Europe’s Most Beautiful Castles

Source: Bochnaank / Wikimedia Commons

Moszna Castle
> Town or region: Moszna, Poland
> Century: 18th-20th

This fairytale castle, with its many towers and steeples, has been called “whimsical” and “one of the world’s most beautiful castles.”

Source: Photochrom / Wikimedia Commons

Neuschwanstein Castle
> Town or region: Hohenschwangau, Germany
> Century: 19th

One of several impressive structures built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria — known as “Mad King Ludwig” or (more kindly) “the Fairy Tale King” — Neuschwanstein was an example of “castle romanticism,” said to have been inspired by the monarch’s love for the music of Richard Wagner.

Source: Rolphus / Getty Images

Hohenzollern Castle
> Town or region: Bisengen. Germany
> Century: 19th

Constructed at the top of Mount Hohenzollern on the site of a 12th-century predecessor, this monumental fortress, inspired in part by the châteaux of France’s Loire Valley, was built by the crown prince of Prussia as a memorial to his family.

Source: United Archives / Contributor / Getty Images

Lichtenstein Castle
> Town or region: Honau, Germany
> Century: 19th

This castle in the German municipality of Lichtenstein — not to be confused with the principality of Liechtenstein, about 90 miles to the south — is an example of so-called castle romanticism, in this case inspired by poet Wilhelm Hauff’s 1826 historical novel “Lichtenstein.”

Source: TiberiuSahlean / Wikimedia Commons

Peleș Castle
> Town or region: Sinaia, Romania
> Century: Late 19th-early 20th

Built at the behest of Romania’s King Carol I, this neo-Renaissance castle, with its half-timbered façade, played the part of a billionaire’s estate in New Jersey in the 2008 comedy-drama “The Brothers Bloom.”