Special Report

Europe’s Most Beautiful Castles

Source: Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons

Malbork Castle
> Town or region: Malbork, Poland
> Century: 13th

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by the Teutonic Knights, is the world’s largest castle in terms of area covered.

Source: Berthold Werner / Wikimedia Commons

Castel del Monte
> Town or region: Andria, Italy
> Century: 13th

This hilltop castle, built by Emperor Frederick II, is comparatively small by castle standards, but is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and appears on the Italian minting of the one-cent Euro coin.

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Conwy Castle
> Town or region: Conwy, Wales
> Century: 13th

In classifying it as a World Heritage Site, UNESCO described this impregnable-looking castle as among “”the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.”

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Hluboká Castle
> Town or region: Hluboká, Czechia
> Century: 13th

Originally Gothic in style, this castle was refashioned several times over the centuries in different architectural styles. Its present-day exterior was modeled after that of Windsor Castle (see above).

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Scaligero Castle
> Town or region: Sirmione (Lake Garda), Italy
> Century: 13th

One of the most popular castles in Italy among visitors, and one of the best preserved, this medieval fortress on the banks of Lake Garda was built by the Della Scala family, rulers of nearby Verona and its region.