Castles have long fascinated people, the different styles, history, myths and legends which surround them offer a wealth of stories behind them. Originating in Europe over 1,000 years ago, castles were the last line in defence, these structures, erected on hills or beyond moats were built to house kings and queens, impose pose and most importantly repel would-be attackers.
Europe has hundreds of enchanting castles, all with their own unique style and history. These are five castles with a difference you must visit in Europe.
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Trosky Castle is a castle ruin in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic. It is one of the most famous castles in the country as it is located at the summit of two basalt volcanic plugs. The lower peak holds a two story structure called Baba, which stands for Old Woman, while higher outcrops holds a four sided building known as Panna (Virgin).
The nineteenth century Neuschwanstein is a fairy-tale of a castle. Set on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, the fort has tall towers and turrets. While the interior of the castle is lavishly inspired by Wagner and practically every room which is open to visitors is decorated with charm and offers stunning views.
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Europe. It holds a dominant position overlooking the city, atop a volcano. Throughout the history of Scotland Edinburgh Castle has played a vital role. Battles have raged there, royalty have lived and the castle has been used as a military base in the 1600s. The castle really does dominate Edinburgh’s skyline.
One of the most striking castles in Europe, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy is impressive. Built onto a rocky peak, it is considered by many a medieval wonder. Mont Saint-Michel was originally an abbey and is a popular destination for modern-day pilgrims. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont Saint-Michel is one of France’s most recognisable landmarks, with more than three million people visiting each year.
Another castle built into a natural rock formation is Predjama Castle in Slovenia. The remarkable Renaissance castle holds a museum which showcases the life of various medieval lords who has resided there. Re-built twice after war and natural disasters, Predjama Castle has a natural shaft which leads out of the castle.