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Austria

   
 

Schönbrunn Palace   Well Preserved Renaissance Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria


Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial summer residence in Vienna, Austria. One of the most important cultural monuments in the country, since the 1960s it has been one of the major tourist attractions in Vienna. The castle is currently Vienna's most popular tourist destination, attended by over 2.5 million visitors per year.

The palace and gardens illustrate the tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.

The palace, gardens, zoo are open to the public. There is a restaurant, conference facilities and guided tours.

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Film LocationCorporate EventsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

Czech Republic

   
 

Tocnik Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Stredocesky, Czech Republic


Tocnik Castle was built for Holy Roman Emperor and Czech King Wenceslaus IV. It constitutes the example of a castle with military significance as a fortress and a residential purpose as a manor house. Rennaissance adjustments were made in the following centuries, but the fundamental late Gothic character of the castle has been retained.

Visitors of old castle Tocnik near Beroun can experience the life people lived thousands years ago. Tocnik Castle which stands really close to another castle Zebrak, will “travel in time”.

The castle is open to the public in summer.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Zvikov Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Spur Castle in South Bohemian Region, Czech Republic


Zvíkov known as "the king of Czech castles", is a castle located at the junction of the Vltava and Otava rivers, some 15 km north of Písek, in the South Bohemian Region, Czech Republic. It is placed on a steep promontory above the confluence of rivers Vltava and Otava.

The castle is one of the most important early-Gothic castles in Czech lands. The current castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. The first written mention of the castle comes from year 1234 and owned by the Kings of Bohemia.

The castle has its own ghost, Zvíkov's imp, and had inspired several painters and writers like the theatrical comedy Zvíkovský rarášek by Ladislav Stroupežnický. Today, Zvíkov (opened from Spring to Autumn) is hiking attraction and serves as a place of art exhibitions and stage plays.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

England

   
 

Alnwick Castle    Medieval Castle in Northumberland, England


Alnwick Castle is a castle and stately home in Alnwick, Northumberland, England, UK and the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, built following the Norman conquest, and renovated and remodelled a number of times.

It is a Grade I listed building with spectacular gardens.

The castle has been used in many films and television programmes.

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Film LocationEstate Lodges or CottagesCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsPrivate House PartiesBanquetsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Arundel Castle   Restored Norman Castle in West Sussex, England


Arundel Castle is a restored medieval castle. It was founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. Roger became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel under William the Conqueror. From the 11th century onward, the castle has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk, and is still the principal seat of the Howard family. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War and then restored in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a Grade I listed building.

The keep and gatehouse have been open to the public since 1800 and the gardens since 1854. Today you can visit the keep, castle, chapel and gardens. There is a Restaurant and a Gift Shop, and a range of events in the grounds along with educational and private tours. The castle is also available as a film location and for Corporate Events, Conferences, Pivate Functions and Banquets.

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Film LocationCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsBanquetsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

 

Augill Castle    Gothic Revival Castle in Cumbria, England


Augill Castle is an award winning family-run boutique castle hotel. It has been awarded Bed & Breakfast of the Year and is a grand country house as well as a family home.

Rooms at Augill Castle are traditional and quirky. There are fourteen bedrooms or family suites, all of an equal high standard, each with a very different character. Some have four poster beds, others four poster baths. There are turrets for wardrobes, stained glass windows and big views towards the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Bedrooms are decorated with bold colours and furnished with antiques.

The owners are friendly and flexible, and are happy to provide a wide range of services tailored to to your requirements, whether you are planning a vacation, an activity holiday, private party, business conference or wedding.

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Film LocationProperty for exclusive HireHotelActivity VacationsWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsPrivate House PartiesConferences

 

Bamburgh Castle    Medieval Castle in Northumberland, England


Bamburgh Castle is an imposing medieval castle located on the coast at Bamburgh in Northumberland, England. It is a Grade I listed building.

As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of raids from Scotland. From 1096 it was a royal castle.

In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. The Forster family of Northumberland provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. Spanning nine acres of land on its rocky plateau high above the Northumberland coastline Bamburgh is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country. It is open to the public.

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Weddings CelebratedOpen to the Public

 

Belvoir Castle (UK)    Stately Home in Leicestershir, England


Belvoir Castle is a stately home in the English county of Leicestershire, overlooking the Vale of Belvoir. Belvoir castle has been the home of the Manners family for five hundred years, and seat of the dukes of Rutland for over three centuries. A corner of the castle is still used as the family home of the Manners family and remains the seat of the Dukes of Rutland. The present Castle is the fourth building to have stood on the site since Norman times.. It is a Grade I listed building. The castle is open to the public and contains many works of art.

The castle is open to the public. Highlights include lavish staterooms, the most famous being the Elizabeth Saloon (named after the wife of the 5th Duke), the Regents Gallery and the Roman inspired State Dining Room.The castle sits in a vast estate of almost 15,000 acres (120 km²). The landscaped grounds, nearer the castle, are also open and the Root Houses, built by the fifth Duke's wife, can also be seen. The present Duchess is restoring Belvoir Gardens, which includes the Secret Valley Garden and the Rustic Summerhouse of 1800.

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Film LocationHotelActivity VacationsWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Broughton Castle    Stately Home in Oxfordshire, England


Broughton Castle is a medieval manor house located in the village of Broughton. It was built as a manor house by Sir John de Broughton in 1300 at a location where the confluence of three streams created a natural site for a moated manor.

Broughton fell into decay in the 19th century, but was eventually rescued by Frederick Fiennes, 16th Lord Saye and Sele, who brought in the prominent Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. It is still the home of the Saye and Sele family.

It is open the public. EntryFee charged. Facilities include Washrooms, shop and cafe on site. Pub in Broughton village within a short walk.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Dover Castle   Well Preserved Norman Stone-Keep Castle in Kent, England


Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent, England. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history

During the reign of Henry II the castle began to take recognisable shape. The inner and outer baileys and the great Keep belong to this time. The keep was one of the last rectangular keeps ever built. In 1216, a group of rebel barons invited Louis VIII of France to come and take the English crown. He had some success breaching the walls but was unable ultimately to take the castle.

The castle, secret tunnels and surrounding land are now owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is officially head of the castle, in his conjoint position of Constable of Dover Castle, and the Deputy Constable has his residence in Constable's Gate.

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Open to the Public

 

Grimsthorpe Castle    Stately Home in Lincolnshire, England


Grimsthorpe Castle is a country house in Lincolnshire. It is not a castle in the strict sensebut a stately home dating from Tudor times. Much of the Tudor house can still be seen today..Largely because of later alterations it looks like a real castle with its massive and martial towers and outlying pavilions recalling the bastions of a great fortress in classical dress - through the large windows at ground level are a give away

It lies within a 3,000 acre (12 km²) park of rolling pastures, lakes, and woodland landscaped by Capability Brown.

It is open to the public. Facilities include cycle hire, adventure playground, events (antique fairs, lectures etc) ,park tours, group visits, shop and tea room.

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Estate Lodges or CottagesOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Castle Howard    Stately Home in Yorkshire, England


Castle Howard is not a castle but a stately home in North Yorkshire, England, 15 miles (24 km) north of York. Most of it was built between 1699 and 1712 for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh. It is a Grade I listed House with spectacular Landscaped gardens

Castle Howard has been the home of part of the Howard family for more than 300 years.It is one of the largest country houses in England, with a total of 145 rooms.

The castle is familiar to television and movie audiences as the fictional "Brideshead", both in Granada Television's 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and a two-hour 2008 remake for cinema. Today, it is part of the Treasure Houses of England heritage group.

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Film LocationEstate Lodges or CottagesPrivate FunctionsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Old Wardour    Ruined Castle in Wiltshire, England


Wardour Castle is a ruined castle located near Tisbury in the English county of Wiltshire.

The original castle was partially destroyed during the Civil War. It is managed by English Heritage who have designated it as a grade I listed building, and is open to the public. It is open too the public. It lies within the ground of New Wardaour, a private house.

The old castle became a fashionable romantic ruin, and in the 18th century was incorporated into the landscaped grounds of the New Wardour House (there is no public access to New Wardour House or grounds).

There is an English Heritage audio tour, included in the ticket price, tells of Old Wardour’s past and the fighting it saw during the Civil War.

The castles, old and new, have been featured in several motion pictures.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Powderham Castle    Castle in Devon, England


Powderham Castle was built between 1390 and 1420 by Sir Philip Courtenay, and has undergone several phases of expansion and restoration, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, and most notably by James Wyatt in the 1790s. The Powderham Estate, in which it is set, runs down to the western shores of the estuary of the River Exe between the villages of Kenton and Starcross.

The Castle remains in the hands of his descendant, the Earl of Devon. It is open to the public. It has a deer park, educational visits to the kitchens, and farm shop. It hosts wedding receptions, childrens’parties, corporate events and private functions. It also sells mooring licenses on the River Exe.There are frequent events during the summer. The house allegedly has a haunted landing.

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Film LocationWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsConferencesOpen to the Public

 

Rochester Castle    Castle in Kent, England


Rochester Castle stands on the east bank of the River Medway, in Rochester, Kent. It is one of the best-preserved castles of its kind in the UK. There has been a fortification on this site since Roman times (c AD43), though it is the keep of 1127 and the Norman castle which can be seen today. With the invention of gunpowder other types of defence became more appropriate, and the military centre of the Medway Towns moved to Chatham.

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Open to the Public

 

The Tower of London   Well Preserved Norman Stone Keep Castle in London, England


The Tower of London (known simply as "The Tower", is a castle and scheduled monument in central London, England, on the north bank of the River Thames. It is technically Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress.

The Tower lies just outside the City of London, and is separated from the eastern edge of the City by the open space known as Tower Hill where public executions used to take place.

The Tower of London is a concentric castle with two sets of curtain walls and a moat, with numerous buildings within the inner walls, dominated by the White Tower The White Tower is the original square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1077 with a bailey. The tower remains largely unchanged but the baily has been replaced by two rings of castle walls.

The Tower has served as a fortress, a royal palace and a prison, a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Many famous prisoners have enclosed here, especially state prisoners charged with treason.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Warkworth Castle   Semi-Ruined Norman Motte & Bailey Castle in Northumberland, England


Warkworth Castle is a ruined, although well preserved castle, situated in Warkworth, Northumberland, England on a defensive mound in a loop of the River Coquet. It is a Grade I listed building.

Warkworth Castle was originally constructed as a wooden fortress, some time after the Norman Conquest. It was later ceded to the Percy family, who held it, and resided there on and off until the 16th century. During this period the castle was rebuilt with sandstone curtain walls and was reinforced.

The imposing keep, overlooking the village of Warkworth was added during the late 14th century. It was refurbished by the Dukes of Northumberland in the late 19th century.

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Open to the Public

 

Windsor Castle   Evolved Norman Motte and Bailey Castle in Berkshire, England


Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years, dating back before the time of William the Conqueror.

The Castle covers an area of about 5 hectares (13 acres) and contains magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, St George's Chapel (the burial place of 10 monarchs), and Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature.

It is now a major tourist attraction, parts of it open to the public. During the winter months an additional five rooms, known collectively as the Semi-State Rooms, are included in the visitor route.

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Open to the Public

France

   
 

Château for Sale    NeoGothic Chateau in Aude, France - Reference 171153001


Château for sale, with walled grounds and two independant apartments in historic Medieval town in the South of France. It is south facing set into the side of a hill on the basement level. It is built to four levels.

