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This page contains information about castles you can visit, look at, sleep in or buy. For historic information about castles see Medieval Castles and Castle Gallery in the library.

Visit Castles

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

Carcassonne

La 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

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.

Map of Pierrefonds Castle
It is used extensively as the setting for the BBC TV Series Merlin.

Montreal Castle

Montreal 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 Germany

Eyneburg Castle in Germany hosts many, varied events each year.

Eyneburg Castle, Germany

Segovia."El alcázar"

Castles in Spain

Castles of the Crown of Castile

Castles in The United Kingdom

  • A full listing of Welsh castles "In a country with relatively few great churches and abbeys, and even fewer unfortified manor houses, the Castles of Wales form the most imposing group of monuments left from the Middle Ages. In terms of grandeur they are second only to the dramatic landscape." The site hosts Historical Essays on castles and medieval Wales.

Castles in Italy

  • Castles in Tuscany Castles, fortresses, watch-towers, and town walls appear everywhere; some are well preserved, others are in ruins, but the main remnants are not on the tourist routes. Includes Castle Volterre and Montepulciano where Twilight New Moon was filmed.

Castles in Japan

There 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 Castle

Listings where you can arrange to sleep in a castle, chateau or Manor House.
  • Chateaux and Hotels de France France. Accommodation in French Manor Houses, Chateaux and Hotels
  • Holiday Cottages that are English heritage sites. United Kingdom.
  • Machiavelli Winery Stay at his estate in Italy, Drink from the vines and olive trees of the Macchiavelli family from the comfort of your own home.
  • HistoryTraveller carefully selects accomodation for clients in historically important residences throughout Italy. When there is so much on offer to visitors to Italy, the more discerning tourist tends to seek out venues in which hospitality, a warm welcome and that home from home feeling are valued. This is what we aim to provide.

Buy a Castle

Build a Castle

  • Guédelon They rediscovered a secluded wooded setting, an abandoned overgrown quarry, a landscape resembling something out of the year 1000. In the heart of Puisaye, in Yonne, Burgundy, a team of fifty people have taken on an extraordinary feat : to build a castle using the very same techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages.
  • Castle Magic Building dream castles since 1980.

Castle Links

  • Edujoser Castle Web Lots of information and links about many castles
    • Castles of Italy "Edujoser has a website dedicated to European castles, and has created a collection of placemarks showing the locations of 100s of castles in Italy. According to Edujoser, the collection includes all medieval military constructions (castles, towers, ruins…) built before XVI Century (inclusive) or more recent ones with defensive features (forts, citadels…). Newer chateaux-palaces built on the site of a previous medieval castle are also included. The collection does not include any castle, palace or chateau built after XVII Century (inclusive) without defensive features not matching criteria above. Palaces or revival XIX century neo-gothic castles not included."
  • Castles Links to castles by country

  • Casteland This site is dedicated to all fans of castles, of patrimony and vestiges. New sites and articles will be at your disposal according the evolution of our researches. In French and English.
    Casteland est dédié à tous les passionnés de châteaux, de patrimoine et de vestiges anciens. De nouveaux sites et articles seront à votre disposition au gré de l'évolution de nos recherches.


Related pages:

Medieval Castles Details of the construction and architecture of medieval castles

Last edited March 2, 2012 (history)
 
   

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