Château de Chambord, République Française

(Chambord Castle, France)

The castle was built as a hunting lodge, and that is how it was originally used. Apparently after spending more than two decades having the castle built, Francois I himself only actually spent seven weeks in the castle, when he was hunting in the region!

© Germano Manganaro

Harlech Castle, Wales

Spectacularly sited Harlech Castle seems to grow naturally from the rock on which it is perched. Like an all seeing sentinel, it gazes out across land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over Snowdonia.

© Matt Clark

Château d’Aigle, Suisse

(Aigle Castle, Switzerland)

In the heart of the renowned vineyards betwixt the Alps and Lake Léman, Aigle Castle has reigned supreme since the end of the 12th century. The former residence of the Knights of Aigle, the nobility of Compey-Thorens and then the Bernese Governors, it has now opened its doors to one and all with an invitation to discover the Vine and Wine Museum within its prestigious walls.

© Hiral Gosalia

Festung Hohensalzburg, Österreich

(Hohensalzburg Fortress, Austria)

Salzburg – the city of Mozart – is overlooked by the walls of Fortress Hohensalzburg, one of the largest existing 11th century fortress complexes in Europe.

© Eric Chumachenco

Castel Beseno, Italia

(Beseno Castle, Italy)

Castel Beseno is the largest fortified complex in Trentino. It occupies an entire hilltop dominating the Valle dell’Adige. First written documents date back to the 12th century, when the castle still belonged to the counts of Appiano and served as a residence to the aristocratic family Da Beseno.

Castel Monteleone/Schloss Lebenberg, Italia

(Monteleone/Lebenberg Castle, Italy)

Monteleone Castle is a splendid castle amidst colourful vineyards, it’s located high above the municipality of Cermes. Built in the 13th century by the Lords of Marlengo, Monteleone Castle is probably one of the most beautiful buildings of the Burgraviato region.

© www.luftaufnahmen.it

Schloss Rosenburg, Österreich

(Rosenburg Castle, Austria)

The Renaissance castle of Rosenburg with its medieval core, splendid Renaissance arcades, numerous towers and impressive courtyard is considered to be the perfect example of a fortification having gradually evolved over the course of the centuries.

© www.jugendtourismus.at

Kasteel Marnix van Sint-Aldegonde, België

Château Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde, Belgique

(Bornem Castle, Belgium)

Since 1780 the castle has been in the hands of the Marnix family. But the history of this neo gothic castle goes back to the 9th and 10th century when there was a medieval stronghold on this spot.

© 

Château de Lavoûte-Polignac, République Française

(Castle of Lavoûte-Polignac, France)

The towers of Lavoûte-Polignac have loomed over the Loire for a thousand years. Extended in the 13th and 14th centuries, remodeled in the 16th and 17th centuries, this residence of the Ducs de Polignac houses an impressive collection of objets d’art, paintings and archives linked to their illustrious home.

© Yvan LEMEUR

Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux, République Française

(Castelnau-Bretenoux Castle, France)

Castelnau-Bretenoux is one of the largest medieval fortress in the Quercy. Its construction started in 1100 under the supervision of Hugh II, Baron of Castelnau, patriarch of a powerful lineage of barons.

© Tourisme Midi-Pyrénées