Special Report

Europe’s Most Beautiful Castles

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Karlštejn Castle
> Town or region: Karlštejn, Czechia
> Century: 14th

A huge Gothic castle, built by Charles IV, the future Holy Roman Emperor, Karlštejn was the repository of the Bohemian crown jewels.

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Bodiam Castle
> Town or region: Robertsbridge, England
> Century: 14th

This moated castle in East Sussex is known for the extensive landscaping planned by its builders. Though its exterior walls are still largely intact, the interior is in ruins.

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> Town or region: Verona, Italy
> Century: 14th

A well-preserved “old castle” (the translation of its Italian name) in the city of Romeo and Juliet, Castelvecchio is considered one of the major military fortifications in northern Italy.

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Gripsholm Castle
> Town or region: Mariefred, Sweden
> Century: 14th

On Lake Mälaren, west of Stockholm, this imposing castle, with its domed turrets, is the property of Sweden’s royal family.

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Château de Vincennes
> Town or region: Vincennes, France
> Century: 14th and 17th

Originally built as a royal hunting lodge in the forest of Vincennes, just east of Paris (and now a part of that city’s metro area) this château is instantly recognizable by the 170-foot-high keep (the most strongly fortified part of a castle — the panic room, as it were).