European Fairytale Castles
Europe is a magical place, not only for the food, coast, mountains, friendly locals, fierce weather, romantic scenery, old art, new art but also architecture of all styles – including some pretty impressive castles, nearly unbelievably impressive… almost as if they were from a fairy tale!
Alcazár de Segovia, Spain
The Alcazár de Segovia, meaning The Fortress of Segovia, is a medieval castle now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that watches over the city of Segovia. Rumour has it that it’s the inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle. It’s said to look like a ship sitting above the confluence of the Rio Ciginuela and Rio Eresma which have shaped the rock beneath it! The Hall of Kings has the most impressive interior with 52 portraits of Spanish Monarchs and acts as the bow of the ship. Throughout its lifetime this castle has served as a fortress, royal palace, state prison, military academy and now it’s used as a museum! There’s no wrong path for this castle!
Eltz Castle, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
The Eltz Castle is another medieval castle that’s nestled in the hills above the Moselle River. Its owned by the same family that lived there in the 1100s, 33 generations ago! The owners say that you can experience the middle ages in its purest form by visiting the castle! The Eltz Forest surrounds the castle and as the castle is situated on a rock you get panoramic views over the nature reserve! Step inside to see century old artwork and furniture!
Hohenzollern, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial to the Hohenzollerns, this castle is based on English Gothic Revival and how surreal does it look here above the clouds? This castle is something like Hogwarts but even grander inside! As the ancestral seat of the Prussian Royal House and of the Hohenzollern Princes, you’ll find an abundance of jewels and artwork inside this amazing steading.
Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
The Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle in Sintra not far from Lisbon and originates from a chapel built for Our Lady Pena in the Middle Ages. The profusion of styles seen in this castle is in line with romanticist taste with a mixture of tastes including neo-gothic, neo-manueline, neo-islamic and neo-renaissance. And what a lovely mixture they make!
Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany
This one you’ll have seen before for sure, it’s the ultimate Disney castle and surely where some Disney inspiration came from! Built on a rugged hill in the 19th century this castle was intended as a home for King Ludwig II of Bavaria before he died in 1886. He had this castle built up on a hill as he was shy and wanted to withdraw from public life, now the castle is visited by 1.4m people a year. Dreams really do come true here.