We all want an escape so every now and then. We want to get away from the lives we live. There are many ways to do so. For example, you can get high on adrenalin, booze or debauchery. But that’s just one way to go. Another strategy is to live out a fantasy. No, I’m not talking about the bedroom kind. I’m talking about the different life kind. What would it have been like to live in the Middle Ages? What about life as a princess or prince?
If that’s the kind of thing you enjoy doing, then you’re going to need a castle. Now, there are hundreds of those to choose from across the world (especially if you live in Europe) but of course, if you’re going to have a fantasy then only the best will do. For that reason, let’s have a rundown of the most beautiful fairy tale castles out there.
The Pena Palace is known as a Romanticist castle. You can find it in Portugal, in what is known as Sao Pedro de Penferrim in the municipality of Sintra. The castle stands on a hill in the Sintra Mountains and can be seen on a clear day from the city of Lisbon.
The castle was built because somebody had a vision of the Virgin Mary, but you can imagine that it was really you in a beautiful dress if you like. It was originally a monastery, but it was converted to an actual palace in 1838.
It combines many different styles including Neo-gothic, neo-Manueline, Neo-Islam and neo-renaissance. Yes, that does make it different and varied. But that’s half the fun, wouldn’t you say You can just breeze through the castle and imagine yourself in a different story in every room.
A Romanesque castle found in Southwest Bavaria, the Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the 19th century. Originally, it was meant to house a king but he died shortly after it was completed and it has been open to the public ever since – which is a good thing because it’s hard to imagine all sorts of fantasies if you’re not able to stroll through the grounds, wouldn’t you say?
It’s been used in a wide variety of movies including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Great Escape. Fun fact, it was also used as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. So yes, this is the real deal for that particular fantasy.
The Malbork castle was originally a Teutonic order castle. Yes, that’s right, the Templar knights. It’s to be found in Poland in Marienburg. It’s an old castle, built in 1466 and has had a lot of different owners over the years, with it being part of the Polish Royal Residences at one point and also being owned by the Swedes as well and eventually ended up in Prussian hands.
It is a UNESCO world heritage site (has been since 1997) and is a Historic Monument to boot. It was also the biggest brick castle at the time it was completed. Yes, it’s true.
Another German castle, the Hohenzollern Castle is another true inspiration for any tale be it fair or otherwise. This was the imperial castle of the house of Hohenzollern (yes, that is a surprise, isn’t it?) and can be found in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany.
The original castle was built all the way back in the 11th century, but the current version is older than that. It was built in the 14th century (And entirely renovated in the 18th century after it had been left to fall into disrepair). The style is known as English Gothic Revival.
If you go visit, you won’t just be able to look at the castle but you’ll also be able to check out the Crown of Wilhelm II, some of the artifacts of King Fredrick the Great and even a letter was written by George Washington thanking a descendent of the royal family for his help during the revolutionary war.
Alcázar of Segovia
You should also check out Alcazar castle in Spain. It’s completely different from the other ones mentioned so far largely because it was built by the Moors and not the Middle European Christians. The castle was originally built in the 12th century as a fortress (though some bits go even further back). But it was almost constantly being updated and expanded with almost every Spanish king building something new. In the end, the place was under construction on and off until the 19th century! Talk about the renovation.
It’s currently used as a museum and an archiving building, which admittedly doesn’t inspire that many fairy tales. Though if you’ve got Spanish roots, you might be able to find something that links you back to the royal families, at which point you could start living your fairytale imagination. Now that sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Five castle built in five different styles but all more than able to create the opportunity for you to live out your fantasy. All you need to do is walk through those halls and let your imagination run wild. You’ll be able to create all sorts of Cinderella-like stories or tales of swashbuckling princes riding to the rescue (or you rescuing them, of course – we’re living in the 21st century after all).
So what are you waiting for? Book your tour. You know you want to.
Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer in OkDissertations service and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.