1. The Swallows Nest Castle in Ukraine
Built in 1912, this castle is on the cliffs of the Crimean peninsula in south Ukraine and overlooks the Black Sea. It's also called the Castle of Love, but no one knows if that's love for a woman or perhaps for the beautiful country. The land plot was given to a brace warrior and he built this castle. He remained quiet and anonymous during the rest of his life, while he lived in the castle. After he died, it turned into a tourist attraction. It's actually quite small. It has two floors and a few rooms. One of those rooms were turned into an Italian restaurant. It has had several rescue projects to save it from sliding into the sea.
2. Marienburg Castle in Germany
Originally this castle was built by King George V and he gave it to his wife as a token of his love. This castle is embedded deep in the Calenberger Land. It has 160 rooms, a chapel, a horse stable, a glorious library, and lookout tours. The castle is now in the possession of the original owners great-great-great grandson and the main tower is open to tourists for tours.
3. Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.
I toured this castle when I was in Scotland and it was amazing. Probably one of my favorite parts of my Europe trip.The oldest building, St. Margaret's chapel was built around 1130 by David I. It was both a military fortress and a royal residence. People have lived here for well over 2,000 years. Edinburgh castle is home to the stone of Destiny which was an inauguration stone, Mons meg this is a large, medieval cannon which defended the castle years ago the cannonballs it fired are ginormous, the national war museum of Scotland, the Scottish national war memorial, prisons of wars, The great Hall built in the 1600's, a panoramic view of Edinburgh, and Britains Crown Jewels. Where do I even start with the history of this place? For starters it is way, way older than America. In fact it has over a thousand years worth of history. Tensions between the Scottish and the British centered around the castle. For centuries the Scottish had it, lost it, got it back, over and over again. The David's Tower is also home to the infamous Black Dinner, which inspired a Game of Thrones episode. It was used to store prisoners of war. My sister has a picture of an American flag that was graffitied by a prisoner of the Revolutionary War into one of the doors. It's also home to the Jacobite Risings, execution of Charles I, Mary queen of scots was held here until she was executed, and where witches were burned at the stake. It has a colorful history to say the least. Now it has a sports stadium just outside the castle. Today huge sporting events take place in that stadium and they light fireworks off the towers of the castle.
4. Bran Castle also known as Dracula's Castle.
This picture is especially fitting. The castle is called Dracula's castle because the man who came up with Dracula, used the castle as his character's home. The character, Dracula is often mixed up with Vlad the Impaler, who was a real person. Although, Vlads fathers name was Dracula. If you are at all squeamish, skip this paragraph. He was a Wallachian prince whose own castle is now in ruins. He was depicted as a bloodthirsty, ruthless despot because it's mostly true. During his youth, he was denied power so he would impale people to send a message. He slaughtered whoever was against him having power. His victims were still alive when they were impaled, and it took about ten minutes for them to bleed out. Although it was probably the longest ten minutes of their life. Vlad the Impaler never lived there except when he was prisoner. He was a truly sadistic man. Impaling people wasn't enough. He enjoyed torturing people in general. Saving the worst torture for women, worst of the worst torture was saved for pregnant women.
5. Alnwick Castle in the U.K
Yes, this is the castle that was used for filming the Harry Potter books also the Downton Abbey Castle. I also saw this castle when I was Europe. I didn't actually walk through this castle but we drove right by it. The people who own this castle complain all the time about Harry Potter fans taking pictures, but if you go to the castle, there are signs everywhere saying it's the Hogwarts castle.At this spot, there has been a castle for a thousand years. For 700 years, it was been home to the Percy family, today its home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. It remains one of the largest and inhabited castles in the U.K. The keep is the center of the house. It's complete with chambers, dining hall, kitchen, and even a dungeon. It's been renovated many times, but today it is decorated in Italian and Medieval style, that it was originally decorated in.
6. Eilean Donan in Scotland.
First built in the early thirteenth century, it was used as a defense system from the Vikings. Over time, it expanded in size. It played an important role in the Jacobite risings of the 17th and 18th century which led it to its destruction. It stayed in ruins for 200 years until Farquar Macrae bought the land. He dedicated 20 years to restoring the castle to its original glory. The castle was completely rebuilt in 1932.
7. Toyama Castle in Japan
It's suspected that the castle was built around 1543 by Mizukoshi Katsushige. Despite major rescue efforts and refurbishments, parts were lost from fires and earthquakes. It is now surrounded by a beautiful park and maintained by the Japanese government.
