The Most Breathtaking Castles in the World

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With such a wealth of astonishing places to discover, castles across the world remain a hugely popular draw with locals and visitors alike. 

The list of world's top castles includes such wonders as Neuschwanstein Castle, the Alcazar of Segovia and Balmoral. For those who wish to delve deeper into forts and fortresses across the globe other unique sites to explore include amazing locations like Bodiam Castle, Caerlaverock and Schwerin Castle.

The list of world castles is as varied as it is long and contains everything from world famous fortresses to hidden strongholds and ruined castles which are now but a shadow of their former glory. Small wonder then that the castles of the world are some of the most popular historic sites on the planet.

The list of castles of the world is immense and can be fascinating to visit. Nowadays, castle enthusiasts can explore castles in many different countries. Wherever your travels take you, we've compiled a fantastic selection of the Most Breathtaking Castles in the World with our our top ten castles to visit followed by a few hidden gems you won't want to miss.


 

Where can you find the world's best castles?

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

A fairy-tale castle built for an introverted and reclusive king, Neuschwanstein Castle’s idyllic mountainous setting attracts millions of tourists. Rather than being a copy of any specific medieval castle, Neuschwanstein is an excellent example of historicism and combines many different architectural and decorative motifs, culminating in this beautiful, idealistic and extravagant monument to ‘Mad’ King Ludwig and justifying its position as one of the most photographed buildings in the world. The many rooms inside the castle reflect Ludwig’s passion for medieval kingship, such as the Throne Hall, which through its depiction of medieval poets and sagas exalts Christian kingship and absolute monarchy. Today, Neuschwanstein boasts over one million visitors a year making it one of the most heavily visited castles in Europe.

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2. Alcazar of Segovia

The Alcazar of Segovia is an imposing medieval fortress which embodies much of what one would consider to be the ideal vision of a fairytale castle, complete with picturesque turrets and cliff-top location. Having started life as an Arab fort, in the thirteenth century, the Alcazar of Segovia made the transition from military stronghold to palatial residence and was slowly renovated in a gothic style, with further changes made in the sixteenth century. The interior of the Alcazar of Segovia doesn’t disappoint and visitors can tour this magnificent site as well as climbing to its towers for great views of the town.

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3. Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle has been the official Highlands home of the British royal family since the reign of Queen Victoria. Having fallen in love with the Highlands after their first visit in 1842, it was in fact Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who built Balmoral Castle between 1853 and 1856. Today, parts of Balmoral Castle and its grounds are open to the public, with audio guides available (included in the admission price) detailing the workings of the estate and its history. There are also a series of exhibitions at Balmoral Castle related to the royal family.

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4. Bodiam Castle

Perhaps one of the world’s most picturesque castles, Bodiam Castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in 1385 and is now a popular tourist attraction operated by the National Trust. The castle itself, of quadrangular design, is characterised by a great moat and courtyard. The living quarters were built into the walls, which surround an open courtyard. Today, visitors are invited to explore this beatiful castle and its surrounding grounds. Families and school children are also welcome, and there are a wide range of events and activities taking place throughout the year. For a full calendar of events check out the National Trust Bodiam Castle events page.

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5. Caerlaverock Castle

Caerlaverock Castle is an impressive a medieval fortress which stands out for its unique triangular design and picturesque location, ensuring it ranks among Scotland’s most remarkable castles. Today Caerlaverock stands in the centre of picturesque countryside and the surrounding land is even protected and celebrated for its natural beauty. The imposing moat, once a fearsome deterrent to attackers and important strategic tool against the undermining of enemies, is now a highlight for visitors and a stunning site all year round – reflecting the glistening sunlight in summer or laced with ice and snow during the winter months. A trip to Caerlaverock offers a lesson in siege warfare and there are many interesting reconstructions of medieval siege engines; exciting educational tools that instantly transport visitors to the battlefield. For families, there’s a castle-themed adventure park to provide extra entertainment for children, ensuring there always lots to see and do at Caerlaverock!

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6. Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle is a picturesque palace which seemingly floats upon Schwerin Lake. Whilst it is thought that there was a fort on this location as early as the tenth century, the beginnings of Schwerin Castle date back to 1160, when Henry the Lion built a castle there. It was only from around 1843 that Schwerin Castle began to take the form we see today. Vast renovation of the building took place, with only some of its older parts having been kept. Schwerin is now both the seat of the local government and an art museum displaying pieces ranging from the ancient to the twentieth century. Some of the most important pieces at Schwerin’s museum are its seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish paintings.

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7. Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte in Italy is a medieval palace originally built as a hunting lodge by the Emperor Frederick II and later used as his seat of power. With its set of perfectly octagonal towers, it was also a great example of symmetry in medieval building. The castle is not only extremely well defended, with thick limestone walls, but it blends the influences of the cultures to which Frederick II had been exposed and had learned about. After the death of Frederick II, the fortress served primarily as a stronghold and military base until the nineteenth century. Visitors to Castel del Monte can tour its two floors. Much of the original splendour, such as its marble walls, has now disappeared, but traces appear here and there.

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8. Coburg Castle

Close to the Itz River around 100km north of Nuremberg is Coburg Castle, the former seat of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and one of Germany’s largest and most impressive surviving medieval fortress complexes. Dominating the town of Coburg in Upper Franconia, it was first mentioned as ‘Koburk’ in a document from 1056 and the self-styled ‘Fränkische Krone’ or Franconian Crown is both a stunning castle as well as being home to one of the most important art and cultural history collections in Germany. Today, visits to the castle take in centuries’ worth of architecture and meticulous restoration and highlights include the Heated Stone Chamber, the Memorial Room, the 19th century Lutherkapelle and the Bear Enclosures. There are works by old German masters Cranach, Dürer, Grünewald and Holbein; stunning collections of Venetian glassware and sculptures from prolific 15th and 16th century sculptor and woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider.

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9. Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle was originally constructed as a fortification in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur, a lord under William the Conqueror. In 1278, Leeds Castle took on a different role, as a royal palace to King Edward I, who expanded it, adding further elements such as an impressive barbican. Today, Leeds Castle is a leisure facility, housing an aviary and a maze along with a dog collar museum. Guided tours are available for groups and schools and audio tours are also available.

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10. Carcassonne

Carcassonne, known as “La Cite” is a fortified town in southern France whose important strategic position between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic led to it being inhabited since before the Ancient Roman era. Throughout its history, Carcassonne has been considered untouchable. Even before its walls were built it was the subject of two failed sieges in the thirteenth century and, during the Hundred Years’ War, an attack was never even attempted. There is much to see at Carcassonne, including its incredible double fortified 3 km walls and 52 towers. There are audio guided tours of the majestic citadel and visitors can explore the cathedral, both built by the then ruling Trencavels.

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Full list of World Castles

As well as these more famous entries, we’ve scoured the archives to showcase an in-depth list of 240 forts and fortresses across the globe including more hidden sites such as Qasr Bashir, Krak des Chevaliers and Citadel of Salah Ed-Din. This list of The Most Breathtaking Castles in the World covers a number of impressive sites to visit and you can view the current selection below.

