15 Most Beautiful Castles in the World

1. Château d’Ussé, France

The castle overlooks the Indre in the Loire Valley. The base building dates from the eleventh century and originally, it was fortified and could receive a small garrison. In 1442, on the ruins of the fortress, Jean V de Breuil (lord of Ussé and captain of King Charles VII) will launch the construction of a castle, the present castle of Ussé, which now belongs to the family Blacas. Today, the building is open to the public, and to add to the enchantment of the place, the tour includes a staging of the tale of Sleeping Beauty!

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2. Castle of Schönbrunn, Austria

The mid-eighteenth century, Marie-Thérèse (Habsburg) is renovating the imposing building, which then serves as a summer residence. The baroque decor is abandoned in favor of the Rococo style, and transformations give rise to lavish rooms, including a large gallery, a room of 40 m long and 10 m wide. Schönbrunn Palace is not only impressed by the rich decoration of its parts (see the different rooms), its vast baroque gardens are also inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Other interesting features, the park of the palace includes a giant maze (1720), the first zoo (1752) and the longest orangery in the world (mid-eighteenth century). Schönbrunn Palace, Austria

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3. Matsumoto Castle, Japan

This is one of four castles historic monuments of the national cultural heritage of Japan. Built around 1593-1594, it differs from other buildings of its kind in that it is located on a plain rather than elevation. Do not be fooled by the five dungeon levels The tower actually has six floors, including a secret! Schönbrunn Palace, Austria

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4. Ashford Castle, Ireland

Built in 1228, the northern shores of Lough Corrib, the castle will know several owners. In the nineteenth century, in the hands of the Guinness family, it undergoes significant changes and benefits from two extensions inspired by Victorian style. In the same vein modernization, trees are planted, roads built, and the extent of the field is changed so that it reached 26,000 hectares. Later, in 1939, the building became the property Noel Huggard, which converts into a luxury hotel now rated 5 stars!
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5. Fasilides Castle, Ethiopia
In 1636, Ethiopian Emperor Fasilides moved to Gondar and made ​​it his capital. He founded Ghebi Fasil, a fortified city, which is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO and with the enclosure 900 m includes monasteries, public and private buildings and royal residences. The imperial city also has several medieval castles, the main and most impressive is the Fasilides. The emperor, who appreciated the architecture, conveyed his interest to his grand-son Iyasu the Great, it was said that the magnificent castle surpassed Solomon’s palace.
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6. Castle of Schwerin, Germany
In 1160, on the site of a recently burned Slavic fortress, Henry the Lion built a strong German castle for the Counts of Schwerin. Much later, from 1843 to 1857, major renovations are undertaken and give rise to the majestic Renaissance castle, which stands on the island of Schwerin. Since 1990, Schwerin Castle is the seat of the Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Castle of Schwerin, Germany
7.  Château de Versailles, France
Excess, ostentation, opulence Words that perfectly describe this incarnation of French classical art, listed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Former hunting lodge of Louis XIII, the building was converted into a palace during the reign of Louis XIV, who among other things develop is the Hall of Mirrors. Versailles is also known for its gardens, whose construction required forty years of work and effort of thousands of men. It was in these gardens that are the palace of the Grand Trianon and the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette, which houses the Petit Trianon.
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8. Grand Palace, Thailand
Its construction began during the reign of Rama I in 1782, and several expansions later rulers and was completed in the second half of the nineteenth century. The enclosure is true wonder palace covers about 218,000 and includes other buildings, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which houses the famous statue of jade. Today, the Grand Palais welcomes foreign heads of state and dignitaries of the Buddhist clergy invited by the sovereign, and it lies at Chitralada Palace.
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9. Peles Castle, Romania
This is one of the first castles in Europe to have electricity. Its construction began in 1873 on behalf of Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and will extend over a decade. The 160 rooms of the castle of Peles mingle among others the German Baroque, Rococo and Moorish. Among the most impressive pieces, the armories, which displays about 400 items, including a sword of the executioner used to behead the nobles, an oriental sword used by the samurai and knives sleeves set with sapphire and ivory.
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10. Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, Poland
This is one of the largest built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order monuments military monks, originally from the monastic state of Prussia, which battled the Gentiles. Its construction began in 1270 and, due to wars, several restoration works are carried out. With its rust color, fortified monastery is simply stunning. Especially since the ocher brick contrast dramatically with the green of the vegetation, which scatters the fortress. Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
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11. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
He was nicknamed the King’s castle fairytale“, and it corresponds exactly to the image that is palaces in the stories of princesses. Construction of the building began in 1868 and continues for twenty years. It is directed by Louis II, unsociable, makes the castle a refuge, where he creates a fantasy world. The decor of the building reflects the medieval legends that inspired Wagner, and tables that adorn its walls inspired opera composer, a close friend of Louis II. As for comfort, the castle is not neglected, it benefits from a central system heated by hot air rooms, a running water system and toilets with automatic flushers. Each year, approximately 1.3 million people move to admire, and it is one of the most visited palaces in Europe.
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12. Royal palace, Cambodia
Built in 1866 during the reign of King Norodom, the site covers 183,135 m2, which combines grandiose buildings, erected over the years. Among them, the dazzling throne room (pictured), easily distinguishable with its tower of 59 m. Used in the context of important ceremonies, such as the coronation of monarchs or royal weddings, the throne room is the meeting place between the current king of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni and his guests. Many national treasures are on display, including sculptures and gold statues and crystal incrusted with diamonds.
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13. Buckingham Palace, England
Former grand hotel, then private mansion, the building was converted into a palace, in the early nineteenth century, under the reign of George IV. However the king died before the end of the work, and Queen Victoria will be the first sovereign to take up residence in 1837. From that moment, Buckingham Palace is one of the official residences of members of the British monarchy who take advantage of its 775 rooms, including luxurious ballroom. Buckingham Palace is not a private property: it belongs to the nation and is open to tourists, several weeks a year.
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14. National Palace of Pena, Portugal
Colorful, the first romantic palace in Europe did not go unnoticed with its mix of Gothic, Moorish and Egyptian. Like the rest of the town of Sintra, it appears elsewhere on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Its construction begins in the middle of the nineteenth century, at the request of Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and ends in 1885. Few years later, in 1910, the palace became the property of the state and is then opened public. Today, music concerts and exhibitions are held.
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15. Bran Castle, Romania
Also known as “Dracula’s Castle”, it attracts many visitors, curious to browse the mysterious remains of the Impaler In fact, however, Vlad Tepes (Dracula) would never set foot in this splendid medieval castle. In 1377, Louis I of Hungary built a fortress at the top of the rock Dietrich, on the former site of a castle of the Teutonic Order. Much later, in 1920, the building was offered to the royal family of Romania and Queen Mary uses the architect Karel Liman (Peles Castle) for renovations.
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