Top 5 European Castles

What is it with Europeans and castles?  Why did they have to build so many?  Why are they so big?  And why, as I once overheard an American tourist say in Edinburgh, did they have to ‘build them so goddam far from the train station?’

You build castles for lots of reasons, but mostly:

1. To show off, of course.
2. To protect your family from invaders intent on the whole rapin’ ‘n’ pillagin’ thing.
3. To Live out your powdered-wig-wearing-fantasy of being Louis XIV, even though it’s, like, 1895 and you’re German.
4. Because you’ve just decided ‘I am the REAL pope and that charlatan in the Vatican will have to come and get me if he wants to argue the toss’.
5. Because you’re mad (see 3. and 4.)

So, dear armchair traveller, here is a not very exhaustive and extremely biased (but awesome!) list of the best European castles.

5. Conwy, Wales


Welsh castles were mostly used as places to avoid the Welsh.  Marauding hordes intent on pillaging your women and raping your livestock are best avoided, let’s face it.

4. Carcassonne, France


Even the throngs of shouty middle class Anglais on Range Rover powered booze-and-fromage-athon holidays cannot ruin this one.  Strictly speaking, Carcassonne is a fortified town, but whatevs.

3. Versailles, France


Built by this mad guy who wore powdered wigs and thought he was Louis XIV or something… oh, hang on…

2. The Alhambra, Spain


In spite of being strict Muslims, they chose to name their castle after a pork product and a piece of underwear.  Go figure.

1. Kalemegdan Fortress, Serbia


Anyone foolish enough to attempt to mess with the Serbs had better have a game plan for this bad boy.  It’s been fought over by everyone from the Romans to the Nazis.  They even have a US stealth fighter plane they shot down, in the castle museum.  Rad!

NOW READ: Top 5 Fairytale Destinations, Europe Style!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About kerrysmallman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: