There is nothing more exciting than spending time away looking around at historic castles with amazing architecture that are still standing after hundreds of years and immersing yourself in the local culture. From the way they are constructed to how architecture was once perceived, it is interesting to see how far we have come from then until today. The history and intense imagination of what was happening where you were standing centuries earlier are almost overwhelming. Europe is home to some of the most stunning castles in the world and here we are going to talk about the ones you most certainly don’t want to miss out on. So before we get into it, makes sure that you renew your EHIC because by the end of this blog you’ll be scrambling for the next flight!
The Alcazar Castle
The Alcazar of Segovia is located in Spain’s city of Segovia. This fortress is located at the peak of a rocky mountain which was originally built by the Romans; however, the foundations of the structure they built is all that remains. The first reported structure of this historic castle was built in the 10th century by King Alfonso and since then the castle has been home to a large number of royal residencies. As well as a royal palace, this castle has had many other uses further down the line including a prison, military academy, and it is now home to a museum. This castle is easily recognisable as it points out of the mountain as if it was the bow of a ship. This castle is definitely worth seeing as it really outlines the architectural genius of our ancestors.
Windsor Castle is situated within the historic town of Windsor in Berkshire, England. You may already be familiar with Windsor Castle as it is one of the only occupied castles left within Europe and is the resting place of famous royal figures such as Henry VIII, The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. This iconic piece of British history has been home to the British monarchy for over a thousand years and continues to keep this status, being a home to the Queen of England to present day. The castle was constructed in the 11th century to protect the Normans from impending invasions. This historic landmark really is a sight to behold as it takes up over 13 acres of land and is the largest inhabited castle in the whole of Europe with roughly 500 residents. This castle should definitely be on your to-do list if visiting England this year as you can purchase tours around the castle, allowing you to see it in all its magnitude.
The Hohenzollern Castle
Located on top of a hill in Berg Hohenzollern, Germany, the Hohenzollern Castle is a magnificent piece of German history. The castle was built by Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1850. To this day the castle isn’t habitable but you are able to go and visit whilst on your travels, and this stunning location has over 350,000 visitors annually. This historic landmark really captures the imagination of anyone who visits and puts into perspective the longevity of the structures our ancestors have built. In the winter months, the castle stands amongst, and even in some cases on top of, the clouds to give it an even more dominating appearance.
When looking for places to go abroad, visiting castles across Europe is definitely worth looking into. Each castle is unique and comes with its own fascinating history that will only draw you in further. From royalty to the military there is history within the walls of every castle you visit. So, next time you’re debating a family trip, keep these castles in mind for something interesting to explore for all the family!