10 Special Castles Around the World to Visit Once in Your Life
Have you ever been to a castle? Are you interested in visiting one? There is one built just in one night, one became the inspiration for Disney, or one said to be the home of Dracula, etc. Whether the myth is real or not, these castles attract a lot of visitors yearly for their history and outlandish features. If you are curious about them now, let’s follow me to explore the special castles around the world!
Aït Benhaddou – Ouarzazate, Morocco
Aït Benhaddou, or Ait-Ben-Haddou, is a giant clay castle on the edge of the Sahara desert. Actually, it’s a castle-like fortification with a collective of dwellings. Inside, the fortification is consolidated by the towers at corners. This style of castle is the typical architecture of southern Morocco. Surprisingly, it’s the location of many popular movies and TV shows including “Game of Thrones,” “Gladiator”, and “The Man Who Would Be King”.
Alnwick Castle – Northumberland, England
Are you a fan of watching movies? If so, I’m sure you will love visiting this castle so much. In fact, Alnwick Castle is more famous as the setting for Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter movies. Furthermore, this ancient and massive castle has also appeared in many other hit movies, from Elizabeth to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Bran Castle – Transylvania, Romania
Bran Castle, built-in 1212, is located near Brasov, Romania, and is one of Romania’s most famous structures. This castle is often associated with the stories of Dracula. Yes, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia – aka Vlad III Dracula – is considered the prototype for the character of the vampire count in Bram Stoker’s classic novel. According to legend, the real Vlad the Third was briefly imprisoned in Bran Castle in 1462. Fans of the character can flock here to tour the legendary castle.
Jal Mahal – Jaipur, India
Located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal is like a true fairy tale. In the evening or moonlit nights, the splendid white castle reflects on the water, creating a surreal scene for the guests staying here. Interestingly, below this palace, there are also 4 secret floors, equally beautiful as the architectural wonder above.
Mont Saint Michel – Normandy, France
Mont Saint Michel castle is located on a small tidal island off the coast of Normandy, northwest of France. To reach the castle, visitors have to go through a dirt road. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions only behind the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles in France. It has about 3 million visitors yearly.
At the foot of Mont Saint Michel castle are small houses built close to each other. Above the houses are ancient monastery buildings with bold Gothic architecture built 73m solidly above sea level. At high tide, the entire surrounding area is flooded, creating a magical and unique scene.
In 1979, UNESCO recognized Mont Saint Michel as a world heritage site because of its beautiful culture, history, and Gothic architecture. You know, this is one of the ‘hottest’ castles on social media since a lot of people uploading taken photos and recorded videos of Mont Saint Michel on their pages.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Schwangau, Germany
This place was built in 1869 by Ludwig II, king of Bavaria, as a private retreat. Despite having no real power, Ludwig II maintained a romantic perspective of a king. He dreamed of living in seclusion in a large castle on top of a mountain, surrounded by art and architecture. That’s why Neuschwanstein was built.
Unfortunately, the king mysteriously drowned in 1886, before the castle was completed. Surrounded by countless green trees, the leaves turning yellow-orange in autumn, or sparkling snowflakes in winter making Neuschwanstein more romantic than ever. The castle is admired by millions of people, including Walt Disney. People believe that he created the castle in “Sleeping Beauty” at Disneyland according to its architecture.
Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle was built in the 9th century and is one of the oldest castles in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. Also, it is one of the largest ancient castles in the world with an area of nearly 70,000m2, a length of 570m, and an average width of about 130m.
The castle is a complex of buildings, watchtowers, cathedrals, and palaces. Prague Castle was a symbol of power for the kings of Bohemia, the former Roman emperor, and now the President of the Czech Republic. The Bohemian crown and scepter are still kept in a secret room at this castle.
Sunomata Castle – Gifu, Japan
Also known as Ichiya, meaning “castle built in one night”, Sunomata was built in the mid-16th century by General Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the city of Ogaki. Legend has it that this is a stronghold that was silently built in the heart of the opponent, by pre-hewing columns and pre-built walls, then moved to assemble in the night. The current castle was reconstructed in 1991, modeled after the nearby Ogaki Castle.
The Citadel of Aleppo – Aleppo, Syria
The Aleppo Citadel is one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Additionally, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The castle perches atop a hill in the old city of Aleppo. The use of the citadel dates back to 3000 BC. Nevertheless, much of the present structure is probably was built during the Ayuubid dynasty around the 12th century. In recent years, the citadel has been severely damaged during the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Tower of London – London, England
One of the most famous castles in England, the Tower of London – with the White Tower at its center – has a dark history, revolving around prison, torture, and death. Convicted people are locked up here and subject to terrible punishment. The shady beheadings and murders taking place here make the castle become an obsession. By the 19th century, this place ended its role and opened to visitors.
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I would love to travel the world one day just visiting castles! They’re so amazing. They’re beautiful and imposing.
It’s always been a dream of mine to visit a castle. How amazing would it be to visit many of them!
What an incredible list of special castles around the world. I’ve never been to a castle. But I think the Transylvania castle would be so cool. I’m a sucker for vampires.
Dr. Elise Ho
I adore the castle in the snow. I am not sure that I will get to visit it but it is absolutely beautiful.
Wow, a lot of castles to visit in the future, First on the list, I want to see the sleepign chamber of Dracula.
I have only visited one of all these, but as a lover of culture and castles which are some, especially the European ones, I have to recover them!
Solace by Rhea
it’s always been my dream to visit Mont Saint Michel, Hopefully someday when travel bans seems to be relaxed
Grasyah [Of Coffee and Crackers]
these are lovely amazing places.. but for now all I can do is wish to visit them sometime soon with my girls!
Seaside Marine Construction
Absolutely love this post! My good friends got married in a castle in Scotland and it was gorgeous. Cant wait to visit more of these.
I’ve always dreamt of visiting a castle as a child and I still do as an adult. I want to visit the ones in Germany, Czech Republics, and Syria.
There are some awesome castles in the South of Ireland and even here in North that have some dark history behind them. They would be perfect for this list.
I’m not a Disney princess and i grew up with ninja turtles but I would love to visit a Castle one day and learn about its history. I find it Fascinating.
I have been to one on your list (Prague). I’ve also been to Stirling and Bothwell. 🙂 We went to Dublin Castle but it was closed.
Wow! I want to visit all of it. The Citadel of Aleppo – Aleppo, Syria looks like Game of Thrones setting. So nice!
This is just wonderful. I particularly like that you’ve included different continents and didn’t stick exclusively to those European castles.
Sara | mshealthesteem.com
I’m saving this whole list! There’s something so exciting and magical about castles. I’d love to visit every single one!
Anosa - MyrabevLife
Indeed such astonishing castles! I would love to see all of this especially that one in Morocco, France and Russia. I only see the Tower of London yet. Looking forward to be able to see them all with my own eyes. Hopefully in the future.
I’ve always found castle to be so fascinating. I love all the history behind them, and I love all the variety. They all look so different.