Aalborghus Castle

Aalborghus Castle is a sixteenth century castle in northern Denmark. Read More

Acton Burnell Castle

The picturesque Acton Burnell Castle is a ruined English fortified Manor near Shrewsbury. Read More

Aguilar Castle

The Château d'Aguilar is a 12th-century castle, one of the so-called Cathar castles, the design of which witnesses the practical military thinking of the 12th century. It is located in the commune of Tuchan in the Aude département of France. Read More

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Ajlun Castle

A grand medieval castle commissioned by Saladin, Ajlun Castle is an excellent example of Ayyubid-era fortifications which is now a tourist attraction and museum. Read More

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress has been a vital stronghold and royal residence in Oslo since the 14th century. Read More

Alanya Castle

With Hellenistic foundations, this magnificent Seljuk ruin sits atop a 250m high peninsular overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Read More

Alanya Citadel

Part of Alanya Castle, the Citadel (or Ickale) dates back to the 6th century and offers magnificent views. Read More

Alcazaba Fortress

The Alcazaba Fortress in Merida was a defensive structure built in the middle of the ninth century. Read More

Alencon Castle

The Castle of the Dukes of Alencon is an 14th century Norman fortress located in the French city of Alencon in Normandy. Read More

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Alnwick Castle

Ever wanted to head to Hogwarts? Why not visit Alnwick Castle? This historic site in Northumberland is home to the Harry Potter Franchise and is one of the largest castles in England. Read More

Amalienborg Slot

Amalienborg Slot is an eighteenth century royal palace in north Copenhagen. Read More

Anadolu Hisari

Anadolu Hisari was built by the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid I in 1395. Read More

Andone Castle

The Andone Castrum is a ruined fortification in Villejoubert, Charente, France and dates from the 11th century. The site was occupied by an Iron Age necropolis, and then by a Gallo-Roman villa which was abandoned in the 4th century. Read More

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Arques Castle

The Château d'Arques is a ruined 14th-century castle in the commune of Arques in the Aude département of France. It is one of the so-called Cathar castles. The castle consists of an enceinte and a high square keep with four turrets. It was built after Albigensian Crusade of the 13th century on lands given to Pierre de Voisins, one of Simon de Montfort's lieutenants. Read More

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Arques-la-Bataille Castle

​The picturesque Arques-la-Bataille Castle is a ruined 12th century fortress built on a rocky promontory overlooking the eponymous city in Normandy, France. Read More

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Arsuf

Perhaps one of the lesser known castles of the world, Arsuf is an amazing Crusader castle once occupied by the Knights Hospitaller. Read More

Arundel Castle

Ranking high on any list of castles of the world, the 11th century Arundel Castle is the historic home of the Dukes of Norfolk and has been continually occupied and renovated over the centuries. Read More

Arzens Castle

The Château d'Arzens is a castle in the commune of Arzens in the Aude département of France. The castle dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. Read More

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Ashby Castle

Ashby Castle was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War. Read More

Baba Vida Fortress

The Baba Vida Fortress is hailed as one of the most - if not actually the most - well-preserved medieval castles in Bulgaria. Read More

Babelsberg Castle

Babelsberg Castle is a picturesque 19th century Gothic castle which boasts stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Read More

Bagras Fortress

Orignally a Byzantine castle, Bagras was later occupied by the powerful Crusader force the Kinghts Templar. Read More

Baimaguan Fort

Baimaguan Fort is a fort in the village of Fanzipai north of Beijing and close to the Great Wall of China. It was built in the period of the Yongle emperor (1402-1424) of the Ming Dynasty. Read More

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Bamburgh Castle

One of many castles around the world with a rich history, Bamburgh Castle is a grand structure which looms high upon a crag overlooking the coast of Northumberland. Read More

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle contains the ruins of a Norman stronghold which was later owned by Richard III. Read More

Barryscourt Castle

Barrycourt Castle is a medieval tower built by the major branch of the Barry family in Cork in the 16th Century. Read More

Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle was to be the largest of King Edward’s iron ring of castles intended to encircle Wales. Read More

Belvoir Fortress

Once a stronghold of the powerful Knights Hospitallers, Belvoir was located at a key strategic location and dominated the local area. Read More

Berat

Berat is a popular historic town in Albania containing an impressive 13th century castle as well as interesting museums. Read More

Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle was originally built nearly 1,000 years ago, but since then has undergone a number of changes and has been the site of many interesting – and sometimes bloody – events. Read More

Berkhamsted Castle

Berkhamsted Castle was a medieval stronghold, the ruins of which lie in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Read More

Berwick Castle

Berwick Castle was a medieval castle, the ruins of which are located in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland. Read More

Biron Castle

The 12th century Château de Biron is a castle in the valley of Lède in the commune of Biron in the Dordogne département of France. Biron was seized by the Cathars in 1211 and retaken by Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester the following year. The Plantagenets held it at times during the 14th and 15th centuries. Read More

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Bishop's Waltham Palace

The ruins of the medieval Bishop’s Waltham Palace can be seen in Hampshire. Read More

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a fifteenth century stone castle Cork, Ireland and home to the mysterious Blarney Stone. Read More

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle is a 15th century citadel built by Christian knights and houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Read More

Bojnice Castle

One of the oldest castles in the world, Bojnice Castle is said to be Slovakia's most romantic castle, and has a history dating to the twelth century. Read More

Boldogko Castle

Boldogko Castle is a picturesque medieval palace in Hungary. Read More

Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle was once the site of a medieval fortress before its replacement with an ornate 17th century manor house modelled on a small castle. Now run by English Heritage. Read More

Bonaguil Castle

Château de Bonaguil is a castle in the French commune of Saint-Front-sur-Lémance. The castle was the last of the fortified castles. It was built in the 13th century, but was entirely restructured at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries. Read More

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Bonnetière Castle

The Château de la Bonnetière is a former castle and now a château situated in the commune of La Chaussée in the Vienne département of France. Its origin goes back to the 13th century. Formerly a fortress, the château formed part of the defence system of the Sénéchaussée of Loudunais. Read More

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Bonneval Castle

The Château de Bonneval is a castle in the commune of Coussac-Bonneval in the Haute-Vienne département of France. A fortress has existed here since at least 930, as is shown by a stone bearing that date in the masonry of the entrance tower. Read More

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Borgholm Castle

Borgholm Castle is a picturesque ruined medieval castle on the Swedish island of Öland which is now a popular tourist attraction. Read More

Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle is a ruined medieval stronghold near Glasgow which played a role in the Wars of Independence. Read More

Bourdeilles Castle

The Château de Bourdeilles is a castle located in the commune of Bourdeilles in the Dordogne département in southwestern France. A castle may have existed at Bourdeilles in the 9th century, but the oldest parts of the current castle date from the early 14th century. Read More

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Bran Castle

Oddly linked to the myth of Dracula, Bran Castle is an impressive medieval fortification in Romania which actually has very little to do with the famous vampire legend. Still worth a visit though. Read More

Braunfels Castle

Braunfels Castle is a beautifully picturesque medieval castle which towers above the Lahn valley. Highlights include the museum and Knight’s Hall which showcase collections of weaponry, armour, art, sculpture and medieval furniture. Read More

Bricquebec Castle

​The Château de Bricquebec is a castle in the Manche département of France. Originally built in the 10th or 11th centuries the fortress was completely rebuilt in the 14th century and later altered in the 16th century. Read More

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Broughton Castle

Situated on the border of Oxfordshire, Broughton Castle is surrounded by a three acre moat, and set amongst the scenic parkland of Broughton park. Read More

Buda Castle

One of the biggest castles in the world, Buda Castle is a vast palace in Budapest’s Castle Quarter housing a series of museums including the National Gallery. Read More

Burg Rheinfels

Among the more picturesque of the world’s castles, Burg Rheinfels was an imposing medieval fort, the dramatic ruins of which lie in St Goar in Germany. Read More

Burgkloster

The Burgkloster was a medieval monastery turned poorhouse, court and Nazi prison. Read More

Byblos

Byblos is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, as attested by the incredibly diverse ages of its ruins. Read More

Caen Castle

The Château de Caen is a Norman built around 1060 by William the Conqueror. Today, the castle serves as a museum that houses the Museum of Fine Arts of Caen, the Museum of Normandy and the Exchequer of Normandy. Read More

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Caer Gybi

Caer Gybi hosts the remains of a small Roman fort and naval base which formed part of the local Roman defences of the area in the latter Roman Empire period. Read More

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Caernarfon Castle

One of many castles of the world that is now popular with tourists, Caernarfon Castle is a stunning medieval stronghold in Wales built by Edward I. Read More

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is a vast thirteenth century Anglo-Norman stronghold built to defend against Welsh prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Certainly ranking high among any list of the most picturesque castles of the world. Read More

Camber Castle

Camber Castle is a vast sixteenth century fortification built by Henry VIII. Read More

Cardiff Castle

One of the oldest castles in the world, Cardiff Castle is a medieval complex with a diverse history dating back to the Romans. Read More

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman-built fortification which was in continual use as a military stronghold for over 700 years. Today a number of exhibitions about the history of the castle and the local area are on show within the castle itself. Read More

Carrouges Castle

​Carrouges Castle is a 14th century fortress château located in Normandy, France. It is unusual in its combination of an austere fortress with a comfortable residence. Read More

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Castel Sant Angelo

Castel Sant Angelo was the tomb of the Roman Emperor Hadrian later used as a fort. Read More

Castell de Bellver

Castell de Bellver is a striking fourteenth century citadel near Palma in Majorca. Read More

Castello di San Michele

Castello di San Michele is a medieval fortress turned luxury home, hospital and museum. Read More

Castelnaud-la-Chapelle Castle

The Château de Castelnaud is a medieval fortress in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, overlooking the Dordogne River in Périgord, southern France. It was erected to face its rival, the Château de Beynac. The oldest documents mentioning it date to the 13th century. Read More

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Castelo de Almourol

The Castle of Almourol is a medieval castle built by the Knights Templar on an islet in the Tagus River. Read More

Castelo dos Mouros

One of the oldest castles in the world, Castelo dos Mouros is a picturesque ruined castle with a history dating back to the eighth century. Read More

Castelvecchio Museum

Castelvecchio Museum and Fortress is a 14th century medieval castle which now hosts a fine art gallery and museum. Read More

Castillo de Chapultepec

Chapultepec Castle was once the home of Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and now houses Mexico’s National History Museum Read More

Castillo de San Andres

Castillo de San Andres is the pretty ruin of an eighteenth, perhaps seventeenth, century fortification in Tenerife. Read More

Castillo de San Jose

Castillo de San Jose is a dramatic cliff-top eighteenth century fort built to protect Lanzarote’s main port from pirate attacks. Read More

Castillo de San Marcos

The Castillo de San Marcos is a 17th century fortification and the oldest of its type in the continental United States. Read More

Castle Acre Priory

Castle Acre Priory was an eleventh century monastery dissolved by King Henry VIII. Read More

Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo is an early 20th century country home constructed in the style of a mediaeval castle. This impressive building is now owned by the National Trust and open to visitors. Read More

Castle Howard

This impressive stately home nestled in Yorkshire has been the home of the Howard family since its construction in 1699. Read More

Castle Keep

Castle Keep in Newcastle upon Tyne is one of the city’s most famous attractions and one of the best preserved Norman fortifications in the country. Read More

Castle Rising

Castle Rising is a ruined Norman fortification in Norfolk which was once home to Queen Isabella, widow of Edward II and mother of Edward III. Read More

Castle Ward

Castle Ward is an eccentric 18th century mansion overlooking Strangford Lough in County Down, Northern Ireland but it is better known to Game of Thrones fans as Winterfell. Read More

Castle of Collioure

The Château Royal de Collioure is a massive French royal castle in the town of Collioure, a few kilometers north of the Spanish border in the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. The first mention is about a fortified site in Collioure under siege in 673, by Wamba, king of the Visigoths who lay siege to the “Castellum Caucolibéri” to subdue a rebellion. Read More

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Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Read More

Castle of the Knights - Kos

The Castle of the Knights in Kos was the one of the fortifications of the Knights Hospitaller. Read More

Chambois Castle

​Chambois Castle is an impressive 12th century Norman fortress located in Normandy, France. While strictly speaking only the castle keep survives it remains an impressive structure. Read More

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Chambonneau Castle

The Château de Chambonneau is a castle in the commune of Gizay in the Vienne département of France that still shows good parts of the original ‘chateau-fort’. The original castle dates from the time of Philippe VI, the beginning of the 14th century. The present château dates between 1335 and 1609. Read More

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Chateau d'Ivry-la-Bataille

Chateau d'Ivry-la-Bataille is a ruinous Norman castle in Normandy, France. It is among the earliest examples of a stone donjon or keep, which would become a common feature of later Norman castles in various parts of Europe. The construction of the castle dates to around 1000 AD. Read More

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Chateau d'Orcher

Chateau d'Orcher is a castle in the commune of Gonfreville-l'Orcher in Normandy France. Built to protect the mouth of the River Seine, it includes an imposing square crenellated tower. Read More

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Chateau de Chillon

Castle Chillon is a beautiful fort using Lake Geneva and a moat created between a small island and the mainland for defense. Read More

Chateau de Gisors

​Chateau de Gisors is a castle in the town of Gisors in Normandy, France. The castle was a key fortress of the Dukes of Normandy in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was intended to defend the Anglo-Norman Vexin territory from the King of France. Read More

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Chateau de Gratot

​The Château de Gratot is a ruined 14th century medieval castle in the commune of Gratot in Normandy, France. Read More

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Chateau de Prangins

Chateau de Prangins is an 18th century French style castle and home to one of the branches of the Swiss National Museum. Read More

Chateau de Regneville

​Chateau de Regnéville is a ruined medieval castle in Normandy, France. The fortress was founded in the 12th century and the major remains date from the 14th century. Read More

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Chateau de Robert le Diable

Chateau de Robert le Diable is a French feudal castle from the time of the Dukes of Normandy. It is situated at Moulineaux, near Rouen, in the département of Seine-Maritime at the side of the A13 autoroute. Read More

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Château d'Agonac

The Château d'Agonac is a former castle, converted into a château, in the commune of Agonac in the Dordogne département of France. The early fort, Castrum Agoniacum, residence of the Bishops of Périgueux, was erected around 980. Read More

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Château d'Agonac

The Château d'Agonac is a former castle, converted into a château, in the commune of Agonac in the Dordogne département of France. The early fort, Castrum Agoniacum, residence of the Bishops of Périgueux, was erected around 980. Read More

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Château d'Airvault

The Château d'Airvault is a medieval castle situated in the French commune of Airvault in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is considered to be "one of the rare remaining specimens of military architecture of the 11th century". Read More

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Château d'Angles-sur-l'Anglin

