Castles in Belgium
Castle Boullion, Belgium on the border with Franch. Bouillon est d’abord un résumé des charmes et des mystères de la nature ardennaise, faite de hauts plateaux couverts de forêts profondes, de vallées sinueuses aux méandres encaissés, de panoramas superbes dominant des sites de légende,d’une faune et d’une flore d’une richesse insoupçonnée.
Castles in France
CarcassonneLa Cite de Carcassonne The Walled City of Carcassonne is known first and foremost as a fortified medieval town; but this rocky outcrop has been occupied by man since the 6th century B.C., first as a gaul settlement, then as a Roman town fitted with ramparts as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. On the western face of this primitive fortification rests the castle, built in the 12th century by the vicomtes Trencavels.
In the early 13th century, Carcassonne was taken by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian Crusade, then annexed to the royal estate. Fortification works lasted throughout the 13th century, with the construction of the outer wall and the modernisation of the inner rampart, making this place an impregnable fortress.
The Cité lost its strategic importance after the signing of the Pyrénées Treaty in 1659. In the second half of the 19th century, it underwent a major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and was included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.
Château de Pierrefonds
The Château de Pierrefonds castle is situated north of Paris, between Villers-Cotterêts and Compiègne. Build by Louis I de Valois, Duke of Orléans, c. 1393-1407. Then destroyed by Louis XIII. Finally, Napoleon III ordered it to be rebuilt, so the castle has the distinct concoction of a combination of 14th and 19th century architecture. It also has a lot of animal sculptures for some reason.The castle has been classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1848.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III of France) visited the castle in 1850. As emperor, he asked Viollet-le-Duc in 1857 to undertake its restoration. There was no question of a simple repair to the habitable parts (the keep and annexes): the "picturesque" ruins in front were to be kept for decor. In 1861, the project grew in scale: the sovereign wanted to create an imperial residence, so the castle was to be entirely rebuilt. The works, which would cost 5 million francs, of which 4 million were to come from the civil list, were stopped in 1885, six years after the death of Viollet-le-Duc. The departure of Napoléon III had halted the reconstruction and, through lack of money, the decoration of rooms was unfinished. Inside, Viollet-le-Duc produced more a work of invention than restoration (polychrome paintings). He imagined how the castle ought to have been, rather than basing his work on the strict history of the building. On the other hand, with the exterior he showed an excellent knowledge of the military architecture of the 14th century.
It is used extensively as the setting for the BBC TV Series Merlin.
Montreal CastleMontreal Castle, in France, is guardian of the silver mines at Largentiere. At the foot of the 12th century dungeon, a medieval camp of armed craftsmen awaits to propel the visitor on a journey back through time...Hosts Medieval events and a large feast on New Year's Eve (pour la St Sylvestre).
Castles in GermanyEyneburg Castle in Germany hosts many, varied events each year.
Castles in Spain
Castles in The United Kingdom
Castles in Italy
Castles in JapanThere are only a dozen or so feudal castles remaining in Japan today although many were built during the 15th century, when Japan consisted of many small states that tended to fight each other often. Himeji Castle, located nearish to Kyoto, is the most spectacular surviving castle that exists in its original form.
Castles in the US
Sleep in a CastleListings where you can arrange to sleep in a castle, chateau or Manor House.
Buy a Castle
Build a Castle
Medieval Castles Details of the construction and architecture of medieval castles
Last edited March 2, 2012 (history)
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