Wonderful Castles Around the World
Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England, is the largest inhabited castle in the world.
Perhaps the most known castle in the world, the breathtaking Chateau de Versailles just outside of Paris, France, has more than 700 rooms, 2,000 windows, 6,000 paintings and 5,000 pieces of furniture.
Odescalchi Castle, also known as the Castle of Bracciano, was the site of the nuptials of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Rome, Italy.
Perched atop a cragged 200-foot rock and shrouded in mystery, Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, owes much of its fame to the myth surrounding Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. This Romanian castle started as a defense post against Turks, became a customs post on the pass between Transylvania and Walachia, turned into a royal residence in the 1920s.
The 900-year-old Leeds Castle, which sits on two islands on the River Len in Kent, England, has been home to royalty.
The Gothic Wawel Castle in Poland is made up of a number of structures built around a central courtyard. During the early 16th century King Sigismund I the Old and his wife invited myriad of renowned artists including Italian architects and sculptors to redo the castle into a Renaissance palace.
The Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg, Germany had a tortured past, having been hit by lightning twice, and damaged by both wars and fire.
Some call Sanssouci Castle Germany’s Versailles. Unlike Versailles, however, Sanssouci, in Potsdam, is decorated in the Rococo style and is much smaller. The palace was designed to provide a private getaway for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in the mid 1700s, as the name Sanssouci, which translates loosely as “without cares” or “carefree”.
Dunluce Castle, the site of Jackie Chan’s “The Medallian” and several historic battles, sits on basalt rock 100 feet above the sea in Northern Ireland.
Bratislava Castle, in Slovakia, houses four towers and spectacular views of the Danube river. The castle burned in 1811 and remained ruined until 1953 when a massive reconstruction was initiated.
The chateau de Rambouillet, about thirty miles outside of Paris, France, is the summer residence of the Presidents of France.
The Biltmore House, in Asheville, North Carolina, is America’s largest privately owned home. Built by the Vanderbilt family, this 250-room home resembles a French chateau. It houses original art from masters such as Renoir, 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon’s chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques.
Though many of these castles are far away, these next few are close by. Pictured below, Castle on the Hudson is within thirty minutes of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson river on sprawling acres of manicured gardens and grounds.
The 120-room Boldt Castle, in Alexandria Bay, New York, sits in the 1000 Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River. It is a “monument of love on Heart Island of George C. Boldt for his wife Louise,” the castle Web site reports. George halted construction on the castle in 1904 when his wife died of tuberculosis.
OHEKA Castle in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island was built by financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn on a 400-plus-acre plot for an estimated $110 million dollars in today’s currency, according to the their Web site. This French-style, 109,000-square-foot, 127-room estate is the second-largest private residence in America. During the roaring ’20s, Kahn used the chateau as a summer home where he hosted lavish parties with royalty, heads of state and Hollywood stars.