The Château d'Angles-sur-l'Anglin is a ruined castle in the commune of Angles-sur-l'Anglin in the Vienne département of France. It dates originally from the 12th century, with significant alterations and additions in the 15th century. Read More

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Château de Barbezieux

The Château de Barbezieux is a castle situated in the commune of Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire, in the Charente département of France. It dates from 1453, though an earlier castle, of which no trace remains, stood on the site from the early 11th century. Read More

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Château de Beaulon

The Château de Beaulon is a château—castle located in the town of Saint Dizant du Gua, near the southwestern coast in the Charente-Maritime Department of the Poitou-Charentes region, in France. The château was built circa 1480 as a residence for the Bishops of Bordeaux. Read More

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Château de Beauville

​The Château de Beauville is a castle consisting of a late 16th century home which has a wing whose foundations date from the old castle at the end of the 13th century. Read More

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Château de Beynac

The 12th century Château de Beynac is a castle situated in the commune of Beynac-et-Cazenac, in the Dordogne département of France. The castle is one of the best-preserved and best known in the region. Read More

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Château de Bity

The Château de Bity is a château in Sarran, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The château was re-built in the 17th century after it burned down in 1579. Read More

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Château de Conches-en-Ouche

​The Castle of Conches-en-Ouche is a ruined fortress in Normandy which was largely demolished in the 16th century. The castle was classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture in 1886. Read More

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Château de Courcy

​The Château de Courcy is a ruined castle typical of 12th-13th century military architecture. Very little survives today. Read More

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Château des Milandes

Built by François de Caumont around 1489, the Château des Milandes is a manor house in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle in the Dordogne département of France. Read More

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Châteauneuf-sur-Epte Castle

​The ruined castle of Châteauneuf-sur-Epte is in the commune of Château-sur-Epte in Normandy, France. Construction started around 1097 by William Rufus, King of England, to reinforce the frontier along the Epte river. Read More

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Citadel of Ait Ben-Haddou

The Citadel of Ait Ben-Haddou in the southern Moroccan town of Ouarzazate is a stunning example of North African pise clay architecture and dates back a thousand years. Read More

Citadel of Salah Ed-Din

The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din is a Crusader castle situated in Syria which was captured by Saladin and is now a World Heritage site. Read More

Cité de Carcassonne

Founded during the Gallo-Roman period (1st century BC – 5th century AD), the Cité de Carcassonne is a spectacular medieval citadel located in the French city of Carcassonne. Read More

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Clifford’s Tower

One of many castles of the world that is now popular with tourists, Clifford’s Tower is a 13th century castle with a diverse history. Read More

Cognac Castle

Château de Cognac, also known as Château de Valois and Château François, is a castle in Cognac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. Fortifications have existed since Hélie de Villebois, 1st Lord of Cognac built a fort around 950. Read More

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Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle is a beautifully preserved Norman stronghold with a rich history dating back to Roman times, having been built on the site of the Temple of Claudius. Read More

Colombières Castle

The Château de Colombières is a medieval castle built during the 14th century in Colombières, Calvados, Normandy. Read More

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Condat Castle

The Château de Condat is a fortified former commandry of the Knights Hospitaller located in the commune of Condat-sur-Vézère in the Dordogne département of France. The commandry was founded in the 12th century, and restored around 1540. Read More

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Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle was one of a ring of medieval strongholds built by King Edward I. Read More

Corfe Castle

Among the most picturesque of the world’s castles, Corfe Castle is the stunning ruin of a former royal residence, military stronghold and prison. Read More

Craigmillar Castle

One of many castles around the world with a rich history, Craigmillar Castle once played host to Mary Queen of Scots. Read More

Creully Castle

​The Château de Creully is an 11th-century castle in Normandy. The castle has been modified throughout its history. The castle's large halls are used today for various events, including weddings, concerts, exhibitions and conferences. Read More

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Crichton Castle

Crichton Castle is a distinctive fourteenth century castle. Read More

Curton Castle

Château de Curton is an 11th century castle located inin the commune of Daignac in the department of Gironde . The castle is situated on the edge of the town of Tizac-Curton, which takes its name from the first Seigneurs (lords) of Curton. Read More

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Cénevières Castle

The Château de Cénevières is a castle in the commune of Cénevières in the Lot département of France. The castle dates from the 13th century and has been significantly altered over the years, notably in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Read More

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De Javarzay Castle

The Château de Javarzay is a château incorporating remains of an earlier castle in the commune of Chef-Boutonne in the Deux-Sèvres département of France. The early castle comprised an enceinte flanked by twelve towers, of which only two remain. Read More

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Denbigh Castle

Denbigh Castle is one of the ring of castles built by King Edward I in order to establish his dominance over Wales. Read More

Devin Castle

One of the oldest castles in the world, Devin Castle overlooks the Danube and the border between Slovakia and Austria and its site has a history stretching back to Roman times. Read More

Diaoyu Fortress

The Diaoyucheng or Diaoyu Fortress, is located on the Diaoyu Mountain in Chongqing, China. The castle is known for its resistance to the Mongol armies in the latter half of the Song dynasty. Read More

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Dieppe Castle

Dieppe Castle is a medieval fortress located in the French town of Dieppe, Normandy. The original castle was founded in 1188 and the site was restored in the 14th century. It was bought by the town in 1903 and today is home to the Dieppe museum. Read More

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Dirleton Castle

Dirleton Castle was an imposing medieval fortress and noble residence, which is now a picturesque ruin not far from Edinburgh. Read More

Domfront Castle

​Domfront Castle is a ruined medieval fortress in Normandy, France. The ruins include the castle keep, the enceinte, ramparts, towers, casemates and the former Sainte-Catherine et Saint-Symphorien chapels. Read More

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Donjon Lacataye

The Donjon Lacataye is the keep of a 14th-century castle, constructed by order of Gaston Phébus in the commune of Mont-de-Marsan in the Landes département of France. Today, it houses the Musée Despiau-Wlérick. Read More

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Doune Castle

Doune Castle in Perthshire, central Scotland is a 14th century military stronghold built by Robert Stewart, Regent Albany and includes one of the best-preserved great halls in the whole of Scotland. Read More

Dover Castle

Ranking high on any list of castles of the world, the medieval Dover Castle is one of Britain’s most significant fortresses and has a fascinating history. Read More

Du Fou Castle

The Château du Fou is a castle in the commune of Vouneuil-sur-Vienne in the Vienne département of France. It was constructed by Yves du Fou, Sénéchal of Poitou at the end of the 15th century. Read More

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Dublin Castle

Among the most famous castles in the world, Dublin Castle has been everything from a fortification and royal home to a gunpowder storage facility and a prison. Read More

Dudley Castle

Dudley Castle is a ruined Norman motte and bailey castle which is now open to visitors and also hosts the popular Dudley Zoo within its grounds. Read More

Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle served as a wartime prison, a royal shelter and a defence against both foreign and local threats. Read More

Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle Read More

Dunstaffnage Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle is a medieval stronghold once captured by Robert the Bruce. Read More

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle was a fourteenth century fortress, the striking ruins of which can be found on Northumberland’s coast. Read More

Durfort Castle

The Château de Durfort is a ruined (possibly) 11th century castle in the commune of Vignevieille in the Aude département of France. Read More

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Durham Castle

Formerly the home of the Bishops of Durham, Durham Castle dates back to the 11th Century. Read More

Edinburgh Castle

Near the top of any world castles list, Edinburgh Castle is a medieval fortress and royal castle turned national monument and World Heritage site. Read More

