Monday, December 7, 2009

Some of the world's most beautiful castles!

Does anyone else have a fettish for castles? Perhaps my earliest impression was Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Or was I Queen Guinevere in a former life? Or her humble servant? I'll never know. But what I do know is that they're the most beautiful works of art!

Above, BAMBURGH CASTLE stands on a rocky outcrop in Northumerland, England. The castle has served as a location for several movies, including Roman Polanski's 1971 version of Macbeth.

More than 900 years old, LEEDS CASTLE regularly received Henry the VIII as a guest. On the grounds are several mazes, a display on falconry, and a dog-collar museum. It was bought by the blueblooded Olive Wilson Filmer. She bought the castle for $873,000 in 1926, outbidding William Randolph Hearst in the process.

Dating back to 1220, Scotland's most famous castle, EILEAN DONAN, is in the middle of a loch, near the Isle of Skye. One of Eilean Donan's 20th century restorers claimed that a dream helped him decide how the castle looked when it was first built. Plans that were later found at Edinburgh Castle proved that his hunch was right.

Ludwig the II of Bavaria, also known as Mad King Ludwig, began planning his famous NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE in the 1860's. A century later it would inspire another visionary structure: Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. King Ludwig didn't get much chance to enjoy the Neuschwanstein. In 1886, as the castle was nearing completion, he died under suspicious circumstances with his body found floating in a lake.

Dating back to the 1420's, the Danish KRONBORG CASTLE in Helsinger is one of the best-preserved castles from the Renaissance, although it has undergone many alterations since.

The impressively fortified CHATEAU de CASTELNAUD is on limestone rocks above Dordogne River in France.

FRANCES HAUT-KOENINGSBOURG CASTLE is positioned more than 2,000 feet above the Alsatian plain, a location that kept it safe for centuries. However, destruction did arrive after a seige after which it was abandoned to become a romantic ruin. Now, it's a popular tourist stop.

BRAN CASTLE has only the most tenuous of connections with Vlad the Impaler, the real-life inspiration for Count Dracula, but there's no denying the spooky charm of its many turrets and towers.

The CHATEAU de CHILLON is on an island near the edge of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. After a visit, Lord Byron published his long poem "The Prisoner of Chillon." The work refers to the castle's "dungeons deep and old."

It would be a dream come true to visit any of the above. While I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, there were too many castles to count on the landscapes of Scotland, Ireland, and England. Beautiful memories, indeed!


i beati said...

fascinatingly beautiful - oh the stories- wish there were more!!sandy

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Aren't they, Sandy?! Perhaps I should upload pics of Edinburgh Castle while I lived in Edinburgh. Truly beautiful! :))

Anonymous said...

I love them too. We have Bolt castle in Thousand Islands not far and a few more.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

That's so true, ML's! There are quite a few on the northeastern part of U.S. and also in Canada! Should have posted them as well! :))

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! You lived in Edinburgh Petra? Would love to see some pics! K.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Yep, K.! Lived there from 1985 to 1986! I'll dig the pics up! :))

Jay said...

A fascinating tour around some of the world's most beautiful castles! I knew Eilean Donan, of course, and Leeds, but have never seen so much as a picture of Bamburgh, and oh, my .. isn't it beautiful!!

The European castles are very impressive. I'd like to see some of those. :)

ChaChaneen said...

I am soooo there.. sigh! The history of Europe is so old, it is so interesting to me. Lurve this post!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

On your next Holiday perhaps, Jay! ;)

It's funny, Janeen, as much as I love castles and have always, always, always been fascinated by them, I yearn for a log cabin! Now where did that come from? :))

prashant said...

have never seen so much as a picture of Bamburgh, and oh, my .. isn't it beautiful!!

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