Castles have long been mysterious destinations in storybooks. So much so, that children everywhere seem to love the thought of discovering secret staircases and visiting the dungeons in them. Add in a little history, romance, and the unique architecture of each one, and you have fascinating places to visit during a family vacation. Some of the best castles can be found over in Europe. Today, I am going to share the European castles you should check out for your next family vacation.
One of the most famous of all the European castles is Neuschwanstein in Germany. This is the place that inspired Walt Disney to create Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. You will find this castle near Füssen, which is in Bavaria.
King Ludwig II constructed this castle in the 19th century. Neuschwanstein means New Swan Castle. It is definitely a beauty. Unfortunately, King Ludwig II died before the construction was complete. Therefore, he never saw its true beauty like your family can.
Another popular European castle is Bran Castle in Romania. This castle is located in Transylvania. Bran Castle was constructed by Teutonic Knights. They wanted to use it as a fortress. Queen Maria of Romania finally chose it as her royal residence.
This castle was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula. Oddly enough, Stoker never visited this castle before, during, or after creating his Dracula character.
The castle in Corfe, England is currently in ruins. However, that doesn’t mean it should be taken off your list of European castles to visit during your next family vacation. The collapsed walls are still full of history. The best part is you can see some incredible views of the surrounding area from these castle ruins.
There are quite a few châteaux in France. Château Comtal is always the castle at the top of everyone’s list to see though. This castle is located in the city of Carcassonne. According to history, this castle was constructed by Cathars.
If you are looking for a completely restored medieval castle to see on your next family vacation, this is the one! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so everything has been repaired and restored to make it look like new.
Gravensteen Castle was constructed by Count Philip of Alsace in 1180. He took ideas from other castles he had seen in his lifetime and used his favorite parts of each in this castle. This castle overlooks the river Leie.
While this was a castle for many years, it was also used as a prison, factory, and courthouse. Thankfully, your family can now see it in its original form.
When the wife of a duke decided she didn’t want to continue living in Old Trakai, she had this castle built. The duke chose this location out near the lake as a way to be romantic towards his wife. It probably worked, because the views are spectacular. The castle was converted into a prison at one time but has since been turned into a history museum.
The alcazar is one of two prominent features along the skyline in Segovia, Spain. The other one is the cathedral. And yes, they should both be on your list when you take a family vacation in this area. This castle was constructed back in the 16th century. It was eventually turned into the museum it is today.
In the space where three sea lochs join, you will find Eilean Donan on an island. This is one of the most iconic castles in Scotland. This castle was first constructed in the 13th century. While it was in ruins for many years, it was finally restored and opened to the public in 1932.
These are the European castles you should check out for your next family vacation. You won’t be able to see them all at once, but your family can choose the one that intrigues them the most. Before you head out on vacation, you can do a little family research about the castle you are visiting. This will allow you to really spend time together as a family, both before and during your trip.
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