  • Over 1000 m2 of living accommodation over three floors.
  • Over 100 m2 of garaging, stores, green houses and out-houses
  • Over 2000 m2 of garden - park and terraces.
  • Outstandingly well maintained.
  • Built by a local Count with exceptional taste and attention to detail.
  • Outstandng location with walled garden and 6m x 12m pool
  • Walking distance to banks, post office, grocery and medical services.
  • Situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, a short drive from Spain, Andorra and Mediterranean beaches.

 

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For Sale

 

Château for Sale   Modernised Medieval Chateau in Quercy (Midi-Pyrénées), France - Reference 171153003


This is a genuine medieval castle located in a region famous for its history, weather, food and wine. Built between the 12th and the 16th centuries, this castle (known in France as a château fort) is located in the history-rich south West France and is easily accesible from Europe and the USA. The chateau is a medieval castle, recently refurbished, and now offering the utmost comfort and luxury, with an estate of 160 acres.

The castle's recorded history dates back to 1354, although it may already have been centuries old. It has changed hands several times since then, being owned by series of siegneurs up to the French Revolution. In the twentieth century it was owned by a famous French singer and sold to its present American owners in 2000.

Since 2001 a major renovation program has been undertaken so that today the castle is a comfortable residence, though retaining its medieval personality. It has immense potential both as a private residence and as a business.

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For Sale

 

Château for Sale   Modernised Medieval Hill-top Castle in the Minervois, France - Reference 171153004


This is a charming château, dating from the eleventh century, though much changed over the centuries. It is now a comfortable private home. The location is exceptional and is known to have been sacred in prehistoric times.

This romantic hilltop castle it is located just south of the Loire Valley, commanding views across the surrounding spectacular countryside. It is surrounded by gardens and terraces, and an orchard / paddock with a small barn. It has a large swimming pool.

There are five bedrooms, four bathrooms,

The château is currently for sale at 600,000 Euros.

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For Sale

 

Château d’Agel   Restored Medieval Cathar Castle in the Minervois, France


The Château d’Agel is a medieval castle In the heart the Languedoc region with a long history stretching back before the Cathar period. It lies in the Minervois region, nestled at the foot of the Black Mountains.

The oldest part of the present chateau dates from the 12th century. The château is one of a line of fortified castles built by vassals of the Count of Toulouse and used to resist the Albigensian crusaders in the 13th century.

Today this is just about the only Cathar Castle that you are able to stay in. the restored and modernised castle is in private hands, and available for private hire: exclusive use, weddings, private events, corporate events and as a film location.

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Film LocationProperty for exclusive HireWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsPrivate House PartiesConferences

 

Château d'Aguilar   Ruined Medieval Concentric Castle in the Languedoc, France


The Château d'Aguilar is a 12th century Cathar castle located in the commune of Tuchan in the Aude département of France.

In 1210 it was seized and occupied by Simon de Montfort, whose soldiers captured the owner Raymond de Termes and held him in prison in Carcassonne. Militarily, the castle lay dormant for the next 30 years, until Raymond's son Olivier de Termes took back the castle in the brief revolt led by the young viscount Trencavel against the crusaders. Aguilar became the refuge of faidits, Cathar knights and lords dispossessed of their own strongholds.

Since 1949, it has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. Today it is in poor condition, and can be visited by the public. There is no entry fee.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Château d’Alogny   Modernised Medieval Norman Château in the Loire Valley, France


The Château d'Alogny is a romantic hilltop castle. A historic private home, it stands just south of the Loire Valley between the historic cities of Tours and Poitiers.

Alogny commands outstanding views across the surrounding countryside. It is surrounded by intriguing gardens and terraces, and has a large, private swimming pool.

Originally built in the Eleventh Century, the castle retains its mediaeval ambiance without compromising comfort. Alogny's massive beams and ancient stone walls reflect its long history. The Château is available for rent throughout the year, for vacations, and exclusive use.

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Property for exclusive HirePrivate Functions

 

Château d'Arques   Restored Medieval Keep Castle in the Languedoc, France


In the early 11th century the castrum of Arques belonged to the Abbey of Lagrasse.  At some time during the next hundred years it passed into the hands of the Seigneurs of Termes

The Crusaders passed this way in on their way from their successful siege of Coustaussa , Rhaeda (modern Rennes-le-Château), and Le Bézu without a fight. Simon de Montfort went on to besiege Puivert

After the Crusades against the Cathars, and the fall of Termes, Arques was given to one of Simon de Montfort's lieutenants, Pierre de Voisins.  It was later reclaimed by Oliver de Termes in 1246 following his surrender to the French Crusaders, but then sold it back to Pierre de Voisins. 

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Avignonet (Lauragais)   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


Avignonet-en-Lauragais is a small town in the Haute-Garonne lying on the road between Carcassonne and Toulouse, the old Aquitaine road, not far from the Canal du Midi and the modern motorway (A62).

It is famous as the site of a massacre of a group of Inquisitors in 1242, part of a general uprising against the invading French crusaders. This event precipitated the final siege of Montsegur.

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Open to the Public

 

Château de Beaucaire   Partially Restored Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


The castle of Beaucare saw some of the most impressive action of the Wars against the Cathars of the Languedoc, including the turning point in the military career of the Crusade leader Simon de Montfort.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect is a siege that took place here when Simon's troops were besieged in the castle by Raymond VII who held the town, while Raymond was himself besieged by Simon camped outside the town. We have vivid accounts of the action, including precious information on what siege engines were used and the countermeasures taken against them.

Today a rebuilt castle stands in Beaucaire, open to the public.

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Open to the Public

 

Château de Beynac   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Dordogne, France


The Château de Beynac is a castle situated in the commune of Beynac-et-Cazenac, in the Dordogne département of France. The castle is one of the best preserved and best-known in the region.

This medieval castle, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River.

Visitors to the castle can see sumptuous tapestries showing hunting and other scenes from the lives of the lords of the period. The Château de Beynac has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1944.

The village of Beynac below the chateau, also served as a location for the film Chocolat by Lasse Hallström, in 2000.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Château de Beziers   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


In the Middle Ages Béziers belonged to the Viscounts of Carcassonne. When the first Cathar Crusade arived in the Languedoc this was their first target.

On 22 July 1209 the Crusader army arrived at Béziers on the periphery of the area in the Languedoc where Cathars flourished.  There were believed to be around 200 Cathars in the town among a much greater population of sympathetic Catholics. The townspeople, believing their city walls impregnable, were careless, and the town was overrun while the leading Crusader churchmen and nobles were still planning their siege.

Today nothing remains of the Viscounts' Castle in Béziers, but the town still bears scars inflicted by the Crusaders. It was here that the abbott-comander gave the famous command "Kill them all - the Lord will recognise His own"

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Le Bezu   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


In the early 11th century the castrum of Arques belonged to the Abbey of Lagrasse.  At some time during the next hundred years it passed into the hands of the Seigneurs of Termes

The Crusaders passed this way in on their way from their successful siege of Coustaussa , Rhaeda (modern Rennes-le-Château), and Le Bézu without a fight. Simon de Montfort went on to besiege Puivert

After the Crusades against the Cathars, and the fall of Termes, Arques was given to one of Simon de Montfort's lieutenants, Pierre de Voisins.  It was later reclaimed by Oliver de Termes in 1246 following his surrender to the French Crusaders, but then sold it back to Pierre de Voisins. 

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Open to the Public

 

Château de Biron   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Aquitaine, France


The Château de Biron is a castle in the French commune of Biron in the valley of the Lède, a tributary of the Lot River in the département of Dordogne in Périgord, part of the Aquitaine. Biron was held by Cathars in 1211 and taken by Simon IV de Montfort the following year. The Plantagenets held it at times during the 14th and 15th century. Biron was erected as a duché-pairie in 1598, for Charles de Gontaut, created duc de Biron.

The present château bears additions over the centuries that make it a picturesque ensemble: a twelfth century keep, sixteenth-century living quarters, a chapel and vaulted kitchens. The commune purchased the Château de Biron in 1978, with a view to restoring the structure as a tourist draw. Since 1928, the Château de Biron has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

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Open to the Public

 

Bram   Dismantled Medieval Cathar Castle in the Languedoc, France


Bram was a castrum in the Languedoc, attacked by the army of the French Crusaders. Today there is no trace of the medieval fortifications there.

When Bram fell in 1210, 100 prisoners had their noses cropped, their lips cut off and their eyes gauged out. One man was left with one eye so that he could guide the others away.  With a hand on the shoulder of the one in front, and the one-eyed man at their head, a file of blind prisoners wound its way to Lastours (Cabaret), a visible demonstration of the ineffable mercy of God's Christian Army. 

Today, there is almost nothing to see at Bram remaining from the period, though the street layout preserves the pattern of a typical circular village. It lies in the Aude departément.

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Open to the Public

 

Château Comptal de Carcassonne   Well Preserved Cathar Castle in the Languedoc, France


The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Medieval Cité lies within the modern city of Carcassonne in the Aude department, of which Carcassonne is the prefecture, in the former province of Languedoc.

Although the outer curtain wall of the cité is French, and the whole site has been substantially restored, the Château Comptal has a strong claim to be called a "Cathar Castle". When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencaval's castrum at Bèziers and then moven on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.

The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.You can visit the medieval cite (free) and the Château Comtal (entry fee).

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Film LocationOpen to the PublicTours Available

 

Les Casses   Demolished Medieval Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


Les Cassés is a commune in the Aude départementet of the Languedoc-Roussillon région. The modern village of around 200 occupants lies a couple of miles away from a Medieval Village of the same name. Nothing remains of the ancient village, Les Cassés Vielh, except the spur of land on which it sat, and the foundations of its windmill. The site of the castrum is now known as "Le Fort".

The castrum was comanded by Raymond and Bernard de Roqueville, who held it under the suzerainity of Raymond VI, Count of Tououse.

In 1211 the village, a castrum, sheltered some 94 Cathars. After the fall of Lavaur and the massacre at Montgey, Simon de Montfort and his Crusaders besieged the castrum, on 20 May 2011, taking it, and burning alive 60 Cathar Parfaits who declined to abjure their faith. According to The Song of the Cathar Wars the Cathars were led out of the village . A large fire was lit, and the unfortunates were burned alive "with great joy".

The Crusaders went on the besiege Montferrand, Comanded by Baudouin, brother of the Count of Toulouse.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Château de Castelnaudary   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


Castelnaudary is a commune in the Aude department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in south France. It is in the former province of the Lauragais and famous for cassoulet of which it claims to be the world capital, and of which it is a major producer.

September 1211 saw the first Siege of Castelnaudary during the Cathar (or Albigensian) Crusades. Simon de Montfort was besieged in Castelnaudary by the Count of Toulouse and his ally the Count of Foix. The outcome was inconclusive. July 1220 to March 1221 saw a second siege of Castelnaudary

Today there are no remnants of the Cathar period to see at Castenaudary. En 1623, Louis XIII had the château de Castelnaudary demolished. At the end of the XVII century a prison was built on the site which functioned until 1926. Today the building on the site is known as the Présidial a primary school, prison, and museum, also a small prison chapel chapel Saint-Pierre

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Château de Châlus (Châlus-Chabrol)   Ruined Medieval Castle in Limouxin, France


Châlus is a castle in commune of the same name the Haute-Vienne department in the Limousin region in western France.

While besieging Châlus in 1199, Richard I of England was mortally wounded by a crossbow bolt shot by one Pierre Basile. King Richard's bowels are still preserved in the chapel here.

In 1275-1280, Géraud de Maumont built a second castle in front of Châlus Chabrol, called Châlus Maulmont. This was largely dismantled in 1790, then used as prison. The tower of Châlus Maulmont collapsed in 1994.

There is a medieval garden here. Other attractions of the village include a museum dedicated to the chestnut.

