Medieval architecture gave the world real masterpieces - fortified castles. Many of them were built for decades and served for noble families not only as a luxurious house, but also as a defensive bastion. Today, their high spiers, round towers, meter-high walls and loopholes bring to life the legends of princesses and knights. And it is not surprising to feel yourself in that very century, having visited such an architectural miracle.
Reichsburg Castle, Germany
The imperial castle Reichsburg stands on the outskirts of the German town of Cochem on the picturesque bank of the Moselle River. The millennial castle was first mentioned in historical documents in 1051. The Count Palatine Ezzo is considered its founder. But Reichsburg is better known as the residence of King Conrad III of Germany, and then King of France Louis XIV. The castle was in the center of battles more than once, and in 1689 it was blown up by the French. Reichsburg stood in ruins until 1868, then it was reconstructed and reopened in 1877. In 1978, the castle passed into the possession of the city of Cochem.
Mont Saint Michel, France
Mont Saint Michel was built in 709 on a small rocky island on the northwest coast of France. This is a real fortress, surrounded on all sides by the sea. Mont Saint Michel is one of the most popular attractions in France. With more than a thousand years of history, the castle still looks stunning. At one time, he inspired the famous Joan of Arc to feats, and today it attracts a lot of tourists.
Barciense Castle, Spain
This magnificent medieval building was built in the Spanish province of Toledo in the 15th century. Barciense was erected by order of the local count. And for a century, the castle served as a powerful artillery fortress. Nowadays, it is a local attraction that gathers a lot of tourists within its walls.
Hochosterwitz Castle, Austria
Hochosterwitz is the main attraction of Carinthia, the southernmost Austrian province. The first mentions of it date back to 860, when the castle belonged to the Osterwitz family, and the Slavic principality of Carantania was located in the area itself. After the death of the last representative of the princely family, Hochosterwitz often changed owners, but today it belongs to the descendants of the former governor of Carinthia, Georg von Kevenhüller. The beautiful and inaccessible castle towers rise 160 m above the ground, striking from afar with their splendor.
Methoni Castle, Greece
The Greek Methoni Castle was built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 13th century. Built on a rocky promontory, today it is considered one of the largest castles in the Mediterranean. The castle is connected to the coast by a stone bridge with 14 arches, erected on the site of an old wooden bridge. The famous symbol of Venice, the lion of St. Mark, is installed above the castle gates. Reliefs, inscriptions, emblems, coats of arms have been preserved in the stone walls of Metoni since ancient times. The castle-fortress was the center of many battles, its huge gates over the moat saved the besieged from the Turks and other invaders.
Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
A stunning example of German architecture, towering on the top of the hill of the same name at 2800 meters above sea level. Hohenzollern surprisingly combines medieval elements of architecture and neo-romantic style. The castle is located in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and during its heyday was the residence of the Prussian emperors. The patrimony of the Hohenzollern dynasty was built in the 11th century, but was destroyed in 1423 during a siege. The Swabian dynasty of the Hohenzollerns rebuilt a new castle on the ruins of an old fortress 40 years later.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan is one of the most iconic images of Scotland, known throughout the world. The castle is located on an island at the meeting point of three lakes, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. It is one of the most admired and visited attractions in Scotland. Eilen Donan is also famous for its heather honey and ancient legends. The castle is open to visitors.
Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany
Hohenschwangau is located in the southern part of Germany, in the town of Schwangau, on a wooded hill near the city of Füssen. Previously, the castle was the residence of the Bavarian king Ludwig II. This neo-Gothic palace has survived to this day in almost its original form. Inside, the original Biedermeier furnishings have been preserved. Hohenschwangau castle-fortress was built in the XII century by the knights of Schwangau.
Bran Castle, Romania
Dracula's ancient palace is the pearl of Transylvania. This mysterious fort museum, which became the birthplace of the famous legend of the vampire killer, was the fiefdom of a real person, count and governor Vlad Tepes. According to legend, this man was famous for his bloodthirstiness, but whether he was really a vampire, history is silent.
Liechtenstein Castle, Germany
The slender, dreamlike silhouette of Liechtenstein's towers can be seen on the cliffs south of Reutlingen. The castle was built in 1390 as the residence of the dukes. In the Middle Ages, it was a real fortress, but it was destroyed and rebuilt many times. The castle was finally reconstructed in 1884, and since then this beautiful and majestic building has attracted not only tourists, but also filmmakers.