Noble seats of kings; symbols of power; impregnable strongholds; European castles and chateaus used to be much more than just popular tourist attractions. However, the enigmatic tinge and magical atmosphere can be felt from these medieval giants even today. Here are 25 of the most impressive, fairytale-like castles and chateaus built on the old continent.
Chateau De Walzin, Belgium
Built on a rocky cliff high above the river Lesse near Dinant, Belgium, this secluded chateau is one of the most picturesque medieval European monuments.
Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic
This Gothic castle was built by Charles IV – the Holy Roman Emperor and Czech king. One of the most famous castles in Central Europe, Karlstejn has also been featured in several fairytales and movies.
Segovia Castle, Spain
This monumental stone fortress located near the town of Segovia, Spain, is one of the most famous castles in the Iberian Peninsula. Thanks to its distinctive shape, it became one of the inspirations for Disney´s Cinderella Castle.
Dunnator Castle, Scotland
The ruined medieval castle occupies an area of about 3.5 acres on a rocky cliff in the north-eastern part of Scotland. You may recognize this castle from the 1990 movie “Hamlet” with Mel Gibson.
Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
Built as a royal residence for king Christian IV, it is the largest renaissance castle in Northern Europe. Located on Palace Lake, this pompous castle serves as a museum of Danish national history.