In the heart of Transylvania, one of Europe’s largest castles looks like it sits atop a rocky bluff with naught but a thin bridge allowing access.
But this is simply Corvin Castle, which looks like something straight out of a fairytale, largely because restorers thought that it should.
Built in the mid-15th century, the castle was the work of Hungarian military leader John Hunyadi, who built the tall structure over the remains of a keep built by Charles I.
It consists of a series of rectangular halls that are connected by both circular and rectangular towers that were used for both defense and as prison cells. The elaborate architecture was designed in a rich gothic style, that accentuates the already impressive architecture.
The castle was kept in regal condition during Hunyadi’s lifetime, but after he died, the castle fell into swift decline.
It was not until the 17th century that there was more interest in restoring the castle. As the restorations began, the workers redesigned the castle somewhat to reflect what they considered a gothic castle should look like, which explains much of its currently fanciful look.
A number of legends are associated with the castle, the most prominent among them being that Vlad the Impaler spent some seven years in the dungeons of Corvin Castle, a stay which resulted in his eventual madness.
Even though this is unlikely to be true, Corvin Castle still seems like just the sort of place where a Dracula might have been held.
Sitting atop a tall hill in northern Croatia, Trakošćan Castle looks like a castle out of a fairytale, proudly peeking its spires out above the tree line, but on closer inspection the signs of neglect have started to mar the centuries old fortification.
Originally built in the 13th century, the large manse was not the product of some lord’s need for a grand home but was instead created as a defensive fortification.
Despite its martial background, its position on top of a verdant forest hill has given it a distinctly romantic appeal.
Down the centuries the castle has been added to and rebuilt a number of times giving it a bit of a varied design sense, but losing none of its beauty.
While the original owner of the castle is unknown, the estate was passed down among a series of Croatian nobles before finally being turned over to the Croatian government in the 1950s.
In 1953 Trakošćan Castle was opened to the public as a museum housing a number of historical displays about the area, the castle, and Croatian history in general.
A man-made lake was also built at the foot of the hill making the view from the castle all the more spectacular.
in recent years the grounds have been neglected and signs of wear and age are beginning to appear.
Despite this, if you have to choose just one to visit while you are visiting Croatia, you can’t beat Trakošćan Castle for sheer storybook looks.
Edited by: EricGrundhauser (Admin)
Lindisfarne Castle is a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, much altered by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. The island is accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway.
The castle is located in what was once the very volatile border area between England and Scotland. Not only did the English and Scots fight, but the area was frequently attacked by Vikings. The castle was built in 1550, around the time that Lindisfarne Priory went out of use, and stones from the priory were used as building material. It is very small by the usual standards, and was more of a fort.
The castle sits on the highest point of the island, a whinstone hill called Beblowe.
Lindisfarne’s position in the North Sea made it vulnerable to attack from Scots and Norsemen, and by Tudor times it was clear there was a need for a stronger fortification, although obviously, by this time, the Norsemen were no longer a danger. This resulted in the creation of the fort on Beblowe Crag between 1570 and 1572 which forms the basis of the present castle.
After Henry VIII suppressed the priory, his troops used the remains as a naval store. In 1542 Henry VIII ordered the Earl of Rutland to fortify the site against possible Scottish invasion.
Elizabeth I then had work carried out on the fort, strengthening it and providing gun platforms for the new developments in artillery technology.
These works in 1570 and 1571 cost £1191. When James I came to power in England, he combined the Scottish and English thrones, and the need for the castle declined. At this time the castle was still garrisoned from Berwick and protected the small Lindisfarne Harbour.
In the eighteenth century the castle was occupied briefly by Jacobite rebels, but was quickly recaptured by soldiers from Berwick who imprisoned the rebels; they dug their way out and hid for nine days close to nearby Bamburgh Castle before making good their escape.
Already in ruins by the time it was captured in glowing colors by romantic painter J. M. W. Turner in 1802, Dolbadarn Castle dates back to the days of the legendary Welsh ruler Llywelyn the Great in the 13th century.
The 50-foot tower of Dolbadarn Castle watched over the Llanberis Mountain Pass.
Once a strategic stronghold, it’s now mostly popular with rock climbers and outdoor adventurers who come to explore the craggy landscape.
In 1284 the castle was seized by Edward I during his invasion and conquest of Wales.
Although the castle remained a manor house until into the 14th century, the slow decline of the fortress began when Edward removed some timber to add to the construction of his great castle at Caernarfon, his seat of power.
Swallow’s Nest Castle, Ukraine
Photograph by Jane Sweeney, JAI/Corbis
The neo-Gothic Swallow’s Nest castle perches 130 feet above the Black Sea near Yalta in southern Ukraine.
Built by a German noble in 1912, the flamboyant seaside residence is now a popular tourist destination.