Castles are full of history, lore, and legends and it makes them attractive destinations for tourists. The bountiful gardens and complicated structures allow people to revisit the triumphs and tragedies of the rulers who lived there.
Top Castles You Must Visit
The castles play a huge role in telling the rich history of regions across the globe. Here are some of the most enchanting and beautiful castles in the world that are worth a visit.
Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria, Egypt
In 1477, Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay started construction of the fortress on the Mediterranean Sea when he learned that Ottoman troops are marching towards Alexandria. The castle is built on the ruins of the fallen Pharos Lighthouse.
Salvage pieces of the previous structure were used by the workers to build the gorgeous red granite columns in the entrance and the mosque.
The Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt and used Citadel as a military fort. In 1882 it was abandoned for over a century because of British bombardment until the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities decided to restore it to its former glory and turn it into a museum.
Bojnice Castle, Bojnice, Slovakia
According to written records found at Zobor Abbey, the impressive fort was built as early as 1113 and was constructed from wood at first. Slowly the wood was replaced by the stone. By the 12th century, the castle had Renaissance and Gothic elements.
The first investor of the magnificent fortress was probably King Matthias Corvinus, who ruled over Hungary and China, although he was not the first owner.
The renovations of the exteriors and the addition of rooms continued for years until the castle came under Count Janos Ferenc Palffy. The count loved the romantic castles of Loire Valley and wanted to turn the fortress into his fairytale castle filled with majestic artwork, tapestries, antiquities, etc.
His vision turned Bojnice castle into an enchanting site and now one of the most visited castles in the world.
Matsumoto Castle, Matsumoto, Japan
The Ogasawara clan started construction of Matsumoto Castle in 1504 to keep the invaders at bay. A few years after its completion, it was captured by Takeda Shingen who was a powerful warlord.
The design of the castle evolved as the ownership changed over the years.
It also faced the threat of demolition around 1872 and was saved by a campaign by the locals. It earned the nickname ‘’the Crow Castle” because of its three-towered structure and black roofs and walls.
The Matsumoto Castle has been officially recognized as a national treasure of Japan as it is considered the last fully standing example of daimyos castles.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, England
Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. It has been an official royal residence for the British monarchy for over 900 years.
Its construction was initiated by William the Conqueror around 1070 and there have been a lot of renovations over the years. In 1992, over a hundred rooms were damaged in a fire and it took five years to restore it to its original state.
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Edinburgh castle is an excellent personification of nobility and authority. The royal connection can be traced back to the 12th century although archaeologists believe that the site of the castle was occupied since the Iron Age.
The Royal Palace has been reimagined as a military fortress and a residence over the years. The gilded initials “MAH” above the palace door are for Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stewart, her second husband.
Today the castle is open for guests. They can explore the ancient artifacts and different buildings of the Scottish monarchy.
These are some of the most glorious and history-rich castles in the world. Whether you are a history buff or not, you are going to have a memorable time exploring these outstanding structures. They have so much art and stories to share.