The European geography is riddled with castles, constructions that have lost their defensive character but have great artistic and historical value. Some are in ruins and others are kept in perfect condition. Others are on the edge of the sea or on rivers or lakes while there are others that rise up in high mountains. The list of castles is immense, for this reason, the Jetcost platform has made a selection based on the votes of its users. Among these, five are distributed on the national map. These are the 20 most impressive castles in Europe:

Sirmione Castle (Italy). This unique castle is located in the middle of Lake Garda and is also known as the Scaligero in honor of the Scaligeri family, who commissioned it and ruled the region at the beginning of the 13th century.

Sirmione Castle (Italy). This example of medieval architecture is surrounded by drawbridges, a moat, towers and passable walls. You can reach the top of the tower after climbing 150 steps and admiring the panoramic view of the lake.

Trakai Castle (Lithuania). Located in an idyllic landscape on the island of Trakai, this picturesque 14th century structure was one of the main centers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Trakai Castle (Lithuania). The building is currently made up of two castles: the original, very small, located on one side of the lake and the other, built in later centuries, located in the middle of the waters. Gothic in style, the castle offered a series of wooden galleries, stained glass panels, murals and secret passageways, which visitors can view in the official castle museum.

Kronborg (Denmark). It is one of the most emblematic castles in northern Europe and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the extreme northeast of the island of Zealand.

Kronborg (Denmark). The castle’s history dates back to Krogen, a fortress built by Eric of Pomerania, a Danish king in the 1420s. William Shakespeare set his Hamlet in this castle, which he named Elsinore in his play.

Alcazar of Segovia (Spain). At the top of the city, its walls bear witness to the history of Spain. It is an austere building raised on the rock at the confluence of the Eresma and Clamores valleys.

Alcazar of Segovia (Spain). The fortress has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and forms a living part of the Castilian city, chosen as a place of residence by many of the monarchs of the Trastamara dynasty.

Neuschwanstein (Germany). Neuschwanstein Castle, which means “new stone swan”, was opened to the public after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886 and has become a popular destination ever since. It was built at a time when castles and fortresses were no longer necessary from a strategic point of view, but rather as a refuge from the outside world.

Neuschwanstein (Germany). Equipped with state-of-the-art plumbing and electricity, as well as steam central heating and the first mobile phone in history (with a coverage of six meters). In the decoration there are continuous references to legends and medieval characters such as Tristan and Isolde or Fernando el Catolico. It is said that it inspired the famous castle that presides over the Disney amusement parks.

Belem Tower (Portugal). It is one of the icons of Portugal and its capital, Lisbon. It is located on the Tagus River at one of the entrances to the city. It is classified as a World Heritage Site.

Belem Tower (Portugal). Built in the 16th century, the tower became a prison during the Spanish invasion of Portugal. The interior is worth a visit by going up to the top floor for the view over the wide Tagus estuary and the western part of the city of Lisbon.

The Alhambra in Granada (Spain). The monumental historical complex of the Alhambra is one of the most visited in the Spanish geography. Every year it receives more than three million people. It was conceived between the 9th and 12th centuries as a military zone, but, in addition to that, it was a fort, a Nasrid palace and a medina until 1492, the year in which it became a Christian court after the reconquest of Granada by of the Catholic Monarchs.

The Alhambra in Granada (Spain). Among the places to visit in the Alhambra are the Alcazaba, the Royal Palaces, the Generalife gardens, the Golden Room, the majestic Sala de Comares, the Renaissance palace of Carlos V and the Patio de los Leones. In addition, contemplating the sunset from the San Nicolas viewpoint leaves an image of the Alhambra on film.

Bojnice Castle (Slovakia). This castle stands on a large mound of travertine marble and has passed through the hands of some of the most powerful Hungarian families since the 11th century.

Bojnice Castle (Slovakia). In the 19th century it was converted into a romantic version of the Middle Ages. Its structure is complemented by an idyllic landscape, complete with a cave dripping with water that runs below the castle.

Bran Castle (Romania). Although Bram Stoker never visited Romania and the character he inspired his Dracula did not inhabit the castle either, it has always been known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’. However, the fortress welcomes visitors who wander through the corridors and courtyards in the hope of finding some trace of the immortal vampire.

Bran Castle (Romania). It is situated along the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Its construction began in 1212 in order to become a wooden fortress to stop traffic at the entrance to the mountain pass, which was widely used by merchants at that time.