Elmina Castle

More a trading post than a de facto prison, Elmina Castle built in 1482 was the last stop for thousands of Africans, acting as a depot where slaves were held captive before passing through the Door of No Return and onto ships bound for Brazil and other Portuguese colonies. Read More

Eye Castle

Eye Castle Read More

Fagaras Fortress

Fagaras Fortress is an imposing fourteenth century stronghold in Transylvania. Read More

Falaise Castle

Falaise Castle​ is a fortress located in the south of the commune of Falaise in Normandy, France. Read More

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Fecamp Castle

​Fecamp Castle in Normandy is an important medieval fortification which was once home to the powerful dukes of Normandy. Read More

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Fil’akovo Castle

Fil’akovo Castle is a medieval site on the current Slovak Hungarian border and the former frontier of the Ottoman Empire. Read More

Foix Castle

The Château de Foix is a castle which dominates the town of Foix in the French département of Ariège. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Read More

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Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac is a stunning and imposing cliff-top fort in Dubrovnik. Steeped in legend and dubbed Dubrovnik's Gibraltar, Lovrijenac Fortress (aka the Red Keep in King’s Landing) was built on a 37m high cliff to protect the city from a Venetian attack in the 11th century. Read More

Fotheringhay Castle

One of many castles around the world with a rich history, Fortheringhay Castle was the birthplace of Richard III and site of execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Read More

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle is an impressive 12th century fortified castle in Suffolk. Read More

Frederiksborg Slot

Frederiksborg Slot is a restored sixteenth century royal palace in Denmark and the site of the National History Museum. Read More

Gageac Castle

Château de Gageac is an ancient monument from the 12th century. It is a château located near Gageac-et-Rouillac in the Dordogne department in south-west France. Constructed as a fortress in the 12th century, it was besieged in 1377 during the Hundred Years' War by troops loyal to Charles V of France. Read More

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Gaillard Castle

​Gaillard Castle is a ruined medieval castle, located above the commune of Les Andelys in Normandy, France. Read More

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Gediminas Tower

Gediminas Tower is an iconic fortified tower and the sole remaining part of the Upper Castle of Vilnius. Read More

Glamis Castle

A magnificent castle in Glamis, Scotland, the French chateau styling and the historic setting provides an excellent day out. Read More

Godolphin House

Godolphin House is a Cornish stately home built by Godolphin family, who were prominent in the reign of Queen Anne. Read More

Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle is a picturesque Norman ruin in Herefordshire that was the site of a bitter siege during the English Civil War. Read More

Grandmasters Palace - Rhodes

Ranking among the most famous castles in the world, the Grandmasters Palace of Rhodes was the base of the Knights Hospitaller of St John. Read More

Grandmasters Palace - Valletta

The Grandmasters Palace in Valletta has been the seat of power in Malta since the sixteenth century. Read More

Gruyeres Castle

Gruyeres Castle is a picturesque medieval castle which was the seat of nobility for centuries. Read More

Guilleragues Castle

The early 14th century Château de Guilleragues is a medieval, previously ruined but restored castle in the commune of Saint-Sulpice-de-Guilleragues in the Gironde département of France. Read More

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Gyantse Dzong Castle

Gyantse Dzong or Gyantse Fortress is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet, perched high above the town of Gyantse on a huge spur of grey brown rock. Read More

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Hailes Castle

Hailes Castle was a medieval stronghold, the pretty ruins of which date back mostly to the fourteenth century. Read More

Hailongtun

Hailongtun, meaning 'Sea Dragon Castle', is a ruined fortress on the Longyan Mountain, in Zunyi City, China. Read More

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Hame Castle

Hame Castle is a medieval site which has served as everything from a royal residence to a granary and a prison. Read More

Hamel Castle

Château du Hamel is a château in the commune of Castets-en-Dorthe in the Gironde département of France. The present building was constructed in the mid-16th century on the remains of a 14th century castle. Read More

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Hammershus Castle

Among the larger castles of the world, Hammershus Castle was a medieval fortress, the vast ruins of which lie on the island of Bornholm. Read More

Harcourt Castle

​Harcourt Castle is an impressive medieval fortification in Normandy, France. Likely dating back to the second half of the 12th century, the first stone castle was built by Robert II d'Harcourt - a companion in the crusade of Richard Lionheart. Read More

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Harlech Castle

One of many castles of the world that is now a popular tourist attraction, Harlech Castle is a dramatic medieval stronghold and one the castles built by Edward I in his conquest of Wales. Read More

Hastings Castle

One of the oldest castles in the world, Hastings Castle was one of the first Norman castles to be built in England. Read More

Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle was a 12th century castle in York and the site of a dramatic siege during the English Civil War. Read More

Herm Castle

Château de l'Herm is a castle in the départment of Dordogne in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France. Construction took place between 1500 and 1520 by Jean de Calvimont in the Forêt Barade. Read More

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Herrenchiemsee Palace

A stunning 19th century Bavarian palace, located on its very own 230-hectare island, modelled on the Palace of Versailles. Read More

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is a picturesque Jacobean style country house in Hampshire, which in more modern times has become well known as the location of the television series Downton Abbey. Read More

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress is a vast 11th century citadel in Salzburg, Austria. Read More

Hohenzollern Castle

One of the biggest castles in the world, Hohensalzburg Fortress is a vast 11th century citadel in Salzburg, Austria. Read More

Holstentor

Holstentor is a picturesque medieval gate which houses the city museum of Lubeck. UNESCO listed. Read More

Hunedoara Castle

Hunedoara Castle in Romania was a medieval fortress turned royal palace. Read More

Hylton Castle

Hylton Castle was the private home of a wealthy family in Medieval England. Read More

Iudyn Yehiam Castle

This crusader fortress was largely destroyed by the forces of Mamluk Sultan Baibars and a later fortress was rebuilt on the site before beiong largely ruined in the eighteenth century. Read More

Izborsk Fortress

Izborsk Fortress is a ruined medieval fortress and settlement in western Russia with a history dating back to the 7th century. Read More

Jumilhac Castle

The Château de Jumilhac is a modified castle in the commune of Jumilhac-le-Grand in the Dordogne département of France. Its construction dates from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Read More

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Kalmar Castle

Kalmar Castle is a fortified castle in Sweden which dates back to the twelfth century. Read More

Kastelholm Castle

Kastelholm Castle is a medieval castle located on the Åland Islands and once home to King Gustav I, often thought of as the founder of modern Sweden. Read More

Kenfig Castle

Kenfig Castle is a ruined castle in Bridgend County Borough in Wales that came to prominence after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Wales in the late 11th century. Read More

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Kenilworth Castle

An interesting entry on any list of world castles, Kenilworth Castle is a former medieval stronghold and royal palace, most famed as the home of Elizabeth’s beloved Robert Dudley. Read More

Kerak Castle

An impressive 12th century Crusader castle in Jordan, the remains of the fortification of Kerak are an awesome and slightly forbidding sight even today. Read More

Kidwelly Castle

Kidwelly Castle is a Norman masterpiece which still stands majestically in the calm Welsh countryside as a reminder of the tumultuous Anglo-Welsh past. Read More

Klis Fortress

Starting life as a small stronghold, Klis Fortress has sat high above the village of the same name for over two millennia defending Dalmatia from various invading armies. It’s also a key Games of Thrones filming location, doubling as the city of Meeren in series four. Read More

