From the moment human beings became sedentary, there has been a desire to build fortifications to defend their territories against possible enemy occupations. Castles, generally linked to royalty, are a clear example of this. Do you want to discover some?

Castles are buildings that are linked to royalty. Especially, European medieval castles have been gateways into fantasy worlds . Now, these majestic constructions, in reality, were neither the home of a dragon that guarded a princess locked in a tower, nor the home of any powerful magician.

The castles were a strong place with some defensive infrastructure where the feudal lord or the monarch lived and, from which, he administered and protected the lands that were under his domain . In this way, not all the castles that are preserved today belonged to royalty, many of them were the fortress of the nobles who paid homage to the monarch.

In this article we want to name some of the castles that have been part of royalty. But just as the feudal system and monarchies are not exclusively European political organizations, neither are castles. Therefore, here we are going to talk about both European castles and castles that have been part of non-European royalty.

European castles

As we pointed out, the European fortresses are the best known and those that, perhaps, have aroused the most interest in the world of fantasy. And it is not surprising because they are really impressive constructions. Let’s take a look at some of the castles linked to royalty.

Castles linked to British royalty

This royal house is probably one of the best known in the world because gossip magazines have filled pages and pages with episodes from the lives of its members for decades . If you pay attention, in one of the published photographs you will surely see one of the castles we are going to talk about now.

Castle of Windsor

It is located in Windsor, Berkshire County, United Kingdom. Its construction began in the 11th century after the Norman conquest of England by William I the Conqueror. Since the reign of Henry I of England in the 12th century, the castle has been inhabited by different monarchs. Today, the castle is still used as the residence of the British royal family, making it one of the oldest-occupied royal residences.

Edinburgh castle

Before delving into talking about this Scottish fortification, it is necessary to make a clarification. Although this castle was built before the union of the crowns of Scotland and England, we are going to consider it as part of the castles that belong or belonged to the British crown.

This building that rises majestically over the city of Edinburgh, in Scotland, has been used for defensive purposes since the 12th century. This fortification played a prominent role in Scottish history. It was the main scene of many battles due to the constant sieges to which it was subjected. Also, its walls saw the birth and death of numerous monarchs of the Scottish crown.

Queen Margaret died in the year 1093. Later, Edinburgh was one of the main royal residences of Scotland between the years 1400 and 1500 . King James VI, the only son of the Queen of Scotland, Mary Stuart, was born in the castle in 1566. Whoever visits it will be able to admire the Scottish crown jewels with which Mary and James were crowned.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the main tourist attractions of this beautiful city and it is not surprising because the different monarchs used it as a safe place and as a way to show their power and wealth.

French royalty and some of its castles

In France the number of castles that exist is impressive. We would not have space here to talk about all of them. For this reason, we are going to focus on some of the castles of the Loire that in the year 2000 were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco,

The castle of blois

This magnificent building is located in the French commune of Blois, in the department of Loir-et-Cher. During the Renaissance it was one of the favorite residences of the French kings . Moreover, in its chapel Joan of Arc was blessed in the year 1429.

The medieval castle belonged to the Counts of Blois but, during the reign of Louis XII, it became a royal residence . From this moment on, the different kings who stayed in it undertook different modifications. This was so until the year 1660 when it was abandoned.

During the French revolution the revolutionaries tried to remove any vestige of royalty from the building and it was left in a deplorable state . Later they turned it into a barracks until in 1841, during the reign of Luis Felipe, the castle was declared a historical monument. They restored it and turned it into a museum.

Other castles that were part of royalty in the Loire region were the castle of Chambord and Amboise . The first was built exclusively as a hunting lodge for King Francis I. The second, from the end of the 15th century, was part of the residences of French royalty.

Other castles in Europe

As you can imagine, the number of castles that are part of royalty in Europe are innumerable . We could talk from the royal castle or castle of Buda located in the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire, to the medieval castles of the Crown of Castile or the Kingdom of Aragon, such as the castle of Castilnovo or the Alcazar of Segovia.

We could also talk about the castles that the Arabs built in Al-Andalus, such as the magical Alhambra in Granada. Or, move to northern Europe to talk about Swedish royal buildings, such as Gripsholm Castle built by King Gustav Vasa.

But let’s put European castles aside and look at some examples outside of the small continent.

Royal castles in other parts of the globe

Since we cannot go on too long, we are going to focus exclusively on talking about castles that belonged to royalty and Japanese feudal lords.

Edo Castle or Imperial Castle

The construction of the castle dates from the year 1457. It is located in the current city of Tokyo and, since its construction, it was part of the history of confrontations between the different clans and feudal lords of the island . Finally, in the 19th century after the Meiji restoration, the castle became the imperial residence.

Matsumoto Castle

In the city of Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture we find this beautiful Japanese-style castle. It was built by the daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the end of the 16th century. It has a height of about 30 meters with six floors. Matsumoto Castle is considered a National Treasure of Japan.

Castillo Himeji

Another of the Japanese castles is that of Himeji. It is located in the city of the same name in Hyōgo Prefecture. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings from medieval Japan and, since 1993, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was the main headquarters of different daimyos during the Japanese feudal period. In the Meiji era, the building was converted into a headquarters for the Japanese imperial army, although there were plans to demolish it. During the Pacific War, several bombs fell on its watchtower, but luckily they did not explode . In this way, today we have the opportunity to admire this beautiful construction.

Let’s discover royal castles around the world!

In this writing we have shown you some castles that were or are related to royalty in different parts of the world. There are many more and, surely, they are located in places that you could not imagine. If one of your pleasures is to travel the world and you are fascinated by the gossip press, I invite you to visit the continent you visit, look for a castle linked to the royalty of that place, you will surely be surprised.

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