Chambord Castle (France). It is one of the most prestigious castles in the Loire. Surrounded by forests, it was built in the 16th century for King Francis I. The multitude of domes and towers on the roof stand out.

Chambord Castle (France). The Renaissance-style building boasts a double-helix central staircase that twists up three stories and is illuminated from above by a skylight.

Bellver Castle (Spain). Its structure stands out for being circular. It has three towers and a keep that is divided into four floors. Inside the castle there is a two-story parade ground that is circular and a courtyard built on a cistern. On the second floor there is a chapel.

Bellver Castle (Spain). Three kilometers from the city of Palma de Mallorca is this castle. Situated on a hill, the Bellver castle has had various uses throughout history. King James II had it built as a royal residence in the Gothic style, while in the 19th century it became a mint.

Edinburgh Castle (United Kingdom). With origins dating back to the Iron Age, the castle was erected as a defensive stronghold in 638 for the Celts. Hundreds of years later, it was rebuilt as the residence of Mary, Queen of Scots, until her exile in England.

Edinburgh Castle (United Kingdom). It has a history as complex as it is macabre. Often cited as the inspiration for Macbeth’s abode in Shakespeare’s famous play, the castle is home to the highest number of ghost sightings to date, an attraction in itself.

Guimaraes Castle (Portugal). It is considered the most important medieval fortress in northern Portugal. Its most striking feature are the walls built in the shape of a pentagram, with eight rectangular crenellated towers.

Guimaraes Castle (Portugal). It was built in the 10th century and became the official royal residence of Count D. Henrique, the father of the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. It resisted the battle of Sao Mamede in 1128, which marked the starting point of an independent Portugal. Since then, the castle has been recognized as the birthplace of the Portuguese nation.

Belmonte Castle (Spain). Located in the province of Cuenca, it is a Gothic-Mudejar castle, the work of Master Hanequin of Brussels. It was built on Mount San Cristobal with a unique plan.

Belmonte Castle (Spain). It was commissioned by D. Juan Pacheco, Marques de Villena, to use it as his own home in his hometown. The parade ground is an equilateral triangle and the rest of the building develops from it. The shape of the castle is a 6-pointed star and at the end of each of them there is a cylindrical tower.

Malbork Castle (Poland). It is the largest castle in the world by area and the largest brick building in Europe.

Malbork Castle (Poland). Its distinctive reddish color makes it an unforgettable visit. Among other things, it was the residence of the Polish royal family until the end of the 18th century.

Miramare Castle (Italy). The castle was commissioned by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg in the second half of the 19th century as a residence for him and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium.

Miramare Castle (Italy). It retains most of its original furniture and decoration. Surrounded by a botanical park, with stunning panoramic views thanks to its position on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Trieste, the castle is a combination of medieval, Renaissance and Gothic styles.

Obidos Castle (Portugal). It is an example of a well-preserved fortification, as it has escaped the fate of being turned into ruins, and has been transformed into one of the most welcoming small hotels in Portugal. The surrounding town, Obidos, is known for its landscapes and vegetation.

Castle of Peniscola (Spain). Built by the Templars on the remains of the old Arab citadel, the castle was built with carved stone walls. Most of the rooms are covered with barrel vaults.

Castle of Peniscola (Spain). It is a sober and solid construction. Pope Luna, after his transfer to Peniscola in 1411, turned the castle into a pontifical palace and library. His real name was Benedict XIII and he was the last of the famous Avignon schism.

Predjama Castle (Slovenia). At the top of an imposing cliff, it has been listed in Guinness as the largest castle-cave in the world. It is made up of a series of underground tunnels and walls interwoven with the natural structure of the cave.

Predjama Castle (Slovenia). Its structure and its location in such a spectacular setting have made it a regular setting for movies and documentaries. The castle served as a haven for Erazem of Predjama in the 15th century, a legendary robber baron who withstood a year-long siege and became a Robin Hood-esque figure.

Castel Sant’Angelo (Italy). Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built in the 2nd century as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his family. This building, which later became a military fortress, gets its name from a legend, which tells that the Archangel Michael appeared on top of the castle to stop a plague that ravaged Rome in the year 509.

Castel Sant’Angelo (Italy). It is one of the most photographed buildings in Rome, right where the old capital meets the Vatican City.

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