AMAZING and Unusual Castles

1 year ago
From ancient structures that have stood the test of time … to castles that might have real-life connections to Dracula and Frankenstein … Here are 17 amazing and unusual castles!

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#6 Corvin Castle
This one is known by a few different names, including Hunyad (HOON-yahd) Castle … but whatever you want to call it, it’s one of Europe’s largest castles, and is one of the seven wonders of Romania. Construction started in the mid-15th century at the behest of John Hunyadi (HOON-yah-dee), who ordered the castle be built over the site of a former keep. Known for its imposing towers and grand reception halls, Corvin Castle has an even greater claim to fame. Legend has it that Dracula was once held captive here for 7 years after being deposed.. Or, rather, Vlad III who was also known as Vlad the Impaler, considered to be a prime inspiration for the Dracula legend.

#5 Bran Castle
Since we mentioned Dracula’s connection to Corvin Castle, it seemed only fair that we mention Bran Castle, which is a fortress that sits on the border of Transylvania, near Bran, Romania. It’s thought to have a loose connection with Vlad the Impaler. Even so, it’s still referred to as ‘Dracula’s Crib’ … and is bloody popular with the tourists!

#4 Prague Castle
If you want to debate these numbers, we’ll leave you to it. But the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic is said to cover more than 750,000 square feet. According to Guinness, that makes it the world’s largest ancient castle. The castle walls first went went up in the 9th century … construction wasn’t completed until the 20th century (1929). The castle has been served as the seat of power for kings and emperors. Since 1918, the castle has been the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle complex attracts nearly 2 million visitors each year … and is Prague’s biggest tourist attraction -- literally!

#3 Matsumoto Castle
Along Himeji Castle on our list, Matsumoto is also considered one of the premier castles of Japan. Due to its dark exterior, it’s often referred to as Castle Crow. The crow visual was also enhanced by the castle’s black walls and roofs, which had the appearance of spreading wings. The structure is unique because it’s built on a flat plain … not on a hillside or near rivers. The 16th century flatland edifice is thought to have included defenses including a wide ranging network of interlocking walls and moats, along with towers and turrets to repel invaders. The castle's keep is recognized as a National Treasure of Japan.

#2 Neuschwanstein Castle
Bavaria’s King Louis the Second (also known as Ludwig the II) had three royal castles built … but the most famous is the Neuschwanstein, located in the Bavarian Alps. Construction started in 1869, but was still unfinished when the king died in 1886. Quite advanced for its time, the castle was equipped with flushing toilets and running water … in addition to a heating system. With its towers and spires, the castle has a romantic, medieval look that makes it easy to consider this as the quintessential fairy tale castle … and in fact, it did serve as an inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Opened to the public shortly after the king’s death, the location now receives more than 1 million visitors each year.

#1 The Swallow’s Nest
You might say that whoever lives in a castle like the Swallow’s Nest really likes to live life on the edge. For a castle, this one is pretty small … measuring around 66 feet long by 33 feet wide. That would be the size of a closet for some of these other, more massive structures on our list. But the Swallow’s Nest manages to make up for in aesthetics whatever it might lack in sheer size. It’s found in the Crimean Peninsula where it sits atop the Aurora Cliff … rising some 130 feet high, where it overlooks the coast of the Black Sea. It’s become one of Crimea’s most popular tourist attractions, and a symbol of the southern coastline.

AMAZING and Unusual Castles

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