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Ten Beautiful Castles You Can Visit

Updated on November 9, 2015

Burg Kreuzenstein

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Location: Leobendorf, Austria

Date of Origin: 12th Century

This castle boasts a dramatic history that ultimately ended in its ultimate destruction during the end of the Thirty Years War. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the Austrian Johann Nepomuk Graf Wilczek began to reconstruct Kreuzenstein into its original glory. Some of its tenants included Engelbrecht of Wasserburg, the Bohemian King George of Podiebrad, and Count Ferdinand of Hardegg. Today you can visit Kreuzenstein as part of a guided tour during the months of April to November. The tour includes an inside look at the armory, knights hall, chapel, and more.

Trakošćan Castle

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Location: Near Krapina, Croatia

Date of Origin: 13th Century

As with many castles, this Croatian landmark has a diverse history of being owned by many families. It now belongs to the Republic of Croatia itself. Because of years of neglect and the following renovations, the castle displays various phases of building. The castle is now a museum you can tour, accompanied with detailed information that welcomes visitors into an exploration of the castle’s history. The castle is complete with a kitchen, dungeon, vestibule, library, knight’s hall, family hall, courtyard, music lounge, bedrooms, dining room, gallery, and more. Some of the rooms are furnished after different period styles, including classicism, neo-renaissance, and Biedermeier. The museum also boasts an impressive collection of antique weaponry, paintings, books, furniture, and photographs.

Olavinlinna

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Location: Savolinna, Finland

Date of Origin: 15th Century

The name in Swedish (Olofsborg) literally translates to “St. Olaf’s Castle”. This castle has three towers and is the northernmost medieval stone castle that is still currently in standing condition. The initial founder of the castle was knight Erik Axelssox Tott who began the building of Olavinlinna in 1475. Like the Trakoscan Castle, a variety of architecture visible within Olavinlinna’s walls is due to the changing owners during different time periods. Nowadays the castle has a museum and certain rooms can even be rented for events.

Neuschwanstein Castle

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Location: Hohenschwangau, Germany

Date of Origin: 19th Century

One of the most popular and famous castles in the world, Neuschwanstein is the place that served as inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disneyworld and the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. But the history of this beautiful destination goes much, much deeper. The castle was built by the order of King Ludwig II of Bavaria with the intent of it becoming a personal retreat. He also commissioned it’s building as a homage to Richard Wagner, the German composer, conductor and theater director that King Ludwig much admired. The castle’s interior is breathtaking, much of it available to view during a guided tour.

Vaduz Castle

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Location: Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Date of Origin: 12th Century

The unmatched, unique beauty of Vaduz Castle lies on the graceful slope of a hillside 120 meters above the capital of Liechtenstein. Vaduz Castle’s construction began in the 12th Century and its original purpose is believed to have been as a fortress. The castle has, like most ancient fortresses, undergone various bouts of restoration. Today the castle is home to the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. They have inhabited Vaduz Castle since the late 1930's and because of this, tours of the castle are not open to visitors. However, the castle itself is visible from many points in the capital of Vaduz and touring the city offers many opportunities to discover the history behind the castle and the Princely House.

Castle of Fénis

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Location: Aosta Valley, Italy

Date of Origin: 13th and 14th Centuries

This historic, famous castle is architecturally aesthetic and visually intriguing. Its many towers no doubt add to the castle’s beauty and the many tales found behind its walls are fascinating. The exterior of the castle reflects a scene from a medieval fairytale. The interior gives a detailed glimpse into the rich and even wealthy lifestyles of its past inhabitants. The castle, built during the 13th and 14th centuries, was initially created under the direction of the prestigious Challant family. Today Fénis Castle is one of the most important contributors to Aosta Valley’s tourism. It is now owned by the Autonomous Region Aosta Valley and its museum is open to visitors.

Osaka Castle

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Location: Osaka, Japan

Date of Origin: 16th Century

Originally built at the top of a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants, Osaka Castle now overlooks the city of Osaka as one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Its unique architecture can be visually confusing—indoors, it is eight stories tall. However on the outside it stands tall at five stories. The castle, situated on fifteen acres, was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. He was prominently known during the Sengoku period of Japan as a samurai, general, warrior, daimyo, and politician. The castle was built with many defense mechanisms, making it a difficult target for attackers. After various incidents and years of continued restoration, the castle is now available to visit as a museum where visitors can learn extensively about its rich and fascinating history.

Książ

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Location: Walbrzych, Poland

Date of Origin: 13th Century

After the original location was destroyed in 1263, the Duke of Świdnica and Jawor built the new fortress during the latter part of the 13th century. The castle now stands as a breathtaking, historical attraction that fascinates locals and visitors alike. Książ is the third largest castle in Poland and is surrounded by a stunningly picturesque nature reserve. It has a diverse, unsteady history and belonged to many different owners throughout the passing centuries. Nowadays, the castle is a popular tourist attraction and offers extensive options in knowing and visiting its location. There are guided tours as well as the option to tour as an individual—without a group.

Czocha Castle

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Location: Czocha, Poland

Date of Origin: 13th Century

Also in Poland, this castle is located on Lake Leśnia and is near the Kwisa River in the village of Czocha. Its construction began in the 13th century and was built with the purpose of fortification in case of an attack. It passed through the hands of a duke, a prince, a duchess, an emperor and king, and many families. During the 20th century the castle faced a few tumultuous events until it was eventually opened to the public as a hotel in 1966. The castle/hotel is now a popular destination in Poland for history buffs and any lover of fairy tale experiences.

Castle Peleș

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Location: Sinaia, Romania

Date of Origin: 19th Century

The country of Romania itself beckons to anyone seeking an enchanted experience. The Peles Castle only adds to the majestic beauty of this European country, charmingly located within the Bucegi Mountains and the quaint town of Sinaia. The construction of the castle was commission by King Carol I of Romania and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, as a summer retreat and hunting reserve. Eventually, after a variety of events that took place during the 20th century, the castle was opened as a museum to visitors. Tourists and locals alike can now tour the museum and get an exciting glimpse into the royal lifestyle.

Where would you like to visit a castle?

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Visiting a castle can surely be an enchanting experience. From the stunning ancient architecture to their fascinating pasts, castles offer us an unforgettable glimpse into the lives of the past.

Disclaimer: When planning on visiting a castle, be sure to do your own extensive research to ensure satisfied expectations.

More Beautiful Castles Around the World

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