. By the way, today bran castle for sale.About other attractions of Transylvania, read the guide region.
About the attractions and cities of Romania, read guide to the country.

Prague Castle



Prague, Czech Republic
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Prague Castle is not only mandatory item in any tourist route in the Czech capital, but also the current residence of the President. Each master of the past 500 years — from the Holy Roman emperors to presidents of the socialist Czechoslovakia — strive to improve own residence in the best of. It should be noted, are considerable. As a result, today the Prague Castle is the highest in the Czech Republic the density of architectural and historical monuments per square meter: Golden lane, St. Vitus Cathedral, an art gallery and so on.
the Main show at the Prague Castle — changing of the guard at the presidential Palace. Fanfare, measured tread, handsome guards‑it's like everywhere. But in terms of panache with the Prague guard does not match no other. The uniform of the presidential soldiers invented any where else but in Hollywood. Guards wore local designer Theodore Pistek who made the costumes for the films "Valmont", "the People vs. Larry Flynt" and other films.
On other attractions and routes of Prague, read city guide.
About the attractions and cities of the Czech Republic, read guide to the country.

Neuschwanstein Castle



Bavaria, Germany
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Neuschwanstein is included in the list of the most photographed castles in the world, and the line of tourists to it sometimes stretched a mile. That is why the prototype of Sleeping beauty's castle in Disneyland Paris is best visited in autumn or winter. The added bonus this time of year is wafting through the building fog, which creates a really unrealistic effect.
the history of the castle linked to the fairy tales and legends. Big fan — Ludwig II decided to bring to life the image of the Royal dwelling combined with the wizard. In 1869, the ruler of Bavaria ordered the construction of a very tall mountain cliff near the town of füssen. It is difficult to imagine the construction of Neuschwanstein castle ("New Swan rock") without modern cranes, huge cement mixers and computer architectural programs. The extraordinary beauty of the building was built in 22 years, but its main inhabitant — the king of Bavaria — to the moment, alas, died.
About other sites and the castles of Bavaria, read the guide region.
About attractions, cities, and States of Germany, read guide to the country.
full list of free guides on the country can be found at "Cities and regions of Germany".

Foix Castle



MIDI-pyrénées, France
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Foix Castle — the former residence of the counts of Foix, now a Museum of ariège. The first mention of it dates back to the year 1002. The owners rebuilt and extended the castle until the fourteenth century, turning it into a nearly impenetrable Bastion that withstood many sieges and fallen only once because of the betrayal. Outside the castle walls for a long time refuge for the Cathars.
In the 1950s it was converted into a Museum. It showcases the thrones of local bishops, Roman columns of the XII century, medieval life, ceremonial regalia, armor of the knights. On the second floor of the castle is a temporary exhibition devoted to the era of Henry IV. There you can see, for example, the bed on which the monarch slept.
About other sights and castles of MIDI‑pyrénées, read the guide region.
About other attractions in France read guide to the country.
full list of free travel guides to cities and regions of France can be found at "Cities and regions of France".