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The World’s Most Architecturally Stunning Castles and Palaces

The World’s Most Architecturally Stunning Castles and Palaces

Castles and palaces are typically open to the public and contain museums or period-accurate furnishings, but their elegant allure remains even if nobility no longer lives there.

Castles and palaces are interesting places to explore for travelers, particularly because they offer a glimpse into the pinnacle of architectural design at the time of their construction. These sprawling and towering structures were built for nobility and the royal family of their respective homelands, and no expense was spared to build a complex better in every way than those of their peers. Today, castles and palaces are typically open to the public and contain museums or period-accurate furnishings, but their elegant allure remains even if nobility no longer lives there. Here are some of the most stunning castles and palaces that stand out, particularly with their architectural design.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

Versailles Palace gets all of the attention in France and for good reason. It is the pinnacle of opulence, passed down to us from one of the most opulent royalties in the world in the Bourbons. However, we want to draw attention to another stunning castle – Mont Saint-Michel, which is located on an island about one kilometer off the northwestern coast between Brittany and Normandy. It is considered by many to be the pinnacle of medieval architecture. The main draw is the Benedictine abbey church which dominates the skyline of the island. It was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and incorporates a Romanesque styling, combined with a touch of Gothic.

Himeji Castle, Japan

Due to earthquakes, fires, and bombings during World War II, not many of Japan’s medieval castles survive to us in their original forms. Many were reconstructed over the years – both before and after the war – and incorporate styles faithful to their originals. Himeji Castle, located outside of Osaka in the Kansai region, is one of the best known exceptions. Parts of the castle date all the way back to its founding in 1333, and expansions continued until about 1618. The castle complex survived American bombing during World War II, and it even survived the Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated the region in 1995. Himeji Castle recently underwent extensive clean-up and restorations and reopened to much fanfare in 2015.

Pena Palace, Portugal

Located in the town of Sintra, near Lisbon, Pena Palace is likely the most colorful palace in the world! The yellow, red, and grey exterior is bright and typical of other Portuguese architecture. It can easily be seen on a clear day from Lisbon city as it was constructed on top of a hill in the Sintra mountains. Completed in 1854 at the behest of the young King consort Ferdinand II, the palace is considered one of the hallmarks of Romanticism as applied to architectural design. After the Republican Revolution of 1910, the palace was designated by the state as a national monument and opened to the public as a museum. The vivacious exterior of the castle is all thanks to a new paint job, faithful to the original style, which was completed at the end of the 20th century.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 at 11:20 am . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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