10 Most Magnificent Castles

Take a peek at these gorgeous castles that we not-so-secretly wish we could call home. Truth be told, there are hundreds of castles worldwide that deserve a visit, but we narrowed it down to just a few of our all-time favorites. We think you'll agree that they are true architectural marvels of unrivaled beauty!

1. Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany

1. Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany

 

This lovely structure was the residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, Maximilian II of Bavaria, in 1833. It sits close to the scenic town of Füssen in Southern Germany, quite close to the Austrian border. Just take in the castle against the lush green of those hills- No wonder the castle gets more than 300,000 visitors per year!

 

2. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

2. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

Now the home of a Benedictine Monastery, the castle was originally built for a wealthy London doctor named Mitchell Henry. The property was sold to the Duke and Dutchess of Manchester in1909, but after amassing considerable gambling debts, they were forced to sell the castle. The Benedictine nuns arrived around 1920 after fleeing Belgium during World War I.

3. Malbork Castle, Poland

3. Malbork Castle, Poland

Malbork Castle contains the most surface area of any other castle in the world, and it was once the largest brick building in all of Europe. One of Poland's official national Historic Monuments, It was built in 1406 by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders.

 4. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

 4. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria

This haunting beauty stands high above the Austrian town of Werfen, surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the adjacent Tennengebirge mountain range. Look familiar, movie buffs? The exterior of this 11th-century castle made an appearance in the movie Just Married.

5. Prague Castle, Czech Republic

5. Prague Castle, Czech Republic

The official residence and office of the President of the Czech Republic, this imposing structure is the largest ancient castle in the world (it occupies 70,000 square meters)! Dating all the way back to the ninth century, the castle has housed Roman emperors and kings of Bohemia alike. The Bohemian crown jewels are kept within its walls.

6. Burg Hochosterwitz, Austria

6. Burg Hochosterwitz, Austria

Believe it or not, this landmark can be seen from almost 20 miles away on a clear day! For this and other reasons, it is considered to be one of the most impressive medieval structures in Austria. It sits 520 feet high on a dolomite rock, and sections of it are open to tourists from Easter to the end of October every year.

 

7. Peleș Castle, Romania

7. Peleș Castle, Romania

This quaint, Neo-Renaissance castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania and was built between 1873 and 1914. It's official inauguration took place in 1883. Interestingly, Peleș became the world's first castle fully powered by locally produced electricity.

8. Catherine Palace, Russia

8. Catherine Palace, Russia

Okay, we kinda cheated on this one. Like Versailles in France, Catherine Palace is not exactly a castle... It's a palace. But it is just too gorgeous to leave off this list! Built in 1717, this Russian wonder used to be a summer home for the tsars. In 1752, it was redesigned in Rococo style.

9. Schwerin Castle, Germany

9. Schwerin Castle, Germany

Currently serving as the seat of the state parliament in Schwerin, Germany, this beautiful structure was a home for duchesses, dukes and grand dukes for centuries. Built between 1845 and 1857, Schwerin Castle is regarded as one of the most important architectural works of romantic historicism in Europe.

10. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

10. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

This nineteenth-century romanesque revival castle sits atop a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau, Germany. Construction of this breathtaking building was paid for by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to German composer Richard Wagner. After Ludwig died in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the paying public. It has since had over 60 million visitors.

Author: Nate Morgan