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Film LocationOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Château de Chambord   Well Preserved Renaissance Chateau in Loir-et-Cher, France


The royal Château de Chambord is one of the most recognisable châteaux in the world. Its architecture is distinct French Renaissance that blends traditional French medieval forms (such as its plan) with classical Italian structures, as seen in the facades..

The Château de Chambord was an expression of François' I desire for power and extravagance and was designed to confirm his status as one of the greatest revolutionary builder's of his age.

Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire Valley, yet was built as a mere hunting lodge for King François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and at Château d'Amboise. It is open to the public.

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Film LocationOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

 

Chateau de Coustaussa   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


The ruined chateau and modern village of Coustaussa is situated in the high valley of the Aude, above the river Sals between Arques and Couiza.

On their way back from Termes in late November 1210, Simon de Montfort and his Crusaders found the Château at Coustaussa already abandoned, and so carried on to Puivert.  Apparently the garrison at Coustaussa, like the one at Le Bézu had lost heart after the fall of Termes

Picturesque but dangerous ruins.  Free entry.

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Saint-Pierre de Fenouillet   Ruined Medieval Cathar Castle in Pyrénées-Orientales, France


The Château Saint-Pierre de Fenouillet is a ruined castle in the village of Fenouillet, Pyrénées-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussion. It is also known as The Château de Fenouillet, or the Château Saint-Pierre.

In the Middle Ages, the Château Saint-Pierre Fenouillet was the seat of the Viscounts of the area around Fenouillet, known then and now as the Fenouillides (Fenolheda). The Viscounty was claimed at various times by the Counts of Carcassonne, Cerdanya, Besalù, Roussillon, Narbonne and Barcelona.

Fenouillet lay at the centre of important networks, geographic, military and social. The position controls access to mountain valleys. The castle here provided a military headquarters most notably during the Cathar period. The Viscounts of Fenouillet also occupied an important position, with influence beyond Carcassonne and Barcelona. It also served as a refuge to faydits, disposed Cathars with nowhere else to go.

Nearby are two other castles Sabarda and Castel-Fizel, protecting access.

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Château de Foix   Well Preserved Medieval Hill-top Castle in Ariege, France


The Château de Foix is a castle in the French département of Ariège. An important tourist site, it dominates the town of Foixit and was once a Cathar Castle. It is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

In the 12th and 13th centuries the castle had only 2 square towers; the round tower was only added in the 15th century.

It was the home of the celebrated family of counts who became the viscount of Béarn, then kings of Navarre andkings of France..

In 1002 the castle figured in the testament of Roger the first count of Carcassonne who bequeathed it to his eldest son Bernard. Bernard Roger is the first to use the title Comte de Foix. The castle was the count's maion residence until 1290.

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Open to the Public

 

Château Gaillard   Ruined Medieval Castle in Normandy, France


Château Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle in Normandy, France.

It was built built in limestone c. 1196–1198 by the master military strategist Richard I (Richard Coeur de lion, the Lionheart). Some historians think that he designed it himself. It was an early Concentric castle and one of the first to feature machicolations, and flanking towers. The castle consists of three enclosures separated by dry moats, with a keep in the inner enclosure.

It was lost to the French by the incompetent King John and played a major part in the Hundred Years' War, exchanging hands several times. It was slighted in 1599–1611, and is now in ruins. The château Gaillard can be visited throughout the year. The keep is open in summer paying. Guided Tours in English, French and German from mid March to Mid November. Parking available.

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Open to the Public

 

Chateau de Haut Koenigsbourg   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Alsace, France


The château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is located at Orschwiller, Alsace, France, in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat.

The castle is nestled at a strategic location on a high hill overlooking the Alsatian plain; as a result it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned.

In 1900 it was restored under the direction of Emperor Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist attraction, located on the Alsace wine route.

The castle has been listed as a monument historique since 1862. In 1993, it was officially designated as a national historic site by the French Ministry of Culture. Today, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the region.

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Open to the Public

 

Lastours   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


An unusual arrangement of three castle towers (Las Tours, The Towers) this fortification belonged to the Lords of Cabaret, who held in fief from the Trencavels.

In the thirteenth century there were three towers here, built on the same rocky outcrop.  They are called Cabaret (to the north), Quertinheux and Surdespine (to the south).  These are some of the few original Cathar castles left.

The Seigneurs of Cabaret received troubadours here, including Raymond de Miraval and Peire Vidal, who dedicated verses to the Cathar Ladies of the place. 

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Château de Lavaur   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in Languedoc, France


In March 1211, during the wars against the Cathars of the Languedoc, Lavaur was besieged by Simon de Montfort. The town fell on 3rd of May, 1211, following which the French Catholic Crusaders excelled even themselves in cruelty and disregard for the accepted rules of war.  The head of the garrison, Aimeric-de-Montréal, was hanged along with his knights. His widowed sister, the chatelaine of Lavaur, Gerauda (or Geralda) de Lavaur, was brutally murdered.

Today nothing remains of the Medieval Castle, but you can visit a memorial commemorating Lady Gerauda' s murder and the loss of indendependance of the people of Occitania, and also a Cathral built to mark the Catholic victory.

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Château de Marmande   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in Aquitaine, France


Marmande was a bastide founded about 1195 on the site of a more ancient town by King Richard I (Coeur de Lion or Lionheart). It had passed into the hands of the counts of Toulouse, and was besieged three times during the Cathar crusades. 

Prince Louis (the future King Louis) arrived with 20 bishops, 30 counts, 600 knights and 10,000 foot soldiers, having joined the army of  the Pope's legate Abbott Arnaud Amaury. The city of some 7000 people fell after the first assault, and was sacked. The victors held a council and decided to follow Old Testament teaching - that men, women, old people and children should be executed. The massacre that followed shocked even the crusaders' own allies. 

Today nothing remains of the chateau here and very little of the city walls.

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Chateau de Montaillou   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


Montaillou is a small village in the remote Sabarthès area where Catharism was revived in the fouteenth century.  In 1318 the whole village was arrested on the orders of the bishop of Pamiers, Jacques Fournier, who had been the Cistercian Abbot of Fontfroide and who now felt a vocation as an Inquisitor.  Exceptionally, he was interested in the truth about Catharism, and he kept records of the interrogations.  Even more exceptionally, years later he was elected Pope (Benedict XII) so his records were preserved in the Vatican archives.  These records form the basis of a book about the village by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. 

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Château de Montségur   Ruined Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


The Château de Montségur is probably the best known of all Cathar Castles. It is famous as the last Cathar stronghold, which fell after a 10 month siege in 1244. A field below the hill-top castle is reputed to be where over 200 Cathars were burned alive, having refused to renounce their faith.

A building on this site sheltered a community of Cathar women at the end of the twelfth century. Early in the thirteenth, Ramon de Pereille the co-seigneur and Chatelain, was asked to make it defensible, anticipating the problems to come.

It is open to the public, as is a museum in the nearby modern village of Montségur. There is an entrance fee for both.

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Muret   Demolished Medieval Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


The Battle of Muret was fought on 12 September 1213. It started as a siege of the castle castle there, but ended as an open battle - one of the very few of the Cathar Crusades. Muret is located near Toulouse

The Crusader army of Simon IV de Montfort defeated the Aragonese and Catalan forces of Peter II of Aragon, who had come to the aid of the Occitan forces of his vassal Raymond of Toulouse.

Muret is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Today It is an outer suburb of the city of Toulouse, though it does not belong to Greater Toulouse, which it declined to join. It lies southwest of Toulouse and is the largest component of the intercommunality of Muretain.

Today there is no vestige of the Medieval castle there.

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Chateau de Pechrigal   Modernised Medieval Castle in Quercy (Midi-Pyrénées), France


The Chateau de Pechrigal is a medieval castle with a majestic entrance. The castle has a distinguished history under the Séguy family under the ancien regime. It passed to the Perie and Dreyffus families and then to Léo Ferré one of the greatest composers and writers of French songs in modern times (ranked along with Georges Brassens and Jacques Brel).

Built in the 14th century the Chateau has recently been completely renovated, and is available for exclusive hire, weddings and other family events, vacations and corporate events.

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Château de Peyrpertuse   Ruined Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


Peyrepertuse is a ruined fortress and one of the Cathar castles of the Languedoc located high in the French Pyrénées in the commune of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, in the Aude département.

It was associated with the Counts of Narbonne and Barcelona. It stands at 800m high.

The name of Peyrepetuse derived from Occitan and means Pierced Rock.

The castle was built on a strategic location by the kings of Aragon (lower) in the 11th Century and by Louis IX (higher) later on. The two castles are linked together by a huge staircase. The castle lost importance as a strategic castle when the border between France and Spain was moved in 1659, causing the castle to be abandoned.

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Open to the Public

 

Château de Pierrefonds   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Oise département, France


The Château de Pierrefonds castle situated in the commune of Pierrefonds in the Oise département of France. It is on the southeast edge of the Forest of Compiègne, north of Paris, between Villers-Cotterêts and Compiègne.

Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III of France) visited the castle in 1850. As emperor, he asked Viollet-le-Duc in 1857 to undertake its restoration. Inside, Viollet-le-Duc produced more a work of invention than restoration With the exterior he showed his extensive knowledge of the military architecture of the 14th century.

The Château de Pierrefonds includes most of the characteristics of defensive military architecture from the Middle Ages, though it underwent a major restoration in the 19th century . The Château is classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

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Open to the Public

 

Le Chateau de Pieusse   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


This is an exception.  If you want to see what castles looked like in the Cathar period, pay a visit to the village of Pieusse, near Limoux.  Although you will find it in no tourist literature, this is the most representative "Cathar Castle" still standing.  

It is in private hands and not open to the public - which is why you won't find it in the tourist literature (no one to take your money).

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Château La Commanderie   Restored Medieval Cathar Château in Languedoc, France


This is a rare castle - a genuine Cathar Château that is still inhabited. It was built by Guilhem de Planh (Guilhaume de Plaigne) a key figure in the events at Avignonet in 1242 and the tragedy of Montségur 1244.

The Chateau was sold the Knights of Malta (The Knights Hospitaller or Knights of St-John) in the seventeenth century.

It has been completely refurbished as a handsome private residence set in its own grounds and available for exclusive hire. It is available for weddings and other private functions, and for business conferences.

It is located in the heart of Cathar Country in the Aude department in the Languedoc, between Carcassonne and Toulouse.

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Château du Plessis-Bourré   Well Preserved Late Medieval Castle in Loire Valley, France


Château du Plessis-Bourré is a Château of the Loire Valley in France, situated in the commune of Écuillé in the Maine-et-Loire department. Built in less than 5 years from 1468 to 1472 by Finance Minister Jean Bourré, an advisor to King Louis XI.

It was acquired by Reille-Soult de Dalmatie family in 1911 and classified as a Monument historique in 1931. It was managed by Bruno & Antoinette de Ferrieres de Sauvebeuf from 1978 until January 2009.

Le Plessis-Bourré until 2009 remained one of the few french castles inhabited by its owner. With the retirement of Bruno & Antoinette, Aymeric d'Anthenaise took over helped by Jean-Francois Reille-Soult Dalmatie.

It is open for visits to the public.

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Château de Puilaurens    Ruined Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


The Château de Puilaurens (Occitan: lo Castèl de Puèg-Laurenç) is one of the Cathar Castles of the Languedoc in what is now the South of France. It is located in the commune of Lapradelle-Puilaurens in the Aude département.