Kolossi Castle

Kolossi Castle was a fortification of the Knights Hospitallers built in the thirteenth century and rebuilt in the fifteenth century. Read More

Konigstein Fortress

Konigstein Fortress in Dresden has been everything from a stronghold to a World War II prisoner of war camp. Read More

Krak des Chevaliers

Perhaps the best preserved example of a Crusader fortress in existence today, the magnificent fortress of Krak des Chevaliers is a stunning example of Medieval military architecture. Read More

Kronborg Slot

Ranking among the most famous castles in the world, Kronborg Slot is a 15th century UNESCO-list castle in Denmark and the setting for Shakespeare’s 'Hamlet’. Read More

La Brède Castle

The Château de La Brède is a feudal castle in the commune of La Brède in the département of Gironde, France. The castle was built in the Gothic style starting in 1306, on the site of an earlier castle. It is surrounded by water-filled moats and an English garden, in the centre of a Bordelais vineyard. Despite modifications over the centuries, it has kept its character as a fortress. Read More

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La Gane Castle

The Château de la Gane is an historic castle in Saint-Exupéry-les-Roches, Corrèze, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France built in 1286 for Pierre-André de la Ganne. Read More

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La Rochefoucauld Castle

The Château de La Rochefoucauld is an 11th century castle in La Rochefoucauld-en-Angoumois, southwestern France. Read More

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Lagorce Castle

The 14th century Château Lagorce is a former castle, converted into a château, in the commune of Haux in the département of Gironde, France. It acquired its name ‘Lagorce’ or ‘The Great Gorce’, from a type of vegetation which appeared at the beginning of the 16th century. Read More

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Lagrange-Monrepos Castle

The Château de Lagrange-Monrepos was originally a medieval castle in the commune of Nérac in the Lot-et-Garonne département of France. Read More

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Lincoln Castle

Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Lincoln Castle is one of England’s best preserved and most impressive Norman castles. Read More

Lochleven Castle

Lochleven Castle was a medieval stronghold most renowned for being the prison of Mary Queen of Scots. Read More

Ludgershall Castle

Ludgershall Castle was a medieval royal castle and hunting lodge, of which only ruins and earthworks remain. Read More

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle, the finest of medieval ruined castles, set in glorious Shropshire countryside, at the heart of this superb, bustling black Read More

Malbork Castle

One of the largest castles in the world, Malbork Castle in northern Poland was the medieval fortified castle of the Teutonic Knights. Read More

Manorbier Castle

Described as the most pleasant spot in Wales, Manorbier is a well preserved medieval castle located on the Welsh coast in Pembrokeshire. Read More

Marbella Castle Walls

The Marbella Castle Walls were once part of an impressive Moorish citadel built in the tenth century. Read More

Middleham Castle

Middleham Castle was the childhood home of King Richard III. Read More

Miran Fort

Miran fort is a ruined defensive structure in Miran, Xinjiang, China. The fort was active during the Tibetan Empire, in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Read More

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Montaigne Castle

The 14th century Château de Montaigne is a castle mansion situated on the borders of Périgord and Bordelais in the small commune of Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne in the Dordogne département of France. Read More

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Montaillou Castle

The Château de Montaillou is a ruined castle in the French village of Montaillou, in the Ariège département. It was built by the lords of Alion around the end of the 12th century. Read More

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Montaner Castle

Built on the site of a castle built on a motte in the 11th century by the Viscounts of Montaner, the 14th century Château de Montaner is a castle in the commune of Montaner in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of southern France. Read More

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Montbron Castle

The Château de Montbron, mentioned in a diploma of Charles the Bald in 852 and known locally as the Vieux Château (‘old castle’) is the remains of a castle in the commune of Montbron in the Charente département of France. Read More

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Montbrun Castle

The Château de Montbrun is a castle in the commune of Dournazac in the Haute-Vienne département of France. The castle was built in the 12th and 15th centuries, and was restored in the late 19th. Read More

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Montezuma Castle

Among the lesser-known castles of the world, and somewhat unconventional for the category, Montezuma Castle is a 12th century cliff dwelling in Arizona. Read More

Montfort Castle

The 12th century Château de Montfort is a castle in the French commune of Vitrac in the Dordogne département, part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Read More

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Montréal Castle

The 12th century Château de Montréal is a château in the Dordogne department located near the commune of Issac, in southwestern France. It overlooks the valley of the Crempse River. Read More

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Montségur Castle

The Château de Montségur is a former fortress near Montségur, a commune in the Ariège department in southern France. Its ruins are the site of a razed stronghold of the Cathars. The present fortress on the site, though described as one of the ‘Cathar castles,’ is actually of a later period. It has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862. Read More

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Morlanne Castle

The Château de Morlanne is a powerful 14th century restored castle in the commune of Morlanne in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. Read More

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Mystras

Mystras is an archaeological site in Greece housing the remains of a city built around a thirteenth century castle. Read More

Nea Pafos

Nea Pafos is an archaeological site near Paphos Harbour which served as the capital of Cyprus from the fourth century BC. Read More

Nerac Castle

An edifice of the French Renaissance style, the 13th century Château de Nérac is a castle in the Lot-et-Garonne département in southwest France. Read More

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Niort Castle

Niort Castle (Donjon de Niort or Château de Niort) is a medieval castle in the French town of Niort in the département of Deux-Sèvres. It consists of two square towers, linked by a 15th-century building and dominates the Sèvre Niortaise valley. Read More

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Nuremberg Castle

Ranking among the most famous castles in the world, Nuremberg Castle is a medieval castle where Holy Roman Emperors would reside. Read More

Okehampton Castle

Okehampton Castle was once Devon’s largest castle and was listed in the Doomsday Book. Read More

Old Castle of Bayonne

Built on the site of a Roman castrum which housed the garrison and administration of the region named Lapurdum, Château-Vieux, also known as the Old Castle of Bayonne, is a castle in the commune of Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. Read More

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Orava Castle

Orava Castle is one of Slovakia’s most famous castles and was featured in the 1922 film "Nosferatu". Read More

Orford Castle

Orford Castle was a 12th century fortified castle built during the reign of King Henry II. Read More

Oxford Castle

A partly-ruined medieval castle built for William the Conqueror in 1071, Oxford Castle transformed into a prison after the English Civil War and visitors can immerse themselves in 1,000 years of mystery, intrigue, escapes, ghosts and brutal jailers as well as the origins of Oxford University. Read More

Paderne Castle

Paderne Castle was a Moorish stronghold later taken by the forces of King Afonso III. Read More

Paphos Castle

One of many castles of the world that is now popular with tourists, Paphos Castle is a medieval fortification in Paphos Harbour. Read More

Pau Castle

The 12th century Château de Pau is a castle in the centre of the city of Pau, the capital of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Read More

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Peles Castle

Peles Castle was the summer home of Romania’s first king, Carol I. Read More

Pelisor Castle

Pelisor Castle (Little Peles) was an important royal home in the early 20th century and is situated in the museum complex at Sinaia, Romania. Read More

Pevensey Castle

An interesting entry on any list of world castles, Pevensey Castle is a picturesque ruin of a medieval castle built where William the Conqueror landed in 1066. Read More

Pharaoh’s Island Castle

Once occupied by the forces of the Crusaders, today Pharaoh’s Island contains the remains of an early medieval fortress. Today a number of operators offer tours to the island where the pretty ruins can still be explored. Read More

