Montjuïc Castle is a military fortress dating from 1640, which was converted into a military prison at the end of the 19th century and then into a military museum in 1963. Installed on top of the Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona, almost 200 meters high, Montjuïc Castle follows the so-called “Vauban style”. This model of fortification was created by the French military architect Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban and stands out for the bastions at the ends – which often form a star!
Castles and Palaces
Guimarães Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal. Not to mention that it’s a National Monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal Therefore, it’s only natural that this medieval castle is one of the most visited in the country! Guimarães Castle is linked to the foundation of Portugal, as a sovereign and independent nation. This is because its construction dates from the mid-10th century when the region belonged to the County of Portugal!
The Castle of Torres Novas is a very picturesque monument, located 115 km from Lisbon. Constructed in the Middle Ages, this military fortress helped to defend the southern border of the Kingdom of Portugal during the Reconquista. Unfortunately, part of the castle was destroyed in the Lisbon Earthquake in 1755 and the Peninsular War. Even so, the Castle of Torres Novas is the most popular tourist attraction in Torres Novas, because of its photogenic spots and the panoramic views over the city!
Are you looking for the best castles in Europe to visit? Then you’re in the right place because this list brings together the best European castles, which you should see at least once in your life. Europe has an unparalleled architectural, historical, and cultural past. And these most beautiful castles in Europe are perfect for architecture lovers, history buffs, and cultural travelers. From medieval fortresses to romantic masterpieces, discover some of the most famous castles in Europe!
The Palau de la Música Catalana (or Palace of Catalan Music, in English) is the most stunning concert hall I’ve ever seen in my life and the only one declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this music auditorium is situated in Barcelona, Spain. Besides having formidable acoustics, the Palau de la Música Catalana is richly decorated with stained glass, mosaics, ceramics, sculptures, murals, and wrought iron elements!
Almourol Castle (in Portuguese, Castelo de Almourol) is a unique monument in Portugal, as it was built on an islet in the Tagus River, about 135 km from Lisbon. A symbol of the Iberian Reconquista, it was founded by the Knights Templar as a military fortress. However, Almourol Castle lost importance over the centuries and ended up abandoned. Besides, the structure was damaged by the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 – even though it was restored and adapted to the romantic taste in the 19th century!
The Palau Güell is a building in Catalan Modernist style, which was designed by Antoni Gaudí. Built between 1886 and 1890, the palace is located in the historic center of Barcelona. When Eusebi Güell commissioned this first major work from Antoni Gaudí, the young architect was still far from becoming one of the most celebrated Catalan artists of all time. But the truth is that, after the Palau Güell, Eusebi Güell became Antoni Gaudí’s most important patron and client!
The Castel Sant’Angelo (which in Italian means “Castle of the Holy Angel”) was once a mausoleum, a fortress, a prison, and even a papal residence. Nowadays, it’s a national museum, an archaeological site, and one of the main monuments in the historic center of Rome, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. The Castel Sant’Angelo opened in 1901, with an exhibition of artifacts found in excavations. And since then, it has attracted thousands of tourists from all over the world!
The Vianden Castle is one of the most beautiful feudal residences in Europe and a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Located in a homonymous town and commune in northern Luxembourg, the Vianden Castle was built between the 11t and 14th centuries to house the Counts of Vianden. But after a few centuries, the monument was left abandoned. Fortunately, Grand Duke Jean donated the medieval fortress to the Luxembourg State in 1977, which restored and returned it to its former glory!
The National Palace of Sintra is the most important palace in Portugal, as it was the residence of almost all the country’s monarchs. On top of that, it’s the oldest Portuguese palace of all, with origins dating back to the Arab occupation of this region! In addition to dozens of halls, corridors, and rooms, the National Palace of Sintra is made up of numerous patios, galleries, and gardens. And brace yourself: this guide is probably the longest and most complete I’ve ever published on my blog!