The castle stands on a spur of rock above the Boulzane Valley and the villages of Lapradelle and Puilaurens. There is a path from Axat to the castle. The castle here had belonged to the Abbey of Saint-Michel de Cuxa before it was acquired by the King of Aragon in 1162.  As Aragonese property it was outside the territory ravaged by the Crusaders during the Cathar wars.  Like Queribus it therefore provided a refuge for those fleeing from the invading forces.  Those who took refuge there included both Cathars and faidits, that is to say those who had forfeited their property because of their opposition to the invaders.  These faidits included high nobles, such as Guillaume de Peyrepertuse. 

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Open to the Public

 

Château de Puivert   Semi-Ruined Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


The Château de Puivert is a Cathar castle situated in the commune of Puivert, in the Aude département of the Languedoc. This building, on top a hill overlooking the village and its lake, reaches an altitude of 605 m.

In the twelfth century a castle stood on this site, which had strong Cathar and troubadour  links. A meeting of troubadours took place here in 1170, and in 1185 festivities attended by the Viscount of Carcassonne and Loba, Lady of Cabaret

The castle has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1902.The castle of Puivert is still in relatively good condition.  It is privately owned, but open to the public and undergoing restoration. 

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Château de Queribus    Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


This is sometimes regarded as the last Cathar stronghold.   In a sense it was. After the fall of the Château of Montségur (Occitan Montsegùr) in 1244 surviving Cathars gathered together in the Corbières in another mountain-top stronghold on the border of Aragon (The present border between the Aude département and the Pyrénées-Orientales département).

Quéribus is high and isolated. It stands on top of the highest peak for miles around. From a distance it can be seen on the horizon, pointing up into the sky.

It is accessible to visitors. You can drive almost to it, walking just the last few hundred metres. The entrance to the castle itself is very steep and narrow – a defensive measure. Notice the number of arrow loops covering the approach.

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Château de Ravel    Castle in Puy-de-Dôme, France


The Château de Ravel is a castle situated in the commune of Ravel, in the département of Puy-de-Dôme, France.

The castle of Revel was begun by Bernard de Revel, noted in 1171. Purchased by Philip III of France in 1283, it was given by Philip IV to his future chancellor, Pierre Flotte. It passed by marriage and inheritance to the d'Estaing family, by the marriage of the heiress Marie Comborcier du Terrail with her cousin Jean d'Estaing, 1647. The interiors were renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries. Privately-owned, the Château de Ravel is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture

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Château de Roquefixade   Ruined Medieval Cathar Castle in Midi-Pyrenees, France


The Château de Roquefixade is a ruined Cathar castle built on a cliff overlooking the village of Roquefixade. It lies 8km (5 miles) west of Lavelanet in the département of Ariège in Southern France.

There are records of a castle on the site going back to 1180, though the present ruins are more recent. A castle on this site provided refuge for Cathars at the time of the Cathar wars (Albigensian Crusade).

The Château de Roquefixade has been listed as a Historical Monument (monument historique) by the French Ministry of Culture since 1995. It is open to the public.

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Chateau de Saissac   Partially Restored Medieval Castle in the languedoc, France


The Château de Saissac is a semi-ruined Cathar Castle on a promontory at the southernmost tip of the commune of Saissac, in the Aude département located north-west of Carcassonne.

The village of Saissac and its castle (or château fort) dominates the rocky headland and the ravine of the river Vernassonne, overlooking the plain of Carcassonne at an important strategic position at the entry of the Black Mountains (Montagnes Noires).

Today the ruins are protected as official historical monuments of France (monument historique).

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Château St-Ferriol   Restored Late Medieval Hill-top Castle in Languedoc, France


The Château de St-Ferriol is a Late Medieval - Early Renaissance château fort in southern France. It is situated on a ridge, overlooking valleys to the North and South, in the heart of the village of St-Ferriol, near the towns of Quillan and Esperaza in the Aude Département and the Languedoc-Roussillon Région.

The Château de St-Ferriol was built in the sixteenth century towards the end of the period of medieval castle building. Gunpowder and firearms had rendered traditional castle building techniques obsolete, and medieval style castles were still being built only in remote areas - like Scotland and the Languedoc - where local wars still raged.

The Château was listed (inscrit as a Monument Historique) in 1999 and is currently undergoing renovation so is not open to the general public, but three estate properties are available for long or short rentals.

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Château de Termes   Ruined Cathar Castle in Languedoc, France


The Château de Termes is a ruined castle near the village of Termes in the Aude département of the Languedoc. Built on a promontory it is defended on three sides by deep ravines. The ruins of the castle cover an area of 16 000m².

Held by Ramon (Raymond) de Termes during the Cathar War , the castle fell to Simon de Montfort after a siege lasting four months, from August to November 1210, the hardest siege of the first period of the Albigensian Crusade.

Termes was a powerful castle sited on top of a large natural hill in the Corbières (in the present departement of the Aude département but then part of the County of the Razès). It consisted of a citadel within town walls (the castrum) and with a suburb (burg) next to it with its own defensive walls. Like the Château of Montségur ( The Name in Occitan. Click here to find out more about occitan. Montsegùr) it was protected by a separate forward outpost - this one called Termenet. The castle is open to the public.

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Château Narbonnaise   Site of Demolished Medieval Castle in Toulouse, France


Like most towns, Toulouse was defended by city walls with a seigniorial castle providing a second line of defence.

The castle of the Counts of Toulouse was on the west side of the city, and known as the Château Narbonnais.

The City was repeatedly besieged, and repeatedly withstood the Catholic Crusaders, though it had to be surrendered under treaties of surrender.

On 12th September 1217 Raymond VI of Toulouse re-entered the City of Toulouse to the delight of the population, trapping Simon de Montfort's wife family within the Château Narbonnais.

Simon himself died here the following year while besieging the city for a third time - to the great rejoicing of the population..

The Château Narbonnais survived the Crusades but was dismantled in 1549. The Palaise de Justice now stands on the site. Archaelogical excavations have revealed some of the foundations of the old Counts' Chateau. You can find much of the city's history commemorated by art in the Capitol in the heart of Toulouse.

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Grand Trianon   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Versailles (near Paris), France


The Grand Trianon was built in the northwestern part of the Domain of Versailles at the request of Louis XIV, as a retreat for the King and his maîtresse en titre of the time, the marquise de Montespan, and as a place where the King and invited guests could take meals away from the strict étiquette of the Court.

Begun in June 1687, the new construction (as we see it today) was finished in January 1688 and inaugurated by Louis XIV and his secret wife, the marquise de Maintenon, during the summer of 1688.

The Grand Trianon is set within its own park, which includes the Petit Trianon (the much smaller château built between 1762 and 1768 during the reign of Louis XV).

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Château of Usson   Ruined Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


Upstream from Axat in the Aude Gorge, carved out of the foothills of the the high Pyrenees, is the little known castle of Usson.  It dates from the eleventh century (perhaps earlier) and during the Cathar period marked the eastern boundary of the territories of the Counts of Foix.

In the twelfth century this was the capital of the Donezan region.  Before the Défilé was cut through the mountains to link Quillan to Axat, this was an inaccessible outpost providing succour for faidits and other persecuted Cathars.  The Cathar bishop of Toulouse Guilhabert de Castres is known to have taken refuge here. 

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Palace of Versailles   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Versailles (near Paris), France


The Palace of Versailles (or Château de Versailles) is one of the most spectacular achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. The three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution each added improvements.

In the 1670s Louis XIV built the Grand Apartments of the King and Queen, including the Hall of Mirrors. The Chapel and Opera were built in the next century under Louis XV. The château lost its standing as the official seat of power in 1789 but acquired a new role in the 19th century as the Museum of the History of France. Versailles has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

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Chateau de Villerouge-Termenes   Partially Restored Medieval Castle in the Languedoc, France


The castle, in the middle of the present village, had belonged to the Archbishops of Narbonne until it was seized by Simon de Montfort and given to one of his lieutenants when nearby Termes was taken in 1210.

It was here that the last known cathar parfit, Guilhem Belibaste, was burnt alive in 1321.

The castle is open to the public and medival feasts are held here in the summer.

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Germany

   
 

Neuschwanstein   Unfinished Neo-Gothic Romantic Castle in Bavaria, Germany


Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.

The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. It was started on 5 September 1869. Work ceased in 1892, the building remaining unfinished.

The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. In German it is known as Schloss Neuschwanstein

More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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the Republic of Ireland

   
 

Ballinacurra House   Modernised Eighteenth Century Country House in County Cork, the Republic of Ireland


Ballinacurra House is Ireland's premier private estate for exclusive hire, located close to Ireland's gourmet capital, Kinsale, in County Cork. The house was built around 1770 and underwent a major restoration during 2000 to 2003, keeping the personality of the 250 year old mansion but introducing modern conveniences and luxuries.

With the owners' 25 years experience in the event management business, Ballinacurra House is internationally known as Ireland’s Premier Intimate Events House with a guarantee of privacy, discretion and style. It boasts an impressive list of previous clients.

Ballinacurra House offers venues for exclusive hire, corporate meetings, team building events, golf groups, family reunions, private parties and small weddings with a difference.

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Blarney Castle   Semi-Ruined Tower Castle in County Cork , the Republic of Ireland


Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland, and the River Martin.

The castle originally dates from before AD 1200, when a wooden structure was built on the site. Around 1210 A.D. this was replaced by a stone fortification. This in turn was destroyed in 1446, and subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster.

The castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and battlements. At the top of the castle, among the machicolations, lies the Stone of Eloquence, better known as the Blarney Stone. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.

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Open to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Trim castle   Semi-Ruined Anglo-Norman Castle in County Meath , the Republic of Ireland


Trim castle is an Anglo-Norman castle, possibly the first stone castle in Ireland. It is located about 28 miles northwest of Dublin in County Meath, along the banks of the River Boyne. Trim has been described as “the finest and largest castle in Ireland”

It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter, from the 11th century. de Lacy took possession of the present building in 1172. The Castle was used as a centre of Norman administration for the Liberty of Meath, one of the new administrative areas of Ireland created by Henry II of England and granted to Hugh de Lacy.

During the late Middle Ages, Trim Castle, still the centre of administration for Meat, marked the outer northern boundary of The Pale.

Today the castle is semi ruined, but still worth a visit. It is in use and open to public

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Israel

   
 

Belvoir Castle    Ruined Concentric Crusader Castle in , Israel


The security of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the twelfth century was dependent upon a network of fortifications, mainly along its eastern border which was vulnerable to Muslim attacks.

The Hospitaller castle of Belvoir was one of these. It is the first datable true concentric castle. It was built shortly after 1168 on top of a basalt plateau. Twelfth century Muslim historians refer to it as a ‘nest of eagles' and the 'dwelling place of the moon’. About 50 knights and 450 soldiers lived in Belvoir, along with their families and staff.

Though in ruins it is one of the best preserved crusader castles in Israel - and not to be confused with the castle in England also called Belvoir Castle.

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Italy

   
 

Castello Ducale di Agliè   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


The Castello Ducale is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, dating from the 12th century, originally a possession of the counts of San Martino. In the 17th century it was turned into a rich residence by count Filippo d'Agliè, but was ravaged during the French invasion of 1706. In 1765 it was acquired by Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy and sold it to his son Benedetto of Savoy who had it radically renewed ten years later, under design by Ignazio Birago di Bòrgaro. From then on it was a summer residence for the Kings of Sardinia. It was sold to the Italian state in 1939.

The Castello Ducale has a monumental façade with two stairs and a fountain; the interior includes 300 rooms, mostly provided with contemporary furniture. The castle is surrounded by large English- and Italian-style gardens.

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Open to the Public

 

Castel Sant'Angelo   Augmented Ancient Roman Mausoleum. Castle in Rome, Italy


The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Rome. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.

Much of the tomb contents and decoration has been lost since the building's conversion into a military fortress in 401 and inclusion by Flavius Augustus Honorius in the Aurelian Walls.

