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 Chillon, Switzerland
This island castle located on the shore of Lake Geneva is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the world. It consists of 100 individual buildings that were gradually linked together.
Bodiam Castle, England
Built in 1385, the Bodiam Castle was built as protection against French soldiers in the Hundred Years´war.
Chateau De Chambord, France
The largest chateau in the Loire Valley, Chambord is one of the greatest examples of French Renaissance and originally served as a hunting lodge for the famous French king Francois I.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
This renaissance castle was built into a rock near the town of Postojna, Slovenia. It was built in the stone wall to make access to it more difficult. There is also a secret shaft leading out of the castle.
Bran Castle, Romania
Situated almost in the middle of Romania, this stronghold is among the most famous castles in the world. Ironically, there’s nothing special about the construction, rather it’s the story associated with the castle that makes it a hot spot for tourists. Legend has it that this Castle is the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. However, there’s no real evidence that Bram even knew of this castle when he was writing the story.