25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World

Discover beautiful castles from the past! Explore stunning designs like Neuschwanstein Castle and Edinburgh Castle, learn their stories, and envision life back then. Amazing history waits.

by Tamilarasi S

Updated Mar 28, 2024

25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World

25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World

Castles are large, ancient buildings with powerful walls and towers. They were constructed to protect people from enemies. These castles are especially special because they are so beautiful. Some are in Europe, such as the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

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Others can be found in other parts of the world, such as Himeji Castle in Japan and the Alhambra in Spain. Each castle is unique, with its own story. People go to visit these castles to see their amazing designs and learn about their history. Some castles even allow tours inside so you may appear to be a knight or princess from the past. It's amazing to see how these historic buildings are still so great now.

1. Alhambra

The Alhambra is a famous palace and fortress in Spain.  it is one of the most important Islamic buildings which was built many years ago but still standing today. In 13 th century, it was ruled by a Muslim ruler named Muhammad I. Other rulers also added more buildings in Alhambra and they made it even more beautiful.

Even palaces, gardens, and even a mosque are also located inside the castle. It has a unique design with many detailed patterns and decorations. After the Muslims lost their control, the Alhambra became a royal palace for Spanish kings and queens. Nowadays, it's a popular tourist spot, and people from all over the world visit to see its amazing architecture and learn about its interesting history.

2. Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle is an ancient castle in East Sussex, England. It was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in 1385 to secure them from enemies during the Hundred Years' War. The castle is surrounded by a water-filled moat. Unlike other castles, it doesn't have a big tower in the center. Instead, it has buildings all around the walls and within courtyards. There are towers at the corners and crenellations at the beginning for defense.

John 'Mad Jack' Fuller bought the castle after many years and kept it from falling apart. He then gave it to The National Trust for public view. currently, Bodiam Castle is a popular place for tourists and history lovers. It is known for its medieval style and beautiful location. The details about England's past and its battles during the war are known by visiting the castle.

3. Bojnice Castle

Bojnice Castle is located in Bojnice, Slovakia. In the 12th century, it is a very old castle that was built in the 12th Century. Hungarian kings and noblemen owned the cast from 12 th century until the territory became Czechoslovakia.

It has different styles of architecture like Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance. Some of the most important people like Count János Ferenc Pálffy and King Matthias Corvinus contributed to the improvement of the castle. Now, it has become a tourist place, and lots of places visit the castle every year.

The castle is also in movies because it looks like it's from a fairy tale. It's surrounded by a park and zoo, which makes it even more special. Bojnice Castle shows how important history and beautiful buildings are in Slovakia.

4. Bran Castle

Bran Castle is a very old castle built in 1377 and located near Brașov in Romania. People often call the castle "Dracula's Castle," but there is no proof to prove it is linked to Dracula.It is a famous place so many people visit it every year.

A museum was located inside the castle which is filled with art and furniture that belonged to Queen Marie. You can explore the castle on your own or with a guide. A museum with old Romanian buildings situated outside the castle. Over the years, the castle was cared for by various persons, including the Romanian royal family.

It was returned to Princess Ileana's family following legal issues. She made it into a museum. Even though it is famous for Dracula, Bran Castle is just as significant because of its long history and appearance. People from all around the world visit it.

5. Burghausen Castle

Burghausen Castle is located in Upper Bavaria. It is the longest castle in the world its height is approximately 1051 meters. It's also one of the largest palaces worldwide. It was built before the year 1025. Later Wittelsbach family acquired the castle in 1168.

At the time of Duke Otto I's rule the castle expanded significantly. It became a secondary house for the Lower Bavarian dukes, and many renovations were made during this period. During vital times such as the Landshut War of Succession and the threat raised by the Ottoman Empire, the castle played an important role in regional defense.

Despite being damaged in conflicts such as the Napoleonic Wars, it remains a symbol of Bavarian history and fortitude. Burghausen Castle, with its interior and exterior courtyards, chapels, and towers, provides visitors from all over the world with a view of its rich history.

6. Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte, located in Andria, Italy. It was built in the 13th century by King Frederick II who inherited the land from his mother.  It is famous for its unique octagonal shape and classic architectural details. In 1996, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site, describing it as a masterpiece of medieval military architecture.

Although people often call it "Dracula's Castle," it is not related to the Dracula story. The castle has been used for a variety of reasons over the years, including prison and plague sanctuary. Despite minor damage and modifications throughout time, it remains to be enjoyed by tourists all over the world. The Castel del Monte wine district surrounds the castle, and it produces red, white, and rosé wines.

7. Castillo de Coca

Castillo de Coca, located in central Spain, is a castle that was built in the 15th century. It is famous for its unique design it combines different styles of architecture. It is shaped like a big octagon. It has strong walls made of special bricks to protect it from enemies.

A Spanish family owned the castle.  As time passed, the castle started to disrepair, especially when it was occupied by French soldiers. In 1926, the Spanish government declared it a special monument, and later, it became a national treasure. 

In the 1950s, the government renovated the castle and turned it into a school for forestry training. Now, Castillo de Coca is an important part of Spain's history and a place where people can learn about the past.

8. Château de Pierrefonds

The Château de Pierrefonds is a big castle in Pierrefonds, Northern France. It was built many years ago, in the 12th century, but then rebuilt in the 15th century by a man named Jean le Noir. Later, a French king called Louis XIII wanted to tear it down, but it was too strong.

A French emperor named Napoleon I bought the castle in 1810. In the 19th century, the castle was very special and romantic. Artists like Corot painted pictures of it. Another French emperor named Napoleon III wanted to fix it in 1857, but they ran out of money in 1885, so they stopped. Now, the government protects the castle, and it's famous for being in movies and TV shows.

9. Château de Suscinio

The Château de Suscinio is a very old castle in France, Brittany. It was built many years ago for very important people known as the Dukes of Brittany. This castle is very special because it is located near the ocean it has a big wall of water around it called a moat.  Inside the castle, there are remains of an old chapel, a birdhouse known as a dovecote, and some other destroyed structures.

Long ago, people built a castle so they could have fun near the sea and a big forest where they could hunt animals. When there were big fights, the castle became a safe place for some people from England. They lived there for a long time.

Nowadays, the castle isn't used by important people anymore, but lots of people visit to see its old walls and learn about its history. Sometimes, there are special events and fun things to do there too.

10. Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is a very old castle in France, in a place called Alsace. Long ago, it was built on a big rock in the mountains to keep people safe from others who wanted to take their land. But the time went on the castle became old and broken.

German emperor named Wilhelm II wanted to show how strong his country was. So he decided to rebuild the castle. Now, lots of people visit the castle every year because it's so old and looks like it's from a fairy tale. They can learn about history and see how people lived in the past when they visit the castle.

11. Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle is also called Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle it is located in Romania. It's a very old castle, built around 1446 by a leader John Hunyadi. It looks like a fairy tale. Inside the castle, there are big rooms like the Knight's Hall and the Diet Hall where people used to have parties and important meetings.

As time went by, the castle got stronger with more towers and walls added for protection. Even though it was empty for a while, people worked hard to fix it up. Now, lots of people come to see it every year. They want to learn about its history and imagine what life was like long ago. It's a magical place with lots of amazing stories and adventures waiting to be explored.

12. Doorwerth Castle

Doorwerth Castle is an old castle found near a city called Arnhem in the Netherlands. It is situated close to a river called Rhine. The was first built in 1260. It was made of wood but later rebuilt with stone to become stronger. For many years it was owned by many people 

It was used for many things, like meetings and parties. In the past, it faced wars and damage, but people worked hard to rebuild it again. Today, it is like a museum where people can learn about its history. The castle has seen many changes over time, but it still stands strong, telling stories of the past to everyone who visits.

13. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a huge, very old castle in Scotland. It is situated on Castle Rock, a tall rock. People lived there for a long time in ancient. It was a very important place where kings and queens lived. They kept weapons, money, and important paperwork securely inside.

The castle has seen several conflicts and fights over the years. Even though it's old, lots of people visit it every year.  Nowadays, it functions similarly to a museum, where tourists may learn about history and see historical weapons and gadgets. There are also unique memorials for soldiers who fought in wars. Edinburgh Castle is a well-known symbol of Scotland and a great place to visit.

14. Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle is located in Germany's hills near the Moselle River. It's been there since the 12th century and it was owned by the Eltz family.It has a unique fact that it is never been destroyed like many other castles. It is located on the top of the big rock that is surrounded by the Elzbach River.

The castle is split into different parts, each was owned by different family members of the Eltz family. A long time ago more than 100 rooms in its top towers were filled by Eltz families. Eltz Castle has seen various wars, including the Eltz Feud in the 14th century.

However, it has grown and changed over time, adding more parts in a variety of styles. Because the owners worked hard, the castle made it through wars and was not destroyed in the 17th century. Today, it's a cool place to visit, showing its strength and history to people from everywhere.

15. Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan is a little island in Scotland where three rivers come together. On this island sits a lovely castle that many people enjoy seeing in pictures and movies. A long time ago, a clan called Mackenzie built a castle there. But in 1719, it was destroyed because of fighting in the country.

Later, in the 20th century, a new castle was built by someone named Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap. Today, Eilean Donan is a special place that tourists like to visit. It's in a beautiful area with lots of history. Even though it's far away, it's famous all around the world and you can see it in many movies and TV shows.

16. Fenis Castle

Fénis Castle, situated in Fénis, Italy, is a medieval castle renowned for its remarkable towers and fortified walls. It was constructed around the year 1242, it was originally owned by the Challant family, who expanded and improved the castle over the years.

The castle's unusual pentagonal layout, with towers on each corner, demonstrates its defensive architecture. Despite its difficult aspect, the castle was more than just a military castle; it also served as the Challants' magnificent home.

Visitors can see the castle inside, which has a main entrance with a stone staircase and wooden balconies decorated with old frescoes of saints and wisdom characters. The castle's fascinating past, including changing ownership and many fix projects, adds to its attraction.

Today, Fénis Castle serves as a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into medieval life and architectural marvels. It remains a popular tourist site in the Aosta Valley, attracting tourists from all over the world who want to admire its natural beauty and historical value.

17. Hluboká Castle

Hluboká Castle is a beautiful and historic castle in Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czech Republic. People think it's one of the prettiest castles in the country. The castle has been standing since the 13th century. That was a long time ago. It has been altered and made more beautiful several times.

Now it resembles a castle from a fairy tale, with towers and walls that take you to a fantastic world. The Schwarzenberg family lived there from 1661 to 1939. It is now open to all visitors. It is a unique location that depicts how people lived in the past, and it is well-known throughout the Czech Republic. A lot of people came to see it.

18. Hohenwerfen Castle

Hohenwerfen Castle is a very old castle in Austria. It sits high up on a big rock and looks over the town of Werfen. Long ago, around 1075, it was built to keep enemies away. The Archbishops of Salzburg built it, along with another castle called Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Through the years, it has been used for many things like a military base, a fancy home for important people, and even a jail. Some important people, like Archbishop Adalbert III and Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, were kept there as prisoners. During World War II, the Nazis used it.

Now, it's a museum where you can see old weapons, watch birds of prey shows, and learn about its past. It's been in movies and video games, so it's famous everywhere!

19. Karlštejn

Karlštejn Castle is a big castle in the Czech Republic. It was built by King Charles IV in 1348. The castle was built to keep important things safe, like special jewels and symbols. People like to visit Karlštejn Castle a lot because it's very famous. It's not too far from Prague, about 16 kilometers away, up in the Beroun District, above a town called Karlštejn.

