Castles are a frequent feature throughout the landscape of Europe. A constant reminder of the continents extremely bloody history, these fortifications stand atop just about every peak- having been built to stand guard over the hundreds of territories and nations that have been warring for the past 2 millenniums. Though many of these castles have disappeared into obscurity in the same way as their founders- sieged to the point of ruin, demolished to make way for future regeneration, burned down in plots and cases of sabotage or even simply demolished as a result of being outdated or useless- there are still plenty to be seen, visited and educated upon.
10. Mont Saint-Michel, France
Located near the French coastline at Normandy, a place famous for its part in the Allied invasion of Europe in the summer of 1944- Mont Saint-Michel is a castle that stands watch over the small town below from atop its impressive peak. Originally an abbey and popular destination for pilgrims, the castle remains more or less in its original state and as a result attracts a very high number of visitors each year.
9. Brodick Castle, Scotland
One of the oldest in-tact fortifications remaining in not just the UK but Europe- Brodick Castle is situated in the desolate scenery of the Isle of Arran- a few miles off the West coast of the Scottish mainland. Believed to have been constructed originally in the 4th century AD, the site has been added upon continuously throughout the ages- used to repel Viking threat first and then later as a key stronghold during the centuries of war against the English.
8. Bran Castle, Romania
Otherwise known as ‘Draculas Castle’, Bran Castle is situated near the medieval city of Brasov, Romania. Though debated much since, the Castle was named as the home of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia by Irish novelist Bram Stoker in his pivotal work ‘Dracula’. As a result of this connection, the Castle has been continuously popular with tourists from all over the world pursuing their interests in the infamous Count Dracula.
7. Castle of Coco, Spain
Commissioned by the Archbishop of Seville in the 15th century, ‘Castillo de Coca’, as it’s locally known- is located near the central Spanish town of Coca, Segovia. Most would be shocked at the amount of castles in Spain, as it’s often easy to overlook the nation as a centric medieval superpower. Out of all 6,000 remaining castles in the country, it’s not difficult to see why this one grabs the most attention. Combining both Gothic and Mudejar Styles- the lightness in shade of its comprising materials almost make it look like it’s made entirely from sand.
6. Eltz Castle, Germany
Easily one of the most well preserved ancient fortifications anywhere in the world, Eltz Castle has been owned continuously by members of the same family for over 800 years. Situated amongst the breath-taking mountain ranges and dense wild forest of Western Germany- the Castle lies almost equidistantly between the towns of Koblenz and Trier and enjoys a reputation as one of the most inviting tourist attractions of its kind.