Plassenburg Castle

The fortress of Plassenburg Castle sits high above the Bavarian city of Kulmbach and is considered by many to be one of the most mighty and impressive castles in Germany. Read More

Pontefract Castle

Originally a Norman structure, Pontefract castle played an increasingly important role in English Royal history for over 500 years. Today it lies in ruins but has much for visitors to enjoy, including its underground dungeons. Read More

Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle has been a Roman fort, a Norman keep and even a wartime prison. Read More

Powis Castle

Powis Castle was built by Welsh princes in the early thirteenth century and has maintained much of its exterior grandeur. Read More

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is reportedly the largest castle complex in the world and a focal point throughout Czech history dating back to the ninth century. Read More

Puilaurens Castle

The 13th century Château de Puilaurens is one of the so-called Cathar castles in the commune of Lapradelle-Puilaurens in the Aude département. The castle is located above the Boulzane Valley and the villages of Lapradelle and Puilaurens. There is a path from Axat to the castle. Read More

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Puivert Castle

The 12th century Château de Puivert is a so-called Cathar castle situated in the commune of Puivert, in the Aude département of France. The castle's functions were military – lookout and defence, unlike many buildings of the era which had religious goals. Read More

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Puymartin Castle

The 13th century Château de Puymartin is a castle in the commune of Marquay, in the Dordogne département of France. Read More

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Qasr Amra

One of the oldest castles in the world, Qasr Amra is a UNESCO-listed 8th century desert castle in Jordan. Read More

Qasr Bashir

Qasr Bashir (Q’Sar Bashir) is an exceptionally well preserved fourth Century Roman fortress that lies in the Jordanian desert. Read More

Raglan Castle

Certainly ranking high among any list of the most picturesque castles of the world, Raglan Castle is the dramatic ruin of a 15th century castle destroyed in the English Civil War. Read More

Ragnhildsholmen

Ragnhildsholmen is an early medieval castle ruin, representing all that remains of a 13th century border fortress. Read More

Ranton Castle

The Château de Ranton is a small fortified castle in the village of Ranton, in the Department of the Vienne. It was one of the front-line of fortresses which were built to defend the royal city of Loundun at the beginning of the Hundred Years' War in 1340-1345. Read More

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Raseborg Castle

Raseborg Castle is a ruined medieval castle in southern Finland first mentioned in writing in 1378. Read More

Restormel Castle

An interesting entry on any list of world castles, Restormel Castle was a 13th century castle in Cornwall, the pretty ruins of which are well preserved. Read More

Rhuddlan Castle

Rhuddlan Castle was one of the iron ring of strongholds built by Edward I in his conquest of Wales. Read More

Richborough Roman Fort

Richborough Roman Fort in Kent marks the site where the Romans successfully invaded Britain in 43 AD. Read More

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is a picturesque ruined Norman Castle which was originally built to help secure Norman control of the North of England. Today visitors can explore the castle’s ruins as well as taking in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Read More

Roche Courbon Castle

Château de la Roche Courbon is a large 15th century château, developed from an earlier castle, in the Charente-Maritime département of France. Read More

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Rochechouart Castle

Château de Rochechouart is a thirteenth-century French castle, located at the top of the confluence of the Grêne and Vayres rivers in the commune of Rochechouart within the département of Haute-Vienne. The Viscounts of Rochechouart reigned for 800 years in the castle. Read More

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Rochester Castle

One of the best-preserved Norman fortifications in England, Rochester Castle was built at a strategic crossroads in the years following the Norman Conquest. Today the castle has been largely restored and is open to visitors under the custodianship of English Heritage. Read More

Roquefixade Castle

The Château de Roquefixade is a ruined castle built on a cliff overlooking the village of Roquefixade, in the French département of Ariège. There are records of a castle on the site going back to 1180, though the present ruins are more modern. Read More

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Roquetaillade Castle

The 14th century Château de Roquetaillade is a castle in Mazères near Bordeaux, in the French département of Gironde. Read More

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Rosenborg Slot

Rosenborg Slot is a seventeenth century royal palace in Copenhagen in Denmark. Read More

Rosenburg Castle

Set in stunning Bavarian forest country overlooking the blue Danube, Rosenburg Castle is a 12th century Romanesque mansion, museum and falconry school. Read More

Rothesay Castle

Rothesay Castle is a distinctive medieval ruin with strong links to the royal Stewart dynasty. Read More

Rouen Castle

​Rouen Castle was a fortified ducal and royal residence in the city of Rouen in Normandy. The original medieval castle was built by Philip II of France from 1204 to 1210 following his capture of the duchy from John, Duke of Normandy and King of England. Read More

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Ruthie Castle

The Château de Ruthie is an 11th century castle in the commune of Aussurucq in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. Read More

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Sagunto Castle

Sagunto Castle was a large Moorish citadel, the impressive remains of which overlook the modern town. Read More

Saint Gilles Castle

Once a powerful Crusader castle, today the fortress of Raymond de Saint-Gilles towers above the modern city of Tripoli. Read More

Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte Castle

Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte Castle is a partially-ruined 11th century French fortress in Normandy, France. Today, remains consist of a set of fortified walls with towers and a massive stone keep. Read More

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Saint-André Castle

The Fort Saint-André is a medieval fortress in the commune of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in the Gard département of France. It dates from the first half of the 14th century. Read More

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Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle

The Château de Saint-Germain-Beaupré is a 16th century castle in the commune of Saint-Germain-Beaupré in the Creuse département of France. Read More

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Saissac Castle

Once the residence of the powerful vassal family of Trencavel, the Château de Saissac is a ruined castle, one of the so-called Cathar castles, in the southernmost tip of the commune of Saissac in the Aude département in the north-west of Carcassonne, France. Based on historical texts, it can be dated to at least 960. Read More

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Salignac Castle

The Château de Salignac is the former castle of the Salignac-Fénelon family in the commune of Salignac-Eyvigues in the Dordogne département of France. It dates from the 12th-16th centuries. Read More

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Salses Fort

The Fort de Salses (also called Forteresse de Salses) is a Catalan fortress in the commune of Salses-le-Château, in the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. Built by the Catalans at the end of the 15th century, the fortress guarded the former frontier between Spain and France. Read More

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Salses Fortress

Salses Fortress is an impressive medieval fortress in Plateau de Rousillon in France. Read More

Sandal Castle

One of many castles around the world with a rich history, Sandal Castle was the site of an important battle in the Wars of the Roses. Read More

Santa Florentina Castle

Built in the 11th century 47km north of Barcelona, Santa Florentina Castle served as a fortification to fend off attacks from the pirates of the Mediterranean. In season six of Game of Thrones, it features as House Tarly of Horn Hill. Read More

Sanzay Castle

The Château de Sanzay is a ruined castle located near the village of Sanzay, in the commune of Argenton-les-Vallées in the Deux-Sèvres département of France. The castle was constructed in the 13th century but only parts of it remain. Read More

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Sauveterre Castle

Constructed at the end of the 13th century by Edward I of England on one of the principal routes between Périgord and Agenais, the Château de Sauveterre is a castle in the commune of Sauveterre-la-Lémance in the Lot-et-Garonne département of France. Read More

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Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle is a 16th century Tudor mansion in the market town of Sherborne in Dorset, overlooking the River Yeo. It was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and includes 42 acres of Capability Brown-designed landscaped gardens. Read More

