Fit for a queen, these fairytale castles and royal abodes are stunning masterpieces of architecture and history.
Schloss Neuschwanstein: Bavaria, Germany
The inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s castle is a towering structure with turrets emerging from the alpine forest. It is located high on a rugged hill above a village in Bavaria. Stunning views of the green countryside and the mountains beyond are offered from the top. This romantic castle, built in 1869, was meant to be a retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Pena National Palace: Sintra, Portugal
Perched on a peak, this palace is a combination of onion domes, Moorish gates, and pink and yellow towers. A combination of architectural styles including Renaissance, neo-Islamic, neo-Gothic and Romantic are all combined inside and outside the castle, making it an interesting visual fusion.
Forbidden City: Beijing, China
This is China’s best-preserved collection of ancient buildings and the largest palace complex in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the home of the Qing emperors who were sheltered here within the palace walls surrounded by a moat. The complex includes gardens, galleries, and a series of smaller palaces with courtyards.
Topkapi Palace: Istanbul, Turkey
Once the court of the Ottoman empire, this opulent palace was built in 1453 and was the home of the sultans until the 19th century. A series of buildings include the kitchen which houses a collection of porcelain, reputed to change color if touched by poisoned food. In one chamber, a three tiered marble fountain is the focal point. The sound of the cascading water used to make it difficult to eavesdrop on the sultan’s private conversations.
Alhambra Palace: Andalusia, Spain
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Moorish palace and fort is a stunning architectural wonder. The first castle was built in the 11th century for the Zirid sultans. Carved wood ceilings, glazed tiles, and honeycombed vaulted ceilings all await.
City Palace: Udaipur, India
Rajasthan’s largest palace towers by shimmering Lake Pichola. Construction started in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder. An assortment of courtyards, pavilions, and terraces make up the palace which is made of granite and marble. Antique furniture, mirrors, colored glass inlays, murals, and ornamental tiles glisten in this abode. Near one of the Palace archways, the kings used to weigh themselves and then distribute their weight’s worth in gold and silver to the people of the city.
Chateau de Chambord: France
French Renaissance architecture is celebrated at this Chateau with 440 rooms and 365 fireplaces, built in 1519. It became one of the most ambitious and expensive projects attempted by a French monarch. The double helix staircase was reputedly designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Add a visit to one of these fairytale castles to your next Ker & Downey journey. Contact your Luxury Travel Consultant to start planning your journey.