To visit, to set foot, to hold and see face-to-face several world-famous castles is one of things listed in my bucket list. One of the travel adventures that I fancy is to go to these fortified structures that has been part of the world’s history. Most of the castles that I would like to see are the ones built in Europe and Middle East during the middle ages of which I only saw in the pictures and read in once upon a time story books.
These high-walled fortresses became eminent as it served not only as a residence to nobles but it is fully equipped also for security reasons against invaders and conquerors.
Below are the world’s famous castles that has been built in the feudal times which are best-kept up to this date.
The Muiderslot was built in 1285, it is one of the most magnificent and better known castles in Netherlands. It is a medieval castle currently a national museum – Rijksmuseum. All of its rooms, kitchens and the insides of the castle were restored to look like they did in the 17th century. The castle also houses a good collection of arms and armour.
Tower of London
The Tower of London or commonly known also as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress is located in London, England. A grand palace that primarily served as a royal residence in its early history but was used as a prison which started in 1100 and continued to its peak period as a prison wall during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is remarkable with well-known prisoners who were executed here like Sir William Wallace and Ann Boleijn. The heads of the executed were placed on the Tower Bridge for deterrence.
The Tower of London has served as an armoury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a treasury, public records office and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The castle has played an outstanding role in English history. The important parts of the castle are the White Tower, Traitor’s Gate, Bell Tower and the Bloody Tower.
These days, the Tower of London is a popular tourist destination and protected as a World Heritage Site.
Burg Eltz lies in the hills above the Moselle River flanked by Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is a medieval castle which is still owned by the Rübenach and Rodendorf families’ who lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago. The homes in the castle are open to the public. Its main part is consists of the family portions where about 100 members of the owners’ families lived in the over 100 rooms of the castle.
Krak des Chevaliers (Kalat el Hösn)
The Krak des Chevaliers (Kalat el Hösn) is one of the largest and finest preserved medieval crusader Syrian castles in the world that was conquered by the Muslims in 1271. It was in the 11th century when it was first inhabited by a settlement of Kurd, so it was known as Hisn al Akrad, meaning the “Castle of the Kurds”.
It was in 2006 when it been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Cité de Carcassonne
The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval fortified architectural group located in France. It was founded in the Gallo-Roman period and was a Gaulish settlement in the beginning of its history which was sooner transformed by the Romans into a fortified town annexed to the kingdom of France in 1247.
In 1659, the town lost its military significance after the Treaty of the Pyrenees and the town became one of the economic centers of France, concentrating on the woolen textile industry. It was restored at the end of the 19th century, and was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in1997.
A local rugby league team AS Carcassonne features Cité de Carcassonne on its emblem.
Additional referrences: Wikipedia, topcastles.com