Nothing screams “dream vacation” like visiting a medieval castle on a high mountaintop. If you’re planning to travel to Europe, you owe it to yourself to plan around visiting one of these breathtaking castles. Today, we’re looking at three of the most visually stunning castles you can see on your next vacation.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany is an iconic structure. It’s a perfect fairytale castle, sporting soaring towers and breathtaking architecture. The castle’s two-story throne room was inspired by Byzantine churches, serving as a stunning central point for visitors to start their tour.
King Ludwig II commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle in 1869. He chose to pay for the building’s construction out of his fortune instead of spending public funds. Sadly, Ludwig passed away before the castle was completed. After he died in 1886, the building was opened to the public and has remained a popular tourist destination to this day.
Scotland is home to countless military forts and classic castles. Edinburgh Castle is the most visually impressive of them, standing high atop a hill overlooking Edinburgh. Historians believe that Scottish monarchs have inhabited a structure atop Castle Rock since at least the 12th century. The castle was repurposed as a jail for prisoners of war in the 1600s, serving as Scotland’s answer to the Tower of London.
Visitors can see numerous treasured Scottish relics when they enter Edinburgh Castle. The first they might notice is the Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, which is the coronation stone for Scottish monarchs. Tourists can also see the Scottish Crown Jewels and the castle’s traditional medieval wooden roof.
If you ever visit the UK, take the time to visit Windsor Castle in Berkshire County. It’s the longest continually-inhabited castle in Europe and one of the most iconic structures in England. It’s been the royal residence of English monarchs since the rule of William the Conqueror in the late 1000s. Charles II modernized the castle in the 1600s, adding intricate wood carvings and painted ceilings to the already-gorgeous structure.
Visitors often rave about the State Apartments, where you can see iconic pieces of artwork from the Royal Collection. The Royal Collection includes original paintings by artists like Rubens and Rembrandt. Others remark that the Waterloo Chamber is the most stunning room in the castle – it’s a massive area that commemorates the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815.