Over the years, European Castles have been a favorite destination, as they hide innumerable stories in their walls that excite our imagination. Of all the Castles in Europe, Ι chose to present to you 10 which I believe that are extremely impresive but not so famous – or may I say: not so touristic! – as many others. Here we go:
The enchanting 19th Century Castle is located on the southwest side of Bavaria, Germany. Built by Louis II of Bavaria, who wanted to rest somewhere away from the bustle of winter palaces. The Castle was opened to the public immediately after King’s death in 1886 and, since then, it has been visited by more than 61 million people. It has inspired Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” Castle and has been a stage for many films, such as “The Great Escape”.
The Castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, Romania, on the road that opened in the Middle Ages to connect Transylvania with Wallachia. It was built from 1873 to 1914, but the inauguration took place in 1883. When King Charles the 1st visited the place, he was fascinated by that spot and he decided to build the Castle as a hunting lodge, where members of the Royal Family, their nobles and other guests could spend their summer vacation. The Castle was the first in the world to be electrically powered by local power generation.
It is a Medieval Castle with Gothic and Renaissance elements, which built in 12th Century and is located in Slovakia. His first owner was the Hungarian Oligarch Matthew III Csák, who took the Castle from King Ladislaus on the 5th, in 1302. Eventually, the Castle remained in the property of the Thurzó Family, who was the richest family in the Kingdom of Hungary but with the establishment of Communism in 1945, it passed into the hands of the State. Today, it’s a major tourist destination for those who visit the country while, around the Castle, is located the famous zoo of Bojnice.
This Castle was built in the late 15th Century by Don Alonso de Fonseca, the archbishop of Seville during the Reign of Enrique the 5th of Castile. It is located in the Province of Segovia and is open all year round. The Castle id surrounded by a moat and presents many architectural elements of the Saracens of Spain. The area, where it was located, was of particular strategic importance to the King of Castile.
It is located on the Isle of Arran, a small island opposite Brodick Harbor, Scotland. Previously, at the same spot, there was a fortress dating back to the 5th Century, but the area began to be attacked by Gaels. In the 10th Century, after the first Viking raids, the fortress was strengthened and the Castle was gradually built, which constituted an extremely important place of defense for the Scots against hostile forces. In the 17th Century, the Castle remained in the hands of Duke Hamilton and his family until mid-1950, when the last descendant decided not to use it as a country home anymore. Then, the National Trust for Scotland took it and now anyone can visit it during the summer months.
The Castle is located in Croatia and started to be built in the 12th Century. Most of it was built in the 16th Century by a Hungarian family, the Ráttkay Family, and it features a characteristic architectural pentagonal Tower. Today, it operates as an Ethnographic Museum, the collection of which includes items of everyday use, as well as wartime equipment of the Middle Ages.
It is located near the Predjama Village, an area of particular historic importance, in Slovenia. It features Renaissance Architecture and is built at the entrance of a cave. The Castle was originally the seat of the Knight Erazem Lueger, son of the Governor of Trieste. According to the legend, Lueger came to a conflict with the Habsburgs when he killed the head of the Imperial Army of the Region. So, he began to attack against to Regions that the Empire wanted. The Castle was destroyed in a siege against to Lueger. Many years later, it was rebuilt and sold successively to various affluent families until it ended up in the property of the Yugoslav State in 1945. A small tunnel runs through the cave, which communicates with the edge of the cliff and which has been used many times for hidden supplies.
It is located in West Wales, near the homonymous river. Arnulf of Montgomery built the first Castle in the area in the 11th Century to protect the coasts from the Viking Raids. In the 12th Century, William Marshal took over the Castle and he built the most parts of it. Since then, much of British History has been unwinded around and through that Castle. For example, Margaret Beaufort gave birth to Pembroke Henry the 7th, who became the King of England in 1485. It is a highly complex building that includes many tunnels, stairs and secret passages but is kept in an excellent condition.
It is located in the Polish town of Malbork and is the largest castle in the world. It was built by Teutonic Knights and it first took the name “Marienburg”, which means “the Castle of Mary”, as it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1466, the Castle became part of Prussia and many of the Nobles lived in it. Its architecture is Gothic and in 1406, when the first phase of its construction was completed, it was the world’s largest castle which made by bricks.
It is located in Poland and was built in the late 13th Century. Its original fortification was destroyed by the Raids of Ottokar II of Bohemia. Duke Bolko the 1st, began the rebuilding of the new Castle, which was passed into the hands of his son and later to King Wenceslaus the 4th of Bohemia. After many changes in ownership, as well as minor and major disasters, he passed into the hands of the Hoberg Family, along with the surrounding area. In 1944, the Nazis seized the Castle but the Red Army released it a year later.