Special Report

Europe’s Most Beautiful Castles

Source: Wrtalya / Wikimedia Commons

Château du Haut-Königsbourg
> Town or region: Orschwiller, France
> Century: 12th (?)

This castle, perched on a steep cliff in the Vosges Mountains, fell into decay in the 17th century, and was rebuilt early in the 1900s under Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Source: Rafa Esteve / Wikimedia Commons

Alcázar of Segovia
> Town or region: Segovia, Spain
> Century: 12th-13th

An alcázar is a fortress. This one — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — in the ancient city of Segovia was built to resemble the bow of a gigantic ship.

Source: Andrea Pucci / Moment via Getty Images

Fénis Castle
> Town or region: Fénis (Aosta Valley), Italy
> Century: 12th-14th

Located in the mountainous Italian region of Val d’Aosta, abutting the French border, this castle was restored in the early 20th century.

Source: Richard Baker / Corbis Historical via Getty Images

Schloss Vaduz
> Town or region: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
> Century: 12th-17th

Perched high above the capital of this tiny principality, Schloss Vaduz is the residence of Liechtenstein’s prince and his family. Built in stages over many centuries, it underwent major restorations and expansions in the 20th century.

Source: laslandes / Wikimedia Commons

Orava Castle
> Town or region: Oravský Podzámok, Slovakia
> Century: 13th

The original castle on this site was a wooden fort, evolving into a stone castle in later centuries. Restored after a fire in 1800, it served as a setting for the legendary silent film “Nosferatu,” F.W. Murnau’s retelling of the Dracula story.