I wanted to showcase the incredible architectural design of the castles and palaces that were constructed in various centuries and came across quite a few stunning photos and images. Most of the photographs have been artistically enhanced (HDR) by the original photographer or later by the mentioned artist. Some are absolutley amazing.
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Alcazar of Segovia
The Alcázar of Segovia (literally “Segovia Castle”) is a stone fortification, located in the old city of Segovia, Spain. It is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain by virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship. The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then.
Created By Cuellar
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century Bavarian castle. Located in Germany, near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, the castle was built by Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King’s inspiring muse.
Created By Oefe
Schloss Moritzburg is a Baroque Germanic castle in the small town of Moritzburg in the German state of Saxony. It is located close to the city of Dresden. It was built from 1542–1546 as a hunting lodge for Duke Moritz of Saxony.
Photo by Jmbgermany
Peleş Castle is a romantic castle in Sinaia, Romania, built between 1873 and 1883, and is considered by some to be the most beautiful in Europe and in the world. Peles Castle was designed in the neo-Renaissance style, first by German architect Wilhelm Doderer and later by Johannes Schultz (1876-1883). Later additions were made between 1893 and 1914 by the Czech architect Karel Liman. It was originally used as the summer residence of the royal family. It also serves as the burial site of King Carol I after his death in 1914.
Photo By daytona_k
Scone Palace is located in Scone, near Perth, Scotland. It was constructed in 1808 for the Earls of Mansfield by William Atkinson. Built of red sandstone with a castellated roof, it is a classic example of the late Georgian Gothic style.
Created by Alexander 53
El Escorial, the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real
El Escorial is situated at the foot of Mt. Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama. The location, hardly obvious as a site for a royal palace, was chosen by King Philip II of Spain, and it was he who ordained the building of a grand edifice here to commemorate the 1557 Spanish victory at the Battle of St. Quentin in Picardy against Henry II, king of France. The building’s cornerstone was laid on April 23, 1563. The design and construction were overseen by Juan Bautista de Toledo, who did not live to see the completion of the project. With Toledo’s death in 1567, direction passed to his apprentice, Juan de Herrera, under whom the building was completed in 1584, in less than 21 years.
Photo by: cuellar
The Almourol Castle is situated in a small rocky island, in the middle of the Tagus river, in Portugal. The castle was a Knights Templar stronghold used during the Reconquista. It is believed it was a primitive lusitanian redoubt and was populated from Roman times until the late Middle Ages. It is certain that in 1129, when Portuguese troops conquered the land, the castle already existed and was called Almorolan.
Photo by: feijomestre
Royal Palace of Madrid
The site of the palace dates from a 10th-century fortress, called mayrit, constructed as an outpost by Mohammed I, Emir of Córdoba and inherited after 1036 by the independent Moorish Kingdom of Toledo. The Antiguo Alcázar (“Old Castle”) was built on the location in the 16th century. It burned on December 24, 1734; King Philip V ordered a new palace built on the same location. Construction spanned the years 1738 to 1755 and followed a Berniniesque design.
Photo by: R.Duran
Chateau de Chambord
It is the largest castle in the Loire Valley, France, but was built to serve only as a hunting lodge for King François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and at Château d’Amboise. The original design of the Château de Chambord is attributed, though with several doubts, to Domenico da Cortona, whose wooden model for the design survived long enough to be drawn by André Félibien in the seventeenth century.
Photo by: -Kj
The Butrón Castle, located in the municipality of Gatika, Spain, was constructed in the middle of the 14C. It has witnessed the factional fights that forged the history of Bizkaia. After being abandoned for several centuries and left to deteriorate, it was restored in the 19C by the architect Mr. Francisco de Cubas, who gave the castle its present romantic appearance.
Photo by: Santi
De Haar Castle (Kasteel de Haar)
Located in the Netherlands, the castle was founded in the 14th century. Between 1892 and 1912 the castle that stands today was rebuilt incorporating the original ruins.
Photo By: Saskya
Manzanares el Real Castle
Located in the town of Manzanares el Real, 30 miles north of Madrid. The construction of the castle began in the year 1475, at a time when Madrid had little more than 100 houses and about 300 citizens. The castle has a quadrangular plant with four towers on the corners.
