Castles in Europe date as far
back as the 9th century and are a symbol of the Middle Ages.
In the olden days, castles were the residences
of kings, queens and lords. As fortresses, castles were built for protection from enemy
attacks but they also served to exhibit the owners' wealth and status. Most of the
castles in Europe were strategically built on hilltops, and even on isolated islands, to
ensure safety from invasion or intrusions.
Early castles were generally made of stone,
mortar and timber. Defense and security were the main concerns in the architecture. They
were definitely far from comfortable for its inhabitants.
Later, in the Renaissance period castles
became more and more comfortable and gradually the castles lost their defensive role.
Many of the old castles suffered big changes and new residential type castles or palaces
were newly built.
Some of these castles currently stand in
ruins, others vanished completely, but a visitor can still visit many of them, as
throughout Europe many castles were turned into museums or stand alone as tourist
attractions. Some of them were turned into hotels too, so a visitor not only can enjoy
visiting castles but also can have the privilege of staying overnight in
On this site you will discover the history of
many European castles. We cover castles from all historic periods, from
medieval fortified castles to renaissance and gothic revival castles, as well as a
selection of Europe’s most beautiful palaces. You can browse through all of them by
selecting a specific country from the right menu.