Shirvanshahs’ Palace

Shirvanshahs’ Palace is a fifteenth century castle complex in Baku in Azerbaijan. Read More

Shobak Montreal Castle

Shobak is a remote Crusader ruin which dates back to the early 12th century. Originally built by Baldwin I of Jerusalem, it was positioned along key trading routes and designed to control this key strategic location. Read More

Sidon Castle

Originally a thirteenth century Crusader fort, the Sea Castle of Sidon now stands as a picturesque ruin and popular visitor attraction. Read More

Silves Castle

Silves Castle is an imposing Moorish stronghold. Read More

Spis Castle

One of the biggest castles in the world, Spis Castle is Slovakia’s most famous castle ruin. Read More

St George’s Castle

St George’s Castle in Lisbon is a medieval castle which once served as a royal palace. Read More

St John Fort - Dubrovnik

The St John Fort in Dubrovnik is one of this city’s impressive medieval defences. Read More

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is an iconic royal palace, a medieval stronghold and a focal point for many of the most important events in Scotland’s history. Read More

Suomenlinna Fortress

Ranking among the most famous castles in the world, Suomenlinna Fortress is an impressive, UNESCO-listed 18th century maritime fortification. Read More

Syracuse Archaeological Site

The Syracuse Archaeological Site contains the impressive remains of an ancient city dating as far back as the eighth century BC. Read More

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle was the imposing medieval stronghold of an influential Scottish family. Read More

Tardes Castle

The Château de Tardes is a converted 13th century castle in the commune of Saint-Macaire in the Gironde département of France. Read More

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Tayac Castle

The Château de Tayac is a 13th century castle with a fascinating history in the commune of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in the Dordogne département of France. Read More

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Tematin Castle

Tematin Castle is a picturesque ruined medieval fortress near the modern towns of Hrádok and Lúka in Slovakia. Read More

Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is a well preserved ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City. Read More

Termes Castle

The Château de Termes is a ruined castle near the village of Termes in the Aude département of France. It is one of the so-called Cathar castles and one of the "sons of Carcassonne" (five castles defending the border with Aragon and later, Spain). Read More

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The Tower of London

The Tower of London is a famous fortress and prison originally commissioned by the first Norman king, William the Conqueror. Read More

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle is an original Tudor manor house which once played host to King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Read More

Toompea Castle

Toompea Castle in Tallinn has been a military and administrative stronghold for hundreds of years and now contains the Estonian Parliament. Read More

Tour des Archives

​The Tour des Archives is the keep of a former castle in the commune of Vernon Normandy, France. Its origin dates to 1123, built by King Henry I of England, the son of William the Conqueror. Read More

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Tourelles Castle

Tourelles Castle is a medieval fortress in the town of Vernon in Normandy, France. The castle originated in 1196, when Philip II of France seized Vernon from the forces of Richard the Lionheart and made the town a military base. Read More

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Trencin Castle

Among the more striking of the world’s castles, Trencin Castle was the main seat of aristocrat Matus Cak, Lord of the Vah and the Tatras. Read More

Tsarevets Castle

Tsarevets Castle in Veliko Tarnovo is a medieval fortress and was the centre of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Today it is open to visitors and also hosts sound and light shows. Read More

Tuancheng Fortress

The Tuancheng Fortress or Tuan Cheng Fortress (literally ‘Round Wall Fortress’) is a historic 18th-century fortress located near the Fragrant Hills in the Haidian District of Beijing, China. Read More

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Tulum

Tulum is a cliff-top Maya site in Mexico’s Quintana Roo region with some interesting and quite well preserved ruins. Read More

Turku Castle

Turku Castle is a large medieval castle in Finland which has served as a stronghold, a granary and a prison and is said to be Finland’s largest intact medieval building. Read More

Tutbury Castle

Tutbury Castle is an imposing medieval site in Staffordshire which had one very famous prisoner, Mary Queen of Scots. Read More

Vaillac Castle

The Château de Vaillac is a castle in the former commune of Vaillac, now part of Cœur-de-Causse, in the Lot département of France. The castle was built during the 13th century and was recorded during the Hundred Years' War. Read More

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Van Castle

Van Castle was built in the Iron Age as part of the Urartu Kingdom and now stands as a stunning ruin in modern Turkey. Read More

Velia Archaeological Site

The Velia Archaeological Site contains Greek, Roman and medieval ruins of the city initially founded as Elea. Read More

Verteuil Castle

The Château de Verteuil is a historic castle in Charente, France. It dates back to 1080 and has since been extensively rebuilt, although 12th-century walls remain. The château has always been in the property of the La Rochefoucauld family. Read More

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Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle in Luxembourg is a picturesque medieval castle which served as the home of the local counts. Read More

Vranduk

Vranduk is a picturesque town best known for its medieval castle which once served as the residence fot the 15th century Bosnian King Stjepan Tomas. Read More

Wanping Castle

Wanping Fortress, also known as Wanping Castle is a Ming Dynasty fortress or ‘walled city’ in Beijing. It was erected in 1638–1640, with the purpose of defending Beijing against Li Zicheng and the peasant uprising. Read More

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Warwick Castle

Built by a king, the seat of a kingmaker and vital stronghold in the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War, Warwick Castle has played an important role in British history. Read More

Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle is an iconic fortified castle complex in Krakow and the former seat of the Polish monarchy. Read More

Weiyuan Fort

Weiyuan Fort is a coastal-defense fort, now in ruins, in Humen, Dongguan, Guangdong, China. The fort was constructed in 1835 and was in use during the Opium Wars. Read More

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Whitley Castle

This little-known, remote Roman fort in the North Pennines bordering Cumbria and Northumberland is not only the highest stone-built Roman fort in Britain, it has the most complex defensive earthworks of any known fort in the entire Roman Empire. Read More

Willibaldsburg Castle

Started in the 1350s and not finished for 300 years, Willibaldsburg Castle in the southern German town of Eichstätt is a stunning hilltop castle complete with a renowned botanical garden. Read More

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world and the official home of the Queen. Read More

Xativa Castle

Xativa Castle is a staggering embodiment of centuries of history, from Hannibal's campaigns to the War of the Spanish Succession and beyond. Read More

Xiuying Fort

Xiuying Fort is located in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China. It was constructed in 1890 by the Qing government to counter the threat of the French. Read More

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Yedikule Zindanlari

Yedikule Zindanlari is an impressive Byzantine and medieval fort in Istanbul. Read More

Zafra Castle

Built in the 12th century by the Moors, Zafra Castle is a remote, virtually impregnable castle in the northeastern corner of the Guadalajara province in the Sierra de Caldereros. In Game of Thrones it appears as the Tower of Joy where Ned Stark clashes with Ser Arthur Dayne. Read More

Zwernitz Castle

Zwernitz Castle is an 11th century castle, once the hereditary seat of the Upper Franconian Walpodes situated in the beautiful village of Wonsees in south-eastern Germany. Read More

d'Usson Castle

The Château d'Usson is one of the so-called Cathar castles in what is now southwestern France. It is located in the commune of Rouze, in the Ariège département. The castle dates from the 11th century (perhaps earlier) and during the Cathar period marked the eastern boundary of the territories of the Counts of Foix. Read More

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We’re constantly expanding this list of the Most Breathtaking Castles in the World and if you do notice any omissions then please feel free to contact us with further information and our editorial team will look to expand this collection further.