The Papal state used Sant'Angelo as a prison. Giordano Bruno was imprisoned there for six years. Executions were carried out by the Catholic Church in the small interior square. As a prison, it was also the setting for the third act of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca from whose ramparts the eponymous heroine of the opera leaps to her death.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Palazzo Carignano   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Turin, Italy


The Palazzo Carignano (Carignan Palace) is a historical building in the centre of Turin which currently houses the Museum of the Risorgimento. It was once a private residence of the Princes of Carignan, after whom it is named. It is famous for its unique rounded façade. It is located on the Via Accademia delle Scienze.

The construction of the Palazzo Carignano was ordered by the Prince of Carginan, Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, son of Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignan and his French wife Marie de Bourbon. Construction started in 1679. The building, constructed in brick in a typical Baroque style, has an elliptical centre façade. This facade offers the only domestic project to make use of the undulating 'concave - convex - concave' rhythm. It was the birth place of the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II in 1820. From 1848 to 1861 the palace was used for the House of Deputies of the Subalpine Parliament.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Castello di Govone   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


the Royal Castle of Carlo Felice Savoy, a medieval fortress renovated during the 18th century into a stately mansion, one of the hunting residences of the royal family, it is today municipal property, and is still surrounded by wonderful Italian gardens; since 1997 it has been included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The southern facade was designed by Guarino Guarini while the northern facade was based on a project by Benedetto Alfieri.

Govone is a fine medieval borough near the Langhe Hills, situated in a strategic position over the Tanaro valley, halfway between Asti and Alba, the village is famous for its royal castle, where Jean-Jacques Rousseau resided for a time in 1730, and for a fine flower festival in spring.

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Open to the Public

 

Palazzo Madama   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Turin, Italy


Palazzo Madama e Casaforte degli Acaja is a palace in Turin, northern Italy. At the beginning of the first century BC, the site of the palace was occupied by a gate in the Roman walls. Two of the towers, although restored, still testify to this original nucleus. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the gate was used as a fortified stronghold in the defences of the city. Later the building became a possession of a secondary branch of the House of Savoy; in the early fourteenth century, they enlarged it into a castle. A century later Ludovico of Acaja rebuilt it in square shape. The form of this edifice is still clearly recognizable from the back section of the palace. In 1637 the regent for Duke Charles II Emmanuel, Christine Marie of France, commissioned the covering of the court and a revamping of the inner apartments. Sixty years later another regent, Marie Jeanne of Savoy, lived in the palace, conferring upon it definitively the nickname of Madama (Italian for Madame). She asked architect Filippo Juvarra to design a new Baroque palace in white stone, but the works halted in 1721 after only the front section had been completed. Since 1934 it has housed to the City Museum of Ancient Art.

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Open to the Public

 

Castello della Mandria   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


La Mandria is a park, which contains a number of royal palaces including the Borgo Castello. The Royal Apartment occupy the façade the Borgo Castello facing towards the Reggia di Venaria Reale. The estate was created in the second half of the 18th century as a centre for the breeding of purebred horses that would be used by the Royal Family for hunting with their train in the area of Venaria.

It is the Italy's largest historical park enclosed by a boundary wall (and the second-largest in Europe); La Mandria boasts remarkable 20 historical buildings, including several ancient farms, the remains of a medieval shelter, two hunting lodges (La Bizzarria and Villa dei Laghi) and Cascina Rubbianetta, today the seat of the International Riding Centre.

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Open to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Castello di Moncalieri   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


The Castle of Moncalieri is a palace in Moncalieri (province of Turin), Piedmont, in northern Italy. The first structure was a fortress built by Thomas I of Savoy around 1100 on a hill, to command the main southern access to Turin. In the mid-17th century Yolanda of Valois, wife of Duke Amadeus IX, turned it into a pleasure residence. Architect Carlo di Castellamonte enlarged the construction substantially, and the interiors were redesigned by him and other local artists.

The current structure of the castle is in the shape of a horseshoe facing south, with four massive square towers at each angle. The side sections have fived floors, brick walls and robust buttresses. Two other minor buildings parallel the side sections and create two courts. The southern façade has a giardino all'italiana and two small cylindrical towers, last remains of the 15th century castle. The northern entrance has also a notable belvedere. Since 1921 it has been the home of the 1st Battalion of the Carabinieri, but the historical rooms can be freely visited.

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Open to the Public

 

Pollenzo Estate   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Bra (Cuneo), Piedmont, Italy


The royal estate of Pollenzo is located in the Piazza della Chiesa, Pollenzo - the home of Polenta.

The castle here dates from the 12th century, but has been remodelled in several styles, most notably Neo-Gothic. It is connected to the St Victor's church, which houses the 16th century wooden choir stalls from Staffarda Abbey.

Restoration work was entrusted to Ernest Melano and, from 1832 onwards, to the Genoese Pelagio Palagi, who would later work on Racconigi Castle and the Royal Palace at Turin.

The estate is counted as one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list.

The University of Gastronomic Sciences now has its seat in the royal estate of Pollenzo.

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Open to the Public

 

Castello di Racconigi   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy


The Royal Castle of Racconigi is a palace and landscape park in Racconigi, province of Cuneo, Italy. It was the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy, The first records of the castle are from around the year 1000, when Bernardino of Susa rebuilt an ancient manor, leaving it to Cistercian monks. Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Carignano, Tommaso's son, in the late 17th century, commissioned Guarino Guarini to transform the fortress into a pleasure residence. The architect erected the current central section where the court was, adding a pagoda-like roof. The two northern towers were replaced by pavilions with dome roof and square plan, provided with white marble lanterns. The gardens were also created. Emmanuel Philiberto created a magnificent wide park in the jardin à la française style that opens for the castle's northwards view. It was designed by the renowned 17th century by the French landscape architect André Le Notre, known to him for designing the gardens of Versailles radiating from Château de Versailles. In the late 18th century the English Landscape garden style was introduced.

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Open to the Public

 

Palazzo Reale    Renaissance Royal Palace in Turin, Italy


Royal Palace of Turin or Palazzo Reale, is a palace in Turin, northern Italy. It was once part of an old Bishops palace and later the royal palace of the House of Savoy. It was modernised greatly by the French born Madama Reale Christine Marie of France (1606-1663) in the seventeenth century. The palace was worked on by Filippo Juvarra. It includes the Palazzo Chiablese. The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the current resting place of a bogus relic known as the Shroud of Turin, was added to the structure in 1668-1694.

In 1946, the palace was claimed by the Italian Republic and made a Museum of the life and works of the House of Savoy. Its rooms are decorated with rich tapestries and a collection of Chinese and Japanese vases. The Royal Armory houses an extensive array of arms, including examples from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Scala delle Forbici is a much-admired staircase by Filippo Juvarra.

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Villa della Regina   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in near Turin, Italy


The Villa della Regina is a palace outside the city of Turin, Italy. It was built by the House of Savoy in the 17th century. The original building, known as the Vigno, was built for the Maurice of Savoy during the reign of his brother Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy. The property was built as a private villa with its own vineyard. In 1684 it passed to Anne Marie d'Orléans, niece of Louis XIV of France, and wife of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. She used the Vigno when she could. Most of the present décor dates from her lifetime. Her husband was the King of Sicily from 1713 till 1720. From then on, the building was known as Villa della Regina, "Villa of the Queen". Anne Marie's eldest daughter Maria Adelaide came here and tried to recreate it at Versailles at the Menagerie. It remained the property of the House of Savoy till 1868 when it was donated by Victor Emmanuel II of Italy to the Institute of the Army's Daughters and in 1994 it was given to the State. Today it is today open to the public.

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Open to the Public

 

Castello di Rivoli   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


The Castle of Rivoli is a former Residence of the Royal House of Savoy in Rivoli (province of Turin, Italy). A castle was probably built here in the 9th-10th centuries, but its existence is mentioned for the first time only in 1159, in a charter by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa that ceded Rivolese territories to the bishops of Turin. The House of Savoy acquired Rivoli in the 11th century. They soon found themselves at war with the local bishop and the castle was damaged. The present building was built in phases between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

The building was damaged during World War II, and remained in a substantial state of abandon until 1979, when new works of restoration were begun. In 1984 the castle was reopened as seat of the Museo di Arte Contemporanea (Contemporary Art Museum), one of the most known in Europe.

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Open to the Public

 

Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in northern Italy, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Built as a royal hunting lodge in the early 18th century, it is located in Stupinigi, a suburb of the town of Nichelino, 10 km southwest of Turin. Its name in Italian means "the little hunting palace of Stupinigi". The original purpose of the hunting lodge is symbolized by the bronze stag perched at the apex of the stepped roof of its central dome, and the hounds' heads that decorate the roofline. The building has a saltire plan: four angled wings project from the oval-shaped main hall. The final building has a total of 137 rooms and 17 galleries, and covers 31,050 square meters. Today the palace houses the Museo di Arte e Ammobiliamento, a museum of the arts and furnishings. Since 1992, woods and agricultural land surrounding Stupinigi have been preserved as the Parco naturale di Stupinigi. Included in the communal territories of Nichelino, Candiolo and Orbassano.

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Open to the Public

 

La Reggia di Valcasotto   Augmented Renaissance Royal Castle in Piedmont, Italy


La Reggia di Valcasotto was erected some time around the 10th century. It later became a Carthusian Monastery and was destroyed by a series of fires. It was renovated during the 18th century. The monks were suppressed in the early 19th century during the occupation by French troops.

Charles Albert purchased the property in 1837. Itt remained in Savoy hands until 1881. In that year, with only slight alterations to the original monastery, it became a castle, and was mainly used by Victor Emanuel II for his hunting trips. Humbert I decided, after 44 years as a Savoy possession, to sell it to private owners.

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Open to the Public

 

Castello del Valentino   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Turin, Italy


The Castello del Valentino (Castle of Valentino) is an historic building in the north-west Italian city of Turin. It is located in Valentino Park, and is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997. The name Valentino, first mentioned in 1275, seems to derive from a saint called Valentine whose relics were venerated in a nearby church. The original castle here was bought by Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy on the advice of Andrea Palladio.

The current structure is due to Princess Christine Marie of France (1606-1663), wife of Victor Amadeus I, who lived here from 1630. It has a horseshoe shape, with four round towers, and a wide inner court with a marble pavement. Works lasted until 1660. Renovations were carried out in 1860 when it was selected as the seat of the engineering faculty of Turin; it has been further restored in recent years. Today it is the central building of the Architecture faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin.

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Open to the Public

 

Reggia di Venaria Reale   Well Preserved Renaissance Royal Palace in Piedmont, Italy


The Palace of Venaria (Italian: Reggia di Venaria Reale) is a former royal residence located in Venaria Reale, near Turin, in Piedmont, northern Italy. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997, and one of the largest royal residences in the world, comparable in size and structures to those of Versailles and Caserta.

The Palace was designed and built from 1675 by Amedeo di Castellamonte, commissioned by duke Charles Emmanuel II, who needed a base for his hunting expeditions in the heathy hill country north of Turin. The name itself derives from Latin, Venatio Regia meaning "Royal Hunt". Recent work has recreated the palace's park (destroyed during the French occupation) in modern style.

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Open to the PublicGardens to Visit

Portugal

   
 

Almourol Castle   Restored Medieval Island Castle in Santarém district, Portugal


Almourol Castle is situated in the small Almourol island in the middle of the Tagus river (rio Tejo), in Praia do Ribatejo, a parish in Vila Nova da Barquinha, Central Portugal.

The castle was a Knights Templar stronghold used during the Reconquista.