8. Malahide Castle in Ireland
This castle was built in 1185 and for 800 years, the Talbot family called it home. The castle was enlarged during the reign of Edward IV. The Talbot family were a very influential family and they carefully maneuvered the idea of Church and the State. In the 14th century, they added a coat of arms bearing a lion and a hound and their motto was Brave and Faithful. While the baron Talbot lay on his deathbed, he gave the house to his sister. She then sold it to the Irish state. Some of the antiques in the house were sold off, which created huge controversy all of this was to fund off of her inheritance. Some stuff was retrieved though.
9. Kylemore Abbey Castle in Ireland
The couple who lived here had a dream to build their perfect castle since they honeymooned here. It has 21 greenhouses and a large Victorian garden. A few years after it was done being built, the wife's owner died, her husband was overcome with grief, so he built a church for her in Neo-Gothic style. She was buried there and he would later joined her. After her death, he went deeply into debt and sold the house. During the First World War, the castle was destroyed and needed to be restored after the war. In 1920 nuns who were fleeing Belgium, established it as a Benedictine monastery. Due to local donations and charities, it's kept in good shape.
10. Drachenburg Castle in Germany
This is a mixture of a villa, mansion, and palace. Baron Stephen Von Sarter wrote the original plans for the house, and his team of architects revised it. Unfortunately he died right when the foundation was finished. His nephew bought the estate and demolished the foundation and had the property turned into a tourist resort in Swedish style architecture. On the very bottom level, there is a restaurant and art was displayed and sold here. People have sold and bought the place for years. Right now, the German government listed it as a monument and is still used for tourists.
11. Alcazar Castle in Spain
Originally built as a military fortress, it has served as a royal palace, state prison, Royal Artillery College, and a military academy. It is rumored that Walt Disney used this castle as inspiration for Cinderella's castle in Disneyland. Again just a rumor. The inspiration for Cinderella's castle goes to a different castle. The castle itself has some Islamic influences over its architecture. In fact the name, Alcazar stems from the Islamic word, Al'qasr meaning fortress. It also has Gothic, Romanesque, and Moorish influences. The first building of the castle was built in the 1200's. The next building activity was in the mid 1500's. It has two main courtyards. A large one and another small courtyard. It also has a large room called The hall of Kings. Which also has 52 paintings of Spanish monarchs and statuettes.
12. Rock of Cashel in Ireland
The hill itself has been occupied since the fourth century, because it was considered the home of the Kings of Munster. Along with being called the Rock of Cashel, it's also called Cashel of the Kings. In the early 12th century it became a major Christian center because Muirchertach O Brian, gave it to the Church. It's covered with Romanesque detailing along with Gothic. It includes a church, a sarcophagus of Cormac himself, the person buried with him is either his brother or his predecessor. It also has a graveyard, a friary, and an Abbey. Inside the churches chapel are paintings and drawing that date to the 11th century.
13. Guaita castle in San Marino.
Guaita is actually more of a fortress. It was built in the 11th century and has briefly served as a prison. It mainly consists of the central tower named Guaita, two other towers named Cesta and Montale, and two rings of surrounding walls. San Marino is the fifth smallest country in the world, it is surrounded by Italy. The entire country has 30,000 people and was founded in 301 AD by Christians fleeing persecution. This means it's the worlds oldest surviving republic. It's always had a stance of neutrality from the Napoleonic wars, World Wars, and basically every way since it's founding, may have something to do with its longevity and serenity.
14. Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
This is the castle that gets the honor of being the inspiration to Cinderella's castle. The castle was originally owned by King Ludwig, who was arrogant arrogant to believe that he was entitled to a castle fit for a monarch. He destroyed the economy of Bavaria trying to build this place. He died before it was finished, the new government immediately halted construction so they could turn into a tourist attraction to fix their economy. King Ludwig descended to the throne when he was 18 in the year 1864. He was a terrible king and two years later, Prussia conquered Bavaria. Authorities arrested him in 1886 and said he was mentally unfit to be king. Two days later he was found dead and floating in a lake.
15. Burg Liechtenstein in Austria
The castle was the seat of the Lichtenstein dynasty until 1295 when it was passed to the Lords of Stadek, because it was part of the deal under a marriage contract. Over the 14th century, the castle expanded to its full length. In the 16th century it was expanded again because it was owned by high ranking officials. In 1807, Prince Johann Josef I of Lichtenstein owned it and it has remained in his families possession ever since. The castle always had a Romanesque style and it stays true to that today. It's regarded as one of the few 12th century, Romanesque castles that is still in existence. It even has a chapel that is open to prayer and does services.