Pierrefonds Castle is located in Picardy a region in northern France between Paris and Belgium. The castle was built in the 12th century, and in 1392 King Charles VI hired architects to remodel it for his brother Louis, Duke of Orléans. Much of the castle was eventually destroyed under the Part of Malcontents during the early 17th century, but Napoleon revived the marvelous structure as ‘a romantic ruin‘ during his 19th century reign.
The castle has been depicted in multiple films and television shows including The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and most recently Disney Channel’s The Wizards of Waverly Place.
Undoubtedly one of the better known castles of the medieval era, Windsor Castle was built in 11th century and hold the record for the longest occupied castle in Europe. The interior is designed in 19th century Georgian style, and the well-preserved castle complex is utterly massive.
Nowadays, the castle is one of England’s most popular tourist attractions. Despite its role in tourism, Windsor Castle still functions as a home where Queen Elizabeth II spends her weekends. The palace is subject to major renovation projects in recent times as well. In 2011, for instance, two water turbines were installed on the Thames to provide hydroelectric power to the estate.
Arundel Castle was built in 1068, making it almost 1,000 years old! Robert Montgomery, Earl of Arundel constructed the castle, and for more than 850 years, the Dukes of Norfolk and their families occupied it.
Inevitably the castle was ravaged during England’s Civil War of the 17th century. Nearly 100 years later, the Arundel Castle was restored and the famed Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed here in 1846, drawing more attention to it.
The castle was subsequently restored and turned into the lavish home it is today. These renovations included the incorporation of a central heating system, electricity and elevators, making it one of the first country homes in England to possess these features.
Arundel Castle, West Sussex BN18 9AB, United Kingdom +44 1903 882173
Built during the Edo period of Japan’s feudal era, Nagoya Castle’s origins date back to the 1520s. The structure that we see today was completed in 1612 at the commission of Ieyasu Tokugawa. Soon after it was built, a warlord usurped control of the original castle and named it Nagoya Castle.
The castle was used in Japan’s WWII military operations as a strategic headquarters as well as a POW camp. Nagoya Castle incurred significant damage during this time, arguably the most wartime degradation of its long history. Today, the stunning white and green castle has been restored to its original beauty.
Hirosaki Castle is located in northern Japan by the Tsugaru Clan. Also built during the Edo Period, Hirosaki Castle featured a number of different fortifications including moats, turrets and gates. In 1627, only about a decade and a half after its construction was finished, a lightning bolt struck the five-story keep, causing it to burn down. The structure was rebuilt nearly two hundred years later into what we see today.
The castle ranks among only a handful of others like it. The castle complex is also known for its flourishing 2,600 cherry blossom trees, which bring visitors here each spring.
Bojnice Castle, SlovakiaWhat started as a simple wooden stronghold has become one of the most exquisite castles in Slovakia. Initially built in the 12th century, Bojnice Castle was updated and adapted to fit the tastes of its many successive inhabitants, most notably Count János Ferenc Pálffy.
The Count largely drew inspiration from the French castles in the Loire Valley. He filled the interior with vast collections of art, antiques, and tapestries. Now, the castle has both Gothic and Renaissance features that give it a fairytale appearance. Today, Bojnice is a museum and the sight of many different cultural festivals.
Bojnice Castle, Zámok a okolie 1, 972 01 Bojnice, Slovakia +421 46/543 06 24
Perched high above the city of Edinburgh, this massive fortress is pretty hard to miss. Castle Rock, where Edinburgh Castle is situated, has been occupied at least since the 2nd century, and historians believe the castle itself has stood there in some form since the 12th. Today, the castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in Scotland. Long ago, a piper mysteriously vanished in the tunnels, and now his spirit is said to reside there. Paranormal activity or not, this castle remains the most popular tourist attraction in the country. It is open to tourists as a museum and educational center.
Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, United Kingdom +44 131 225 9846