A long time ago, a man named Karlštejn Burgrave Vitus of Bítov helped build the castle, but we're not sure who exactly built it. Some people think it might have been Matthias of Arras, but he might have already passed away. King Charles IV made sure the castle was built just right.

Today, people can go and visit the castle. They can see the chapel where important things are kept safe. The castle is famous for its beautiful design and interesting history.

20. Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is an old castle in Ireland. King Charles IV built it in 1260. The castle was made to keep watch over the River Nore and the roads nearby. A long time ago, it had big towers and a huge ditch to protect it. In 1967, the Marquess of Ormonde sold it to the Castle Restoration Committee for £50.

Now, the Office of Public Works looks after the castle and its gardens. People can visit the castle and its grounds. They use it for different things like award ceremonies and meetings. Many families, like the Butlers, owned the castle over the years. Today, it's a famous place where people can learn about Ireland's history.

21. Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle is a big castle in Poland. A long time ago, German knights named the Teutonic Order built it. They wanted it to be really strong. This castle is the biggest brick castle in the world. Some people call it Marienburg Castle, which means "Mary's Castle." Kings from Poland lived there, and it was a place for important meetings.

But during World War II, it got hurt. People started fixing it in 1962. Now, it's a museum where visitors can learn about its past. Lots of people from everywhere come to see it because it's so famous. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it's super special and important to protect.

22. Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel is a special island in France. It's not like other islands because it's connected to the land by a road. But when the tide comes in, it becomes an island again! The island is very old, and it has a big church called an abbey on top. Long ago, it was a safe place for people to go because the water would protect them from enemies.

Even during a big war called the Hundred Years' War, it stayed safe. The abbey has a long history, and people still visit it today. In the past, it was also used as a prison! Now, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it's really important. President Macron celebrated the abbey's 1,000-year anniversary and said that changes to the water around it have made it an island once more.

23. Trakai Island Castle

Trakai Island Castle is a special castle in Lithuania. It's different from other castles because it is an island in a lake called Lake Galvė. The castle is very old, and in 14 th century, Kęstutis constructed the castle. His son Vytautas the Great finished most of the work around 1409.

Trakai Castle was very important because it was in the middle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and helped to keep it safe. After some wars, the castle was not used for fighting anymore. Instead, it became a place where important people lived and had meetings. As time passed, the castle got damaged, but in the 1950s and 1960s, people rebuilt it to look like it did before. Now, it's a museum, and many people visit it every year to learn about its history.

24. Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle is a very special castle in Luxembourg. It's one of the largest castles in this part of Europe. The castle has been around for a long time since it was first built as a Roman outpost back in the 4th century. Then, from the 11th to the 14th centuries, people built more parts of the castle in a style called Romanesque.

Later on, they added even more parts in a different style called Gothic. In the 17th century, a fancy mansion was built there, but sadly, the castle started to fall apart after that. Thankfully, people fixed it up recently, and now everyone can visit it. 

The castle sits way up high on a hill, 310 meters above the town of Vianden and the River Our. It's a really big castle, stretching 90 meters long. Long ago, it was really important because important people lived there. But then, it was forgotten and left in ruins. People even started to tear it down! But luckily, it was saved and now it looks beautiful again for everyone to enjoy visiting.

25. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is a huge castle in England. It's a very old castle, built more than 900 years ago by a king named William the Conqueror. Lots of kings and queens have lived there since then. The castle has many rooms, some are very fancy with pretty decorations. Inside, there's also a big chapel called St George's Chapel.

A long time ago, the castle was built to show how strong the kings of England were. It has thick walls and tall towers to keep it safe. As time passed, different kings and queens added more parts to make it even bigger and nicer. Even though there was a big fire in 1992, the castle was fixed up and now it looks amazing again. Nowadays, many people visit Windsor Castle to learn about its history and to see how beautiful it is.

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