The castle and the tiny fluvial island may be visited without charge.

Visitors pay for an inexpensive boat trip across the river, which is the only way reach the castle.

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Castle of São Jorge   Restored Medieval Hill-top Castle in , Portugal


The Castle of São Jorge is a castle that occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon and the Tagus River beyond. It was originally built by the Moors, but in its present configuration the strongly fortified citadel dates from medieval times.

It is located on top of the highest hill in the historic center of the city. In Portuguese it is called the Castelo de São Jorge

It is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon. The gardens of the Castelo are beautiful and well maintained. A five-arched Ogival House, once part of the 17th century jail located within St George Castle is worth seeing. The museum complex, the Interpretation Center for the City of Lisbon, is also worth a visit.

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Romania

   
 

Bran Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Transylvania, Romania


Bran castle is a national monument and landmark in Romania. It is commonly known as "Dracula's Castle", and although it is one of several locations linked to the Dracula legend, it is marketed as the home of Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle. On the other hand Dracula is clearly based on Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) who was known as Dracula during his lifetime and who did use the castle during his raids into Transylvania.

It is owned by His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Dominic of Tuscany, Archduke of Austria. The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour.

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Open to the Public

Scotland

   
 

Armadale Castle    Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland


Armadale Castle is a ruined country house in Armadale, Isle of Skye, former home of the MacDonalds. A mansion house was first built here around 1790. In 1815 a Scottish baronial style mock-castle, intended for show rather than defense, designed by James Gillespie Graham, was built next to the house. After 1855 the part of the house destroyed by fire was replaced by a central wing, designed by David Bryce. Since 1925 the castle, abandoned by the Macdonald family, has fallen into ruin. The gardens around the castle have been maintained, and are now home to the Clan Donald Centre, which operates the Museum of the Isles.Click here for more ....
Estate Lodges or CottagesGardens to Visit

 

Birkhill Castle    Castle in Fife, Scotland


Birkhill is the family home of the Earl and Countess of Dundee in Birkhill, Cupar in Fife. It is located on the shores of the river Tay a short distance from St Andrews.

Set on the coast in North East Fife, Birkhill was built in 1780. The house is surrounded by gardens with rare trees and plants. Lord Dundee is the Hereditary Royal Standard Bearer for Scotland. His ancestors carried the Scottish Banner for William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Bruce later appointed the Standard Bearer and his successors as custodians of the City of Dundee which lies just across the Tay.

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Blackness Castle    Medieval Castle in Lothian, Scotland


Blackness Castle is a 15th century fortress, near the village of Blackness, Scotland, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. It was built, probably on the site of an earlier fort, by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s.

At this time, Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch. The castle, together with the Crichton lands, passed to King James II of Scotland in 1453, and the castle has been crown property ever since.

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Open to the Public

 

Blair Castle    Castle in Perthshire, Scotland


Blair Castle is the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl.

The castle enjoys one of Scotland’s finest settings in the heart of Highland Perthshire.

The Castle has a long history, throughout which it has accumulated many fascinating historical artefacts, including antique furniture, art, period dress and arms and armour.

The Castle, one of Scotland's major stately homes, is open for visitors on a daily basis (entrance charge). One of the first private homes to open to the public in Scotland, Blair Castle welcomes more visitors than any other.

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Cloncaird Castle    Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland


Cloncaird Castle is located in the magical and spectacular countryside of South Ayrshire in South West Scotland. Set on the banks of the River Girvan, the Castle is an ideal and romantic setting for your wedding party, corporate hospitality event or private function. Come and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of this beautiful wedding venue. The castle Courtyard Atrium will hold up to 100 guests. This historic courtyard has been extensively re-modelled to provide a spectacular location for your function. For larger parties we can arrange for a marquee on the lawn next to the Castle loch. We also have nine charming holiday cottages. These self-catering properties are all newly refurbished and modernised, and available to rent all year round. Cloncaird Castle and Cottages are set within a 140 acre estate, hosting romantic riverside walks, salmon fishing and shooting which can be arranged on request. We are only a short drive from Prestwick International Airport and one hour ten minutes from Glasgow Airport. Cloncaird Castle is also within easy reach of many Top Ayrshire Golf courses such as Turnberry, Prestwick and Troon. A private helipad is available for visitors. Come and visit this special place for yourself and enjoy looking onto our pedigree fold of Highland Cattle grazing alongside our adorable Dutch horses. Click here for more ....
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Crathes Castle    Castle in Banchory, Royal Deeside, Scotland


Crathes Castle is a 16th century castle near Banchory in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland. This harled castle was built by the Burnetts of Leys and was held in that family for almost 400 years. The castle and grounds are presently owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland and are open to the public.

Crathes sits on land given as a gift to the Burnett of Leys family by King Robert the Bruce in 1323. Construction of the current tower house of Crathes Castle was begun in 1553 but delayed several times during its construction due to political problems during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.

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Gardens to Visit

 

Craufurdland Castle    Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland


The castle dates from 1245, one of the oldest in Ayrshire and is situated within a small country estate with scenic views, near Fenwick.

Estimates of the date of the oldest parts of the castle range from the 14th to the late 16th century, when it was simply a tower house. A wing from 1648 has been identified, but the gothic style frontage is from the early 19th century. The castle is still in private ownership.

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Dalhousie Castle     Castle in Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, Scotland


A fascinating 13th century fortress set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the river Esk. From the moment you arrive at Dalhousie Castle, one of the finest luxury hotels in Scotland, a warm Scottish welcome awaits. Whether relaxing in the fabulous Aqueous Spa, enjoying one of the library’s extensive collection of books and a drink from the ‘secret bar’ next to the open fire, dining in the ancient barrel vaulted dungeon on our exceptional cuisine or relaxing in your unique castle bedroom, you will always feel as welcome as the ‘Laird’. This luxury Scottish castle hotel is also an ideal venue for your own traditional Scottish gathering, whether you are planning a ceilidh, banquet, wedding, conference or meeting, or, as an individual, maybe staying on a special break, you are looking for the best of Scotland’s hospitality with all the comforts of a four star Edinburgh Hotel. Click here for more ....
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Dalmunzie Castle    Castle in Perthshire, Scotland


Dalmunzie Castle is a stunning quintessential Lairds mansion turreted in the Scots Baronial style & standing proudly at the head of a 6500 acre estate dating back to 1510. Enjoying magnificent mountain scenery, Dalmunzie is located in a hidden part of Highland Perthshire, yet is less than two hours from Edinburgh airport. Peace and tranquillity are a feature of life at Dalmunzie with fires & lounges contributing to a relaxing haven from the outside world. For the more active the first tee of Dalmunzie Golf Course is only thirty yards away. Set amongst stunning scenery, it was built for the private use of the Laird and his guests in the 1920's. Residents of Dalmunzie Castle may play the golf course complimentary as part of their stay with full details of this fun but challenging course found through the leisure page. In addition there is a tennis court, numerous hiking trails, fishing and mountain bikes available.Click here for more ....
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Doune Castle    Castle in , Scotland


Doune Castle is a late 14th century stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. The castle is sited on a wooded bend where the Ardoch Burn flows into the River Teith, across a bridge from the village.

Doune is remarkable among Scottish castles, as it is the product of a single building period, and has survived relatively unchanged and complete. It was begun in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c.1340-1420), the son of King Robert II of Scotland, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death.

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Drummond Castle    Castle in , Scotland


Drummond Castle in Muthill parish is a little south of Crieff, Perthshire. The oldest part is a tower-house built over several years by Sir John Drummond of Cargill, following the issue of a royal warrant by King James III in 1491.

It is set on part of a prominent spine of rock known as the Gask Ridge, a geographical feature which stretches several kilometres across Perthshire, but is particularly prominent and steep-sided at the site of the castle. The original tower was ruined after Cromwell's siege in 1653. The upper stories were rebuilt (and heightened) in pseudo-medieval style in 1842-53, but the structure is no longer used as a dwelling. The keep is adjoined by a later, but better preserved, gatehouse (built 1629-30).

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Drumtochty Castle     Castle in Laurencekirk, Scotland


Sorrounded by the superb Scottish countryside, the 19th century Drumtochty Castle is the perfect place for a memorable event. Whether you are looking for a private wekend celebration or an exclusive business gathering, your visit to the castle will be a unique experience. We invite you to enjoy the castle exclusively as your own, or with family and friends, and celebrate that special moment in you life in a relaxed and historic atmosphere. It is dificult to imagine a more magical setting for you wedding than a stunning 19th Century Scottish castle, hidden away in a wild woodland glen. We invite you to enjoy the castle exclusively, in an atmosphere of privacy and luxury for your entire wedding weekend. Just a short carriage ride to the castle gates takes you to the fairytale church of St. Palladius where your ceremony can be performed. If you prefer, the marriage can be held in one of the reception rooms, in the castle grounds or by the loch. After the ceremony guests can enjoy champagne in the regal reception rooms or outside on the lawn before entering the magnificent ballroom where the tables sparkle with the finest crystal, china and cutlery to enjoy a sumptuous banquet, fine wines and the best of service. Accommodation The Castle itself can sleep up to twenty-two guests in luxurious, individually designed bedrooms, each one spacious, comfortable and elegant. An additional 58 guests can be accommodation in comfort within the estate. Click here for more ....
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Duff House    Country House in Banff AB45 3SX
Aberdeenshire, Scotland


Duff House is a Georgian house in Banff, Scotland. It was designed by William Adam, and built between 1735 and 1740. It is regarded as one of Britain's finest Georgian houses. Duff House was built for William Duff of Braco, who became Earl Fife in 1759.
Disputes over the castle reached such an intensity that Duff never lived here. It is said that he never even looked at the completed house, having his carriage blinds drawn whenever he passed by.

In the twentieth century Duff House was in turn a palm court hotel, a sanatorium and a prisoner of war camp. Since 1995 it has been part of the National Galleries of Scotland and houses a range of art treasures and superbly furnished rooms. It also hosts a programme of artistic events and is used as a base for artists and writers.

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Dundas Castle     Castle in South Queensferry near Edinbur, Scotland


Dundas Castle is a 15th century castle, with substantial 19th century additions by William Burn, near South Queensferry, to the west of Edinburgh. It was the home of the Dundas family. In 1416, James Dundas obtained a license to build a Keep from the first Duke of Albany, with an extension granted in 1436. It was primarily a defensive refuge. Oliver Cromwell is known to have stayed at Dundas Castle around the time of the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.

The modern Dundas Castle was built in 1818 by the renowned architect William Burn. Burn also designed many churches and this influence is visible throughout the building. Burn's designs for the main state rooms allow for huge windows that look out onto lawns and parkland outside. The Dundas family sold the property in 1846, but it remains in private ownership.

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Dunnottar Castle    Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland


Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about two miles (3 km) south of Stonehaven.

The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th–16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been an early fortress of the Dark Ages.

Dunnottar Castle played a strategic role in the history of Scotland from the Middle Ages through to the Enlightenment, because of the location: it overlooked the shipping lanes to northern Scotland; and is situated on a narrow coastal terrace that controlled land access to the coastal south via Portlethen Moss to Aberdeen.

The site is open to the public, visited annually by hundreds of thousands of tourists.

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Open to the Public

 

Duns Castle    Castle in Berwickshire, Scotland


Duns Castle, Duns, Berwickshire is a historic house, the oldest part of which is the massive Norman Keep or Pele Tower, dating from 1320. The earlier house was transformed into a Gothic castle, 1818-22, by architect James Gillespie Graham. It is owned by the current Laird, Alexander Hay of Duns and Drumelzier.

Alexander Hay (who was killed at the battle of Waterloo) reputedly haunts the castle.

