5 Enchanting Castles in Europe
The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place over the weekend, and many are still obsessing over how extravagant and grandiose the affair was. The spectacular Windsor castle, glittering jewels, attendees dressed to the nines all added to the fairytale, but most importantly, love was in the air.
While many of us can only dream of having such an enchanting wedding, you can still have a taste of what royalty feels like. Here are 5 landmark castles in Europe that are rich in history, culture and architecture, which will leave you absolutely mesmerised.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
You may recognise this iconic structure as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s world-renowned series, Harry Potter. For over 700 years now, this Victorian ideal of a medieval castle has had its fair share of drama, intrigue, tragedy and romances, making it one of the most iconic castles in the UK. Alnwick Castle is a sought-after filming location with multiple features in popular movies and television shows such as Elizabeth, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Downtown Abbey. It is the second-largest inhabited castle in the UK, as residence to the Duke of Northumberland’s family, the Percys.
If you plan on visiting Prague Castle, be sure to plan your time wisely. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ancient castle complex in the world, Prague Castle is an ancient symbol of the Czech State and known to be one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic. This UNESCO World Heritage site has been around since the 9th Century and continues to represent every architectural style of the last millennium. With grounds of over 70,000 square metres, Prague Castle is home to numerous national monuments such as the official office of the President of Czech Republic, Royal Garden, Ballgame Hall, the south gardens, Imperial Stables and priceless Czech Crown Jewels.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Prepare to be dazzled with an eyeful of surreal visuals that bear an uncanny resemblance to a mythical universe. Build in the 19th century, Neuschwanstein Castle literally translates to “New Swan Castle”, and is indeed remarkable in every aspect. From its picturesque perch atop a hill overlooking the gorgeous Bavarian Alps and Hohenschwangau Valley, to its elegant structure and a lavishly designed throne room, it comes as no surprise that the Neuschwanstein Castle has been a top tourist destination in Europe with over 1.3 million annual visitors. Despite its relatively young age, the Neuschwanstein Castle has served as an architectural inspiration to not one but two of Walt Disney’s establishments, Cinderella’s and Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disney World and Disneyland, respectively.
Kronborg Castle, Denmark
Positioned strategically on a crucial site commanding the Sund, Kronborg Castle, best known as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, played a vital role in shaping the history of Northern Europe during the 16th-18th centuries. Four intricately-designed wings surround a spacious courtyard and it is also home to the largest banquet hall in Northern Europe. Burnt to the ground, bombarded by the Swedish army and inhabited by the Danish military, this Renaissance castle has risen to each occasion and transformed into the wondrous UNESCO World Heritage Site that we marvel at today.
Windsor Castle, England
A list of castles will not be complete without the one and only Windsor Castle where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married at. Located in the English county of Berkshire, the Windsor Castle has stood for over 900 years since the time of William the Conqueror, and is the oldest and largest residential castle in the world. This massive historical stone fortress has impressive architecture and is also a notable weekend destination for the Queen, who frequently hosts ceremonial and State occasions on its grounds, including the Diamond Jubilee Pageant.