Photo by: R.Duran
Located in Ghent, Belgium, the present castle was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modelled after the crusaders castles the count encountered while he participated in the second crusade. Before its construction, there stood a wooden castle on the same location, presumably built in the ninth century.
Photo by: highsmith
Chateau de Chenonceau
The Château de Chenonceau, near the small village of Chenonceaux, Loire Valley in France, was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century. The current manor was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme in the 1500′s which was the third castle constructed on the site.
Photo by: nacho_h71
Burg Eltz is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is still owned by a branch of the same family that lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations (about to be 34) ago. The Rübenach and Rodendorf families’ homes in the castle are open to the public, while the Kempenich branch of the family uses the other third of the castle.
Photo By: Craig Wilkinson
Upper Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere is a baroque palace complex built by Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 3rd district of Vienna, Austria, south-east of the city centre. In 1717, the decision was made to build the Upper Belvedere. Construction took place between 1721 and 1722 and the interior decoration was completed the following year.
Photo By: Gerhard
Located in Poland, the Goluchow Castle was originally a defence structure built for Rafal Leszczynski around 1650. Later, to be turned into a stately magnate residence by Rafal’s son, Waclaw, one of the Republic of Poland – Lithuania’s most prominent citizens. Two and a half centuries later Izabela of the Czartoryskis Dzialynska, who then owned the Castle, had it restored in the style of the French Renaissance.
Photo By: ukaszsie
Located in Slovakia, it is also one of the oldest and most distinguished of Slovak fortresses. The first written records of its existence come from 1113 in a document from the Zobor abbey. In this Latin written document King Koloman confirmed the property as belonging to the Benedictine monastery of St. Hypolita in the upper Nitra. Originally the fortress was made from wood and grew out of the older fortress. Gradually over the 13th century it was built up from stone as property of the Poznanovec family. The outer walls of the fortress were shaped according to the uneven rocky terrain, so creating the irregular outline with extended fortification.
Photo by: Tudorka
Doorwerth Castle was known, in earlier times, as Dorenweerd Castle. The present spelling of its name dates from around 1800. The first, probably wooden, castle is first mentioned in 1260 when it was besieged and burned to the ground as a result. The castle was rebuilt then left in ruins 2 more times. The castle suffered heavily in 1944 when it was transformed into a cheerless ruin as a result of German destructiveness and Allied shelling. Directly after WW II a lengthy restoration followed that lasted until 1983. The Doorwerth Castle is now back to it’s 18th century state.
Photo By: digicla
The present appearance of Lednice is a result of the Neo-Gothic reconstruction of 1846 – 1858, designed by Georg Wingelmüller. However, the constructional development of the present Romantic building began as early as the Middle Ages in connection with the noted House of Liechtenstein, which utilized Lednice for representation purposes since the 18th century.
Image by: v.krejci
Bodiam Castle is a quadrangular castle located in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, supposedly at the request of Richard II in order to defend the surrounding area from French invasion.
Image by: Aitor Escauriaza
Located in Dorset, England, the Lulworth Castle is a dramatic early-17th century hunting lodge. The mock castle was built in 1607 – 10 by Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount Blindon. He was a member of the huge Howard clan who were in great favour at the court of James I and had his principal seat at nearby Blindon Abbey.
Image By: Tim Carter
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
The Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is a French Baroque chateau located in Maincy, near Melun, in France. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle-Isle (Belle-Ile-en-Mer), Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV
Image by: Mister-H
Eilean Donan Castle
Located on the small island of Eilean Donan in Scotland. The original castle was built in 1220 for Alexander II as a defence against the Vikings. In April 1719 the castle was occupied by Spanish troops attempting to start another Jacobite Rising. The castle was recaptured, and then demolished, by three Royal Navy frigates on 10–13 May 1719. The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap
Image By: Stefano
Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is a historic, Victorian-era mansion. It was constructed in the 1890s as a family residence for the wife of wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir.
Photo by: Matt
Matsumoto Castle is one of Japan’s historic castles. Located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture. It is believed much of the castle was completed in 1593-4. This castle is also called Crow Castle because of its black walls and spreading wings. It is an example of a flatland castle, not being built on a hilltop or amid rivers.
Photo by: Yevgen Pogoryelov
So let’s hear it, which one is your favorite?
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