There is a publicly accessible park and two man made lakes, the Hen Poo and the smaller Mill Dam.

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Edinburgh Castle   Modernised Royal Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland


Edinburgh Castle is a castle fortress that dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, from its position on top of the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site dates back to the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear.

The present castle dates from the 12th to 21st centuries. The castle saw many sieges and occupations during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296 - 1357) and was besieged during the Lang Siege (1571 - 1573); and again in 1640, 1650, 1689, and 1745.

The castle is still in use today for ceremonial and military purposes. The 52 Infantry Brigade is garrisoned here. It is now owned by the Ministry of Defence. It is open to the public. Parts are also rented for wedding receptions.

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Eilean Donan Castle    Island Castle in Western Highlands, Scotland


Eilean Donan Castle is a medieval castle on the small island of Eilean Donan in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. The island is dominated by its famous picturesque castle. It is situated at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge and lies about half a mile from the village of Dornie. In 2001, the island had a population of just one person, but it is the spiritual home of many more since Eilean Donan is the home of the Clan Macrae.

Today, you can explore nearly every part of the castle. The Castle now has its own visitor centre, which includes the Ticket Office, Coffee Shop, Gift Shop and toilets. Car parking is available at no charge. Large parties and groups welcome. There is no disabled or wheelchair access into the castle itself, but there is a computer-based Virtual Tour available for those that are unable to manage the steps.

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Floors Castle    Castle in Kelso, Scotland


Floors Castle - the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. A unique Scottish visitor attraction with stunning interiors and magnificent gardens.

The Roxburghe Estate - a large agricultural and sporting estate and the family home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe.

The Roxburghe Hotel & Championship Golf Course - the perfect Scottish country house retreat. Ideal for golfing and fishing breaks.Click here for more ....
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Glenapp Castle     Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland


Glenapp Castle, formerly the family seat of the Earl of Inchcape, is located in Ballantrae, South Ayrshire, Scotland. The castle was built for the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County, James Hunter. Designed by the famous Scottish architect David Bryce the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire at the time, the Castle was finished in 1870.

It is a noteworthy example of the Scottish Baronial style of architecture. The Inchcape family owned the castle from 1917 until the early 1980's. Pioneering aviatrix Elsie Mackay, daughter of the first Earl of Inchcape, lived at the castle until her death in 1928 in an attempt to fly the Atlantic in a single engined Stinson Detroiter.

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Glengorm Castle    Castle in Isle of Mull, Scotland


Situated on the Northern tip of the Isle of Mull near Tobermory, Glengorm Castle overlooks the Atlantic and has views over 60 miles to the Outer Hebrides and Islands of Uist, Rhum and Canna.

The Castle was built in 1860 for James Forsyth and sits at the headland of Glengorm's vast area of coastline, forestry, lochs and hills. Glengorm stands apart from the surrounding Western Isles, known for its dramatic scenery, due to its tranquillity and sheer natural beauty.

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Self Catering ApartmentsEstate Lodges or Cottages

 

Guthrie Castle    Castle in Angus, Scotland


Guthrie Castle is a castle and country house, located in the village of Guthrie, 18 miles north-east of Dundee in Angus, Scotland. The castle dates back to the 15th century, although much of the present building is of 19th century origin. It is now a private house, but is hired out as a venue for corporate events and weddings.

Guthrie Castle comprises a tower house, originally built by Sir David Guthrie (1435-1500), Treasurer and Lord Justice-General of Scotland, in 1468. The Guthrie family later built a house beside the tower. In 1848, the two were linked by a baronial style expansion, to designs by David Bryce. The historic keep remained in the Guthrie family until 1983, with the death of Colonel Ivan Guthrie. In 1984 Guthrie Castle was purchased by an American businessman who restored the castle to its 19th century condition, and built a golf course within the estate in 1994/95.

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Hafton Castle    Castle in Argyll, Scotland


Hafton Castle is a magnificent building located in Hunter's Quay, just outside Dunoon, with views across Holy Loch. The Castle is set in its own gardens.

The Castle was built by James Hunter. Its architect was David Hamilton who also designed Dunoon Castle. The building has some magnificent features, beautiful ceilings, carved doors and a superb staircase. Outside in the gardens are old trees, lawns and beautiful views across the Loch.

Dunoon itself is the home of the Cowal Highland Gathering and has a castle and museum.

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Kellie Castle    Castle in Pittenweem, Fife, Scotland


Kellie Castle is a castle located just outside Arncroach, about 5 kilometres north of Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland.

Originally a simple tower house, the lower section of what now constitutes the northwest tower is the oldest part of the castle, dating from around 1360, and is said to be haunted. In 1573 a new tower was built by the 4th Lord Oliphant to the east of the original tower. Between 1573 and 1606 the two towers were linked by a new range, terminated by another tower in the south-west, creating the T-plan layout that remains today. The castle is a fine example of Scots Baronial domestic architecture, with an imposing mix of gables, corbelled towers, and chimneys.

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Weddings CelebratedOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Kilconquhar Castle    Castle in Elie, Fife, Scotland


Kilconquhar Castle Estate is a luxury Timeshare & Holiday resort set in 130 acres of the East Neuk of Fife. We supply the ultimate self catering vacation, fantastic events, unforgettable weddings, last minute deals & offer private holiday homes, cottages and villas. We are closely located to Elie, Largo Bay and the Scottish resorts of Leven, Buckhaven, St Monans, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Crail, Kingsbarns and St Andrews. A short drive away are the towns of Stirling, Perth, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh in the counties of West Lothian, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire. Click here for more ....
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Kincardine Castle    Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland


One of Scotland's finest Victorian Castles, Kincardine sits in 3,000 acres of beautiful country estate overlooking the spectacular scenery in the heart of Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire. It is just 25 miles (under 40 minutes) from both Aberdeen city centre and airport. Kincardine Castle is a magnificent exclusive-use location for hospitality, weddings, business meetings and house parties. Minimum group size is 6 people. This is also the Laird's family home and guests enjoy the personal hospitality of Andrew and Nicola Bradford who, through their great enjoyment of their beautiful home give you a unique insight into this magical world. Our estate enterprises are varied and more details on all these can be found on these pages.Click here for more ....
Corporate EventsPrivate House PartiesBanquetsConferences

 

Lennoxlove House    Castle in East Lothian, Scotland


We invite you to enjoy our hospitality in this exceptional and historically significant House just 20 miles from Edinburgh. Lennoxlove House is perfect for a short break, a wedding reception, a corporate event, a golfing weekend or even as a retreat to simply get away from it all and spend some time together catching up with friends and family. The luxurious, private accommodation, which has 11 bedrooms for you and your guests to enjoy, blends state-of-the-art facilities with centuries old architectural features. Coupled with interior design courtesy of John Fowler of Colefax and Fowler, your very own butler's pantry and helicopter landing facilities are just some of the touches that make Lennoxlove House one of the most exclusive and unique places in which you will ever stay in Scotland. Click here for more ....
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Megginch Castle    Castle in Perth and Kinross, Scotland


Megginch Castle in Perth and Kinross, in central Scotland, was built for the Hay family in the 15th Century, Originally a rectangular red sandstone tower house, begun before 1460, the castle was extended and remodelled by Peter Hay in 1575 to comprise three storeys and an attic.

The Hays family sold the property to the Drummond family in 1664 and it has been extended in subsequent centuries.

The gardens are notable, with four ancient yew trees each more than 1000 years old, topiary, an astrological garden, a sundial dating from 1572, a fountain parterre, a 17th-century rose garden and a walled garden with a long herbaceous border and ancient fruit trees. Several of the old pear and apple varieties are greatly valued.

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Film LocationGardens to Visit

 

Mellerstain House    Stately Home in Scottish Borders, Scotland


Mellerstain House is a stately home around 13 kilometres north of Kelso in the Borders, Scotland. It is currently the home of the 13th Earl of Haddington.

Mellerstain was built between 1725 and 1778. The architect William Adam initially designed the east and west wings for George Baillie and Lady Grisel Baillie. Work ceased after the wings were completed,and it was another 45 years before George Hamilton commissioned Robert Adam to design and build the main mansion house. Hamilton was a son of the Earl of Haddington, and he inherited the Mellerstain estate when Lady Grisel Baillie died, changing his name to Baillie as a mark of respect.

The mansion house is possibly the only remaining complete building designed by Robert Adam, as most of his other works were additions to existing buildings.

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Weddings CelebratedOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

Myres Castle    Castle in Auchtermuchty, Fife, Scotland


Myres Castle is a Scottish castle situated in Fife near the village of Auchtermuchty Its history is interleaved with that of nearby Falkland Palace. The lands of the present Myres estate originally formed part of the extensive properties of the Earl of Fife.

The castle itself originated circa 1530 as a Z-plan fortress, perhaps designed by its owner John Scrimgeour, and has an ochre harled exterior with some exposed grey ashlar stonework on its square tower added in 1616. The tower is adorned with garland stonework, heraldic relief with carved initials and a parapet. The basement course appears to be an older, possibly 14th century piece, due to its barrel vaulted construction, and clear architecture of a medieval kitchen. Further modifications took place in the 17th and 18th centuries. At the property entrance there is a detached Victorian stone gatehouse, which was inhabited as a residence up to at least 1997. The prize of Myres is a spectacular walled garden featuring gigantic topiary yew trees, elaborate herbaceous borders and a small fishpond.

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Stalker Castle    Keep Castle in a tidal islet on Loch Laich, Scotland


Castle Stalker is a four-storey tower house or keep. The Castle's picturesque appearance, with its bewitching island setting against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, has made it a favourite subject for postcards and calendars, and something of a cliché image of Scottish Highland scenery. Castle Stalker is entirely authentic; it is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.

The original castle was a small fort, built around 1320 by Clan MacDougall who were then Lords of Lorn. Around 1388 the Stewarts took over the Lordship of Lorn, and it is believed that they built the castle in its present form around the 1440s.

Castle Stalker is in private ownership, but the official website gives details of dates and arrangements by which visits can be made by appointment, subject to advance notice, weather and tides.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Traquair House    Castle in Peebleshire, Scotland


Dating back to 1107, Traquair was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of Scotland. Later a refuge for Catholic priests in times of terror the Stuarts of Traquair supported Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite cause without counting the cost. Today, Traquair is a unique piece of living history welcoming visitors from all over the world, providing a magical and romantic setting for weddings, hosting a wide range of summer events and a superb venue for corporate groups. You can even stay here in the luxurious Bed & Breakfast accommodation. Visitors are invited to enjoy the house, extensive grounds, maze, craft workshops, 1745 Cottage Restaurant and the famous Traquair House Brewery housed in the eighteenth century wing and producing the world famous Traquair House Ales.Click here for more ....
Bed & BreakfastWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate Functions

 

Urquhart Castle   Ruined Castle in Loch Ness, Scotland


Urquhart Castle was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland. Though now in ruins, having been slighted in the late seventeenth century, it remains an impressive structure, splendidly situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness.

The castle is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and run by Historic Scotland as a site within the Guardianship of Scottish Ministers. It is Historic Scotland's 3rd busiest site. The majority of alleged Loch Ness Monster sightings occur in this location.

In 2000-1, Historic Scotland undertook a major construction programme to create a visitor centre at the site, and to improve parking facilities. The visitor centre includes a display on the history of the site, including a series of finds from the medieval period, a cinema, a restaurant and shop. The Castle is open all year. There is an entrance charge. Urquhart Castle hosts marriage ceremonies.

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Switzerland

   
 

Castelgrande - Bellinzona   Well Preserved Medieval Keep Castle in Ticino, Switzerland


Castelgrande is one of the the three castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

The site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st Century BC and until the 13th Century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona. The walls that separate the three baileys all radiate from the 14th Century Terre Nera, which is located in the center of the castle.

