Castles and Manor Houses Home Page

Famous Castles

submit to reddit
   

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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationCorporate EventsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationCorporate EventsPrivate FunctionsBanquetsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the Public

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationEstate Lodges or CottagesPrivate FunctionsConferencesOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

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.

Click here for more ....

Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the Public

France

   
 

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).

Click here for more ....
Film LocationOpen to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationOpen to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the Public

 

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. 

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicGardens to VisitTours Available

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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationOpen to the PublicTours Available

the Republic of Ireland

   
 

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.

Click here for more ....
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

Click here for more ....
Film LocationOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicGardens to Visit

Portugal

   
 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the Public

Scotland

   
 

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.

Click here for more ....
Weddings CelebratedOpen to the PublicGardens to Visit

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationEstate Lodges or CottagesOpen to the Public

 

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 ....
Property for exclusive HirePrivate FunctionsConferencesGardens to Visit

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Film LocationWeddings CelebratedOpen 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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours 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.

Click here for more ....
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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

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.

Click here for more ....
Open to the PublicTours Available

 

 

I want to   a   in      

 

 

 

 

submit to reddit

 

   ::::   Link to us   ::::   Castle and Manor Houses Resources   :::    © C&MH 2010-2014   :::   contact@castlesandmanorhouses.com   :::   Advertising   :::