Europe’s Most Beautiful Castles

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Maruševec Castle
> Town or region: Maruševec, Croatia
> Century: 16th

Though it’s one of the best-preserved and most imposing castles in Croatia, this one-time nobleman’s retreat was once famous for its gardens and collection of rare trees, now much diminished.

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Château de Chantilly
> Town or region: Chantilly, France
> Century: 16th (rebuilt 19th)

There are two main structures here — the Petit Château and the Grand Château (the latter destroyed during the French Revolution but replaced in the late 19th century). The castle is the site of the Musée Condé, housing one of the most important art collections in France, and the site overlooks the famed Chantilly racecourse.

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Fort St. Angelo
> Town or region: Birgu, Malta
> Century: 16th-17th

A bastion on a promontory jutting out into the Mediterranean, this castle was a stronghold for the Knights of St. John — also known as the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights of Malta.

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Highclere Castle
> Town or region: Highclere, England
> Century: 17th

Millions of TV viewers will recognize this edifice, as it served as the primary location for the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey.”

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Frederiksborg Castle
> Town or region: Hillerød, Denmark
> Century: 17th

Built on the site of an earlier fortress for Christian IV, a 17th-century king of unified Denmark-Norway, Frederiksborg was severely damaged by fire in 1859, but rebuilt according to the original plans.