To the east is a complex of buildings which were part of the old keep in the castle. In the center of the keep is the tallest tower of the Castelgrande, the Torre Bianca or White Tower, which dates from the 13th Century.

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Open to the Public

 

Montebello Castle - Bellinzona   Well Preserved Medieval Concentric Castle in Ticino, Switzerland


Montebello is one of the the three castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland. It is located on a rocky hilltop east of town is connected to Castelgrande by the city walls

It was built before 1313 for the pro-Imperial Rusca family, who occupied the castle following the Visconti victory and occupation of the Castelgrande. By the end of the 14th Century it was in the hands of the Visconti. The castle was renovated and expanded between 1462 and 1490 to its current state. In the 19th Century the castle fell into disrepair and was renovated starting in 1903.

It now houses a museum, open from March to November.

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Open to the Public

 

Sasso Corbaro Castle - Bellinzona   Well Preserved Medieval Keep Castle in Ticino, Switzerland


Sasso Corbaro Castle is one of the the three castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Unlike the other two castles Sasso Corbaro is not integrated into the city walls. The first part of the castle was the north-eastern tower which was built in 1478 to close a gap in the defenses of the city. In 1479 a small garrison was moved to the tower.

The north-eastern keep currently has four stories, though no records exist of its original height and roof. It was used as a living area when the castle was occupied.

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Open to the Public

Syria

   
 

Krak des Chevaliers   Ruined Concentric Crusader Castle in , Syria


Krak des Chevaliers is a Crusader fortress in Syria. It is one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world, and one of the most spectacular. T. E. Lawrence described it as “perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world”. In its prime it garrisoned some 2,000 men. In places the walls are 100 feet thick.

It is also known as Kerak des Chevaliers and as Crac des Chevaliers.

It is one of many fortresses that were part of a defensive network along the border of the old Crusader states. The fortress controlled the road to the Mediterranean, and from this base, the Knights Hospitallers could exert some influence over Lake Homs to the east to control the fishing industry and watch for Muslim armies gathering in Syria.

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Margat Castle (or Marquab Castle)    Ruined Crusader Castle in the area of Baniyas, Syria


Margat Castle, near Baniyas in Syria, was a Crusader fortress. It was one of the major strongholds of the Knights Hospitaller. Like the Krak des Chevaliers, Margat is a large spur castle with many elements of a concentric castle.

It was a stronghold of the Knights Templar, besieged without success by the great Saladin.

The castle has been in a poor state until 2007, when some reconstruction and renovation started. It is now open to the public.

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Citadel of Salah Ed-Din (Saladin Castle)    Ruined Crusader Castle in area of Latakia, Syria


The Citadel of Salah Ed-Din is a castle in Syria, named after the great Molem leader known in the West as Saladin. There had been a fortress here in ancient timesand the crusader fortress is just one in a succession of military buildings on this side. It is a concentric castle built on spur which provides natural defences. Along with Krak it is aWorld Heritage Site.

The Arabs, the Byzantines, and the Crusaders fought to control this castle. Byzantines fortified it around the year 1000 with 3 walls, 5 meters in thickness. Crusaders later added the eastern moat. With its 24 meters high tower, its small defensive towers, squares, and stables it became invincible. Near the Byzantine fortifications are the remains of an old church used by the Byzantines, and later by the Crusaders.

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Wales

   
 

Beaumaris Castle   Uncompleted Medieval Concentric Castle in Anglesey, Wales


Beaumaris Castle is a great unfinished masterpiece. It was built as one link of the 'iron ring' of North Wales castles by the English monarch Edward I, to stamp his authority on the Welsh. Begun in 1295, this was the last and largest of the castles to be built by King Edward I in Wales during his programme of royal castle building.

The castle is possibly the most sophisticated example of medieval military architecture in Britain and has few equals anywhere in the world. It is surrounded by a water-filled moat with a seaward entrance protecting a tidal dock and allowed supply ships to sail right up to the castle.

Its symmetrical concentric design, involving four successive lines of fortifications, represented the state of the art for the late 13th century. This outstanding castle, built in Gritstone, is a World Heritage inscribed site.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Bodelwyddan Castle   Reconstructed Late Medieval Castle in North coastal area of, Wales


Bodelwyddan Castle is a fifteenth century castle in Denbighshire, Wales, originally built as manor house around 1460. The castle that stands today was reconstructed between 1830 and 1852.

The castle is set in a large area of parkland, and formal gardens. It is a partner of the National Portrait Gallery and possesses a fine range of portraits. Both house and gardens are open to the public. The castle offers tours and a range of educational services, along with other facilities for children. Rooms are available for private hire, and the castle is licenced for civil marriages. Bodelwyddan also hosts a wide range of events, including paranormal investigations. The castle grounds feature trenches built for troops to practice in during the First World War. Bodelwyddan Castle is a Grade II* Listed Building.

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Film LocationProperty for exclusive HireWeddings CelebratedCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

 

Caernarfon Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Royal Castle in Gwynedd, Wales


Caernarfon is a well preserved great stone castle, built by King Edward I. It is thought that Edward's architect, James of St. George, modelled the castle on the walls of Constantinople. On higher ground on the outskirts of the town are the remains of an earlier occupation, a Roman Fort called Segontium.

It was besieged by Welsh rebels on several occasions and three times during the later English Civil War.

On 1 July 1969 the investiture ceremony of Charles, Prince of Wales was held at Caernarfon Castle. It is open to the public.

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Film LocationOpen to the Public

 

Caerphilly Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Concentric Castle in Gwynedd, Wales


Caerphilly is a huge castle, well preserved with fascinating water defences. It is a medieval castle that dominates the centre of the town of Caerphilly in south Wales. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain after Windsor Castle.

Built mainly between 1268 and 1271, it is an early example of a concentric castle with extensive water defences.

The castle is now a tourist attraction and includes a small shop in between its two main bridges. It is also licensed to perform wedding ceremonies - the Great Hall providing facilities for 100 guests. Fishing is available in the north and south lakes for carp and other coarse fish.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Cardiff Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Motte & Bailey Castle in Cardiff, Wales


Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle but also a nineteenth century Gothic Revival mansion. Located in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, this is a castle that has been transformed from a Norman keep into a Victorian fantasy of a medieval castle.

The Norman keep, of which the shell remains, was constructed about 1091 by Robert Fitzhamon, lord of Gloucester and conqueror of Glamorgan. The keep was built on a motte on the site of a Roman castrum, first uncovered during the building campaign of the third Marquis of Bute in the nineteenth century.

Today the castle is run by Cardiff Council and is open to the public. The Victorian interiors are spectacular.

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Chepstow Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Spur Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales


Chepstow Castle is the oldest surviving stone fortification in Britain. It was built on the the instructions of the Norman lord William fitzOsbern, soon to be made Earl of Hereford.

The castle was started in 1067, and was to become the southernmost of King Edward I's "iron ring" of castles built along the English-Welsh border in the Welsh Marches.

Today Chepstow Castle is open to the public, and since 1984 has been in the care of Cadw. There are special events held often in the castle and visitors are able to walk along the battlements and into Martens Tower.

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Conway Castle   Slighted Medieval Spur Castle in Conway, Wales


Conway Castle is a medieval royal castle in Conway, on the north coast of Wales. It was built between 1283 and 1289 during King Edward I's second campaign in North Wales as one of the fortresses in his 'iron ring' of castles to contain the Welsh.

In comparison to other great Edwardian castles it is relatively straightforward in design, a reflection of the inherent strength of its siting. It was captured after a three-month siege by the Parliamentary army in 1646 after which it was slighted so that today is little more than an empty shell.

It is part of a World Heritage Site along with three others of Edward's Welsh castles.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Denbigh Castle   Semi Ruined Medieval Castle in Denbighshire, Wales


Denbigh Castle is one of the fortresses built after the 13th-century conquest of Wales by Edward I. It was defended by a unique triple-towered gateway.

The castle stands on a rocky promontory above the Welsh market town of Denbigh, Denbighshire. It was built on the site of a former Welsh stronghold controlled by Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the brother of Llywelyn the Last.

Denbigh castle is now managed by Cadw and is open to the public.

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Open to the Public

 

Flint Castle   Semi Ruined Medieval Keep Castle in Flintshire, Wales


Flint Castle was the first of the series of castles built during King Edward I's campaign to conquer Wales. Flint was therefore the first castle of what would later become known as Edward I's "Iron Ring", a chain of fortresses designed to encircle North Wales and suppress the Welsh. Its construction began almost immediately after Edward I began his First Welsh War in 1277.The site was chosen for its strategic position. The castle was only one day's march from Chester, supplies could be brought along the River Dee and there was also a ford across to England that could be used at low tide.

During the English Civil War, Flint Castle was held by the Royalists. It was finally captured by the Parliamentarians in 1647 after a three-month siege. To prevent its reuse in the conflict, the castle was then slighted in accordance with Cromwell's destruction order. The ruins are what remain today. Flint Castle has been managed as public monument for 90 years, and is now maintained by Cadw. Access is free and via a path. Most parts of the castle, such as the isolated keep, are open to the public.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Harlech Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Concentric Castle in Gwynedd, Wales


Harlech Castle is a concentric castle, constructed an top of a cliff close to the Irish Sea. Harlech was one of 14 castles built by Edward I in the closing decades of the 13th century. It was besieged repeatedly durig the Welsh Wars, during the Wars of the Roses and again during the English Civil War. During the English Civil War It withstood the longest known siege in the history of the British Isles – seven years.

Following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, during the the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV of England (1461–1470) controlled the country and Harlech became last major stronghold under Lancastrian control.

Architecturally, it is notable for its massive gatehouse.The castle is now in the care of Cadw and is open to visitors.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Pembroke Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Keep Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales


Pembroke Castle is a medieval castle in Pembroke in West Wales. The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by Pembroke River.

The first castle here was established in 1093 during the Norman invasion of Wales. It was a Norman motte and bailey with earthen ramparts and a timber palisade

The present structure owes much to William Marshal, "The Flower of Courtesy", one of the most powerful men in 12th-Century Britain. It was owned by a long succession of families and saw action in many wars and uprisings over the centuries.

Today, the castle is open to the public. It remains the largest privately-owned castle in Wales.

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Open to the PublicTours Available

 

Powis Castle   Well Preserved Medieval Castle in Mid , Wales


Powis Castle is a medieval castle, fortress and grand country mansion located near the town of Welshpool, in Powys, Mid Wales. Powis is one of the few places in Britain where a true baroque garden may still be seen. A great deal of work to restore and improve the gardens was undertaken from 1911 by Violet wife of the fourth Earl of Powis, including the laying out of the formal gardens at the far south eastern corner.

The castle is the residence of the Earl of Powis, and is known for its formal gardens, terraces, parkland, deer park and landscaped estate. The property is under the care of the National Trust, which operates it under the name " Powis Castle and Garden".

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Raglan Castle   Well Preserved Late Medieval Castle in Monmouthshire, Wales


Raglan Castle is a late medieval castle located just north of the village of Raglan in the county of Monmouthshire in south east Wales. Its origins lie in the 12th century but the ruins visible today date from the 15th century and later. The peak of the power and splendour of the castle came in the 15th century and 16th centuries, as the Marches fortress of the great family of Herbert.

Its ruin came at the end of one of the longest sieges of the English Civil War. After it fell, systematic slighting of the castle was undertaken and the Great Tower was largely destroyed by mining. In the 20th century, the Dukes of Beaufort placed the castle in the care of the state. It is presently administered by Cadw.

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