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Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019

by Rakhee Bhatt

Magic is real and fairy tales do exist, though the real-life versions tend to be rather different than the animated forms most of us were raised reading and watching. Sure, we may not live in a world where our creature companions sing and dance with us, but some of the fabled elements of those stories are readily available to those seeking enchantment. Here, six majestic castles from around the world to visit this year to have your own fairy-tale experience.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany

This magical creation served as the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California. Before constructing the famed theme park, Walt Disney took his wife Lillian to Europe, where they saw King Ludwig II’s 19th century white limestone and blue turret castle. Guests can view spaces like the Throne Room, a Byzantine-style space with a 13-foot-tall chandelier and extravagant floor mosaic, and ironically no throne. Outside the castle’s walls is Marienbrücke, a bridge that expands over a waterfall and offers dreamy visions of the surrounding Bavarian Alps.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland

Situated atop a volcanic crag called Castle Rock, estimated to have formed around 350 million years ago, this 12th century medieval fortress has seen its share of historical conflicts and served as a home to kings and queens. Beside taking in the panoramic views of the capital, visitors can also see the oldest part of the castle, St Margaret’s Chapel, that was built around 1130 by David I; admire the crown, scepter, and sword of state that were first used for the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots; and gaze at the Mons Meg cannon, which could send a gunstone two miles away during battle.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Bran Castle in Bran, Romania

A veritable fortress placed between Transylvania and Wallachia, this medieval marvel is believed to be the inspiration behind the novelist Bram Stoker’s character Count Dracula—a fictitious Transylvanian vampire—who lives in a castle described in details that fit this Romanian configuration, thus causing it to be dubbed as “Dracula’s Castle.” Completed in 1388, the castle welcomes visitors to tour the grounds, taking in the expansive views of the lush mountains and valleys.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto, Japan

A popular springtime destination for admiring hundreds of blossoming cherry trees, this Japanese castle dates back to the 16th century and was conceived during the pinnacle of warfare between feuding samurai clans. The black wainscoting structure was made almost entirely of wood—a departure from European castles that are typically made of stone—and visitors who climb the six-story structure can see a hidden half floor originally designed to trick attackers and prevent them from reaching their lord.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England

Serving as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films, this family-friendly castle provides visitors of all ages the chance to take actual broomstick training sessions on the same lawn where Harry had his first flying lesson. Guests can also peruse the luxurious Italian Renaissance interiors of the state rooms inside this structure, which is the second largest inhabited castle in the country and has been home to the Percys, the family of the Duke of Northumberland, for over 700 years.

Amazing Castles to Visit in 2019
Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic

The Guinness Book of World Records crowned this ninth century marvel the largest ancient castle in the world, with an area totaling over 750,000 square feet, made complete by immense palaces and ecclesiastical buildings located on the grounds. The castle is open to visitors wanting to see the complex’s striking gothic buildings like St. Vitus Cathedral, which is the most prominent temple in the capital city and also served as the place where Czech kings and queens had their coronation ceremonies. In addition to being a mecca for tourists, the castle—a UNESCO World Heritage site—also serves as the official office of the President of the Czech Republic.

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