via Culture Trip

Fairytales have always narrated stories about enchanted places, mythical creatures, and fierce battles between courageous knights and dragons that mostly happened around a colossal castle with slides and secret passages… These fictional and historical tales have been around even before we can remember. 

Maybe most of their content was made up, who knows? But there’s something that it’s true: the existence of those colossal beautiful castles. These buildings fortified with thick walls, towards, and in some cases, a moat surrounding it does truly exist. 

Are you prepared to live a true fairytale by taking a look at these real-life castles? Evoking all the fantasy you’ve ever imagined, I bring you the 10 most incredible castles in the world. Get ready to let them take your breath away.

 

10. Château De Versailles – France

via Château de Versailles

France is known for its architecture, especially when it comes to castles. The Château de Versailles is located southwest of Paris in the region of Île-de-France. It was the royal residence of France from 1682 to the French Revolution in 1789. It has an area of 679,784 square feet (63,154 square meters). Today it is considered a UNESCO world heritage site and hosts around 7,700 visitors each year. 

 

9. Fasil Ghebbi – Ethiopia

via Wikipedia

Constructed in 1636, Fasil Ghebbi is a castle that stands on top of a high plateau. It represents wealth in Ethiopian culture. The complex consists of a series of gardens, temples, swimming pools, libraries, and many rooms. It has an area of about 750,000 square feet (70,000 square meters). The Fasil Ghebbi is filled with ivory sculptures and has gem-encrusted ceilings.

 

8. Windsor Castle – England

via The Royal Family

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the royal residence of the UK monarchy for about 900 years now. It was built in 1070. The castle occupies 13 acres (5 hectares) of the ground and it has 1,000 rooms. In the 1840s, Queen Victoria made a renovation to the castle and added a private chapel which was almost completely lost during a fire in 1992. Today the castle is fully restored to its original state. 

 

7. Castello Aragonese – Italy

via Reddit

Like France, Italy is also known for its architecture and its magnificent castles; Castello Aragonese is no exception. Standing in a volcanic rocky islet in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Castello Aragonese is a fortress constructed to defend the coast of Italy against the raids of pirates in 474 BC. 

 

6. Château De Chambord – France

via Financial Times

If you’re looking to admire French Renaissance architecture, Château de Chambord is the place you’re looking for. It is composed of 440 rooms, 282 fireplaces, 84 staircases, and a beautiful decorative moat around it. It is definitely one of the most captivating buildings of the French monarchy. It was constructed during the 1500s under the decree of King Francis I. 

 

5. Himeji Castle – Japan

via JApan Guide

Like Europe, Japan is home to beautiful palaces as well. As an example of this, they have the Himeji Castle which is also known as the “White Heron Castle”. It was built in 1346 as a fortress against local shotguns, though it was never used in battle but as a residential castle. It comprises 83 buildings and a beautiful cherry blossom garden. 

 

4. Prague Castle – The Czech Republic

via Trip Savvy

The Prague Castle dates back to the 9th century, making it one of the oldest castles in the world. It was home to the Holy Roman Emperor during the 14th century. Here you can find features of many types of architecture: Baroque, Gothic, and Romanesque. Today it is the presidential seat and the most important National Cultural Monument of the Czech Republic.

 

3. Mont Saint-Michel – France

via Culture Trip

Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island. The castle is built on a peak of the island. It was built in the 14th century as a fortress for the Duchy of Normandy. Its architecture encompasses the Romanesque style and the Gothic style. Today it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it’s one of the most visited monuments in France. 

 

2. Red Fort – India

via Deccan Odyssey

The Red Fort, or Lal Qila, was a fort that served as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors until the Indian Rebellion in 1857. It was originally painted in red and white and had gems encrusted in its walls, but they were stolen during the rebellion. Its construction started in 1639 and took 8 years to finish. 

 

1. Castle Of The Teutonic Order – Poland

via UNESCO

Considered the biggest castle in the world by land area, the Castle of the Teutonic Order is 44 acres (18 hectares). It was built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, a German religious order of crusaders. Today it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments.