Home Places 10 Castles of Medieval Times: A Journey into the Middle Ages

10 Castles of Medieval Times: A Journey into the Middle Ages

Fascinating History of 10 Medieval Castles

by Moiz Ali

Medieval castles are among the most iconic images of the middle ages. These massive stone fortresses have captured the imaginations of people for centuries. Because the castles of medieval times served as the residences of the king. The fortified structure was essential to protect the inhabitants from the outside world.

Cities, villages, and towns in Europe were frequently surrounded by earthen walls for protection. Every castle of middle ages has an amazing tale from:

  • its construction to its inhabitants and notorious prisoners
  • its secret passageways to hidden treasures
  • ghost stories to fairy tales

Medieval is often associated with the era of the king, queen, knights, and lords- not to mention castles. This is because most of the famous historic castles in England Ireland Scotland and wales date back to this period.

Some of our favorite episodes were filmed in actual castles. But before we explain the history of medieval castles in further detail. let’s get some facts straight first:

What exactly is a castle?

There are different variations of castles built during different periods in history. The word “castle” comes from the Latin word “castellum”. This means “small fort or fortress.”

Here is our list of top 10 castles of medieval times  that you must visit for an experience of a lifetime and Fascinating History:

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
  2. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
  3. Warwick Castle, England
  4. Bodenstein castle, Germany
  5. Chateau de Chambord, France
  6. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
  7. Cairo Citadel, Egypt
  8. Ruins of Rothenburg, South Germany
  9. Caledheim Ruin(kaldheim), Germany
  10. Himeji castle, Japan

For those eager to explore more historical wonders, we invite you to discover “10 amazing historical sites of Greece to visit in 2023” a link to unlock another world of ancient marvels.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous medieval castles in the world. It was built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Bavarian King built this castle in the Romantic style. It is said to be his inspiration for the castles in his operas. The castle was inspired by medieval castles. However, it was built using the castles of the Renaissance period as a model. The castle is also known for inspiring Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, and it’s easy to see why.

It is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Europe. On a busy summer day, it attracts more than 6,000 visitors. But, the fantasy castle’s creator never intended for it to be accessible to the general public. It developed from being an architectural love letter to German composer Richard Wagner into a refuge for a reclusive king. The king was gradually losing his sense of reality..

Today, Neuschwanstein Castle houses a museum that contains a collection of King Ludwig II’s personal belongings.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most renowned buildings in Scotland. This castle was the residence of Scottish monarchs for centuries. However, it is best known for its history as a military garrison. Its long, complex history as a fortress, prison, royal house, and military garrison is filled with thrilling tales.

The castle is located on the volcanic crag that rises above the city. It is considered one of the most strategically important castles in Scotland. When you ascend Castle Hill, you will follow in the footsteps of warriors, kings, queens, and even the occasional pirate. Although some of it is still used for military purposes.

It dominates the skyline of Edinburgh and is visible from various parts of the city. This castle of middle ages is now a popular tourist destination. It receives around 2.2 million visitors every year. Edinburgh Castle is also one of Scotland’s most important tourist attractions. In addition to the castle, the Edinburgh Castle Visitors Centre houses the Royal Scots Regiment Museum and the Scots Crown Jewels.

Warwick Castle, England

Warwick Castle has been in existence since 1088, making it one of the oldest castles of medieval times in all of England. It is one of the most comprehensive and dramatic medieval fortresses in the nation. Over the centuries, the castle has gone through a lot of architectural changes. It is now hard to visualize it as it was in its early days. 

The area where Warwick Castle now stands was the site of a Saxon fort constructed in 914 AD on the banks of the River Avon by King Alfred the Great’s daughter, Thelflaed. Its purpose was as a defense against a Danish invasion. 

Warwick Castle is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in England. It receives around 1.5 million visitors each year. The castle is now mainly a tourist attraction. But in the past, it was used as a fortress and a jail. 

Bodenstein castle, Germany

Bodenstein Castle is a medieval castle located in the southern German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. This castle is located on the Rhine River near the village of Stahleck. The original castle was built in the 13th century, but it was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. The current castle was built in the 19th century, but it was built in a medieval style. 

The castle has hosted a number of royals, and since it was built as a tourist attraction, it hosts a lot of tourists today. The castle is open to tourists, who can visit it throughout the year. 

Chateau de Chambord, France

The Chateau de Chambord is a French Renaissance chateau located in the Loire Valley of Loir-et-Cher, France. It was built between 1519 and 1547 CE. The chateau is one of France’s most famous architectural treasures and is the most visited chateau in France. 

The scale and architectural complexity of this outstanding French Renaissance structure are remarkable. The castle is considered to be one of the architectural wonders of the world. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The king who commissioned the building of the chateau is believed to be Francis I.

The chateau was built by a famous architect named Philibert de l’Orme. Francis-I wanted to build a hunting lodge in the forest. The chateau was built using a self-supporting wooden frame. Today, the Chateau de Chambord is open to the public.

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Hohenzollern Castle is a German castle that is located in the municipality of Sigmaringen in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The castle is also known as the “Swiss Castle” as its structure is Swiss in design. It is built on top of a mountain that overlooks the village of Sigmaringen. 

On the Hohenzollern site, three castles were constructed. The first was constructed in the early 11th century, but this one was completely destroyed in 1423.

This castle, in medieval times, was the ancestral seat of the House of Hohenzollern. They were the ruling dynasty of the German Empire from the 19th century to the end of World War 1 in 1918. Hohenzollern Castle, along with its associated buildings, is owned by the State of Baden-Württemberg. It is administered by the Hohenzollern Castle Society. Entrance to the castle grounds is free.

Cairo Citadel, Egypt

Travel to Cairo for one last unique castle visit at Sultan Salah al-Din al-Citadel. Ayyubi’s (Saladin). The castle served as a stronghold on the Muqattam Hills and a stunning vantage point from which the royals could see Cairo from all directions.

To defend Cairo from future Crusader attacks, Sultan Salah El-Din constructed the Citadel of Salah El-Din. It is also known as the Citadel of the Mountain (Qala’a Al-Jabal) in Egypt.

The construction of the castle began in 1176. In 1207, the royal residence of Egypt was established there. 

The Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque and a number of museums:

  • Al-Jawhara Palace Museum
  • Royal Vehicle Museum
  • Military Museum

are still present today.

Ruins of Rothenburg, South Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, known as Rothenburg, is a medieval walled town in Bavaria.  The wall is one of the longest in Europe and has many well-preserved towers. It is a major tourist destination in southern Germany. It is famous for its historic medieval architecture and its well-preserved walls.

Throughout the castle of middle ages, Rothenburg was a Free Imperial and the second largest city in Germany with 6,000 inhabitants. 

When Rothenburg was reduced to poverty during the Thirty Years War, it lost its importance and growth stopped, preserving it in its 17th-century state. Rothenburg is currently known worldwide as being Germany’s best preserved medieval walled town.

The full name of the town is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which means “Rothenburg above the Tauber”. The Tauber is a river that flows through the town. The city was founded in the 10th century as a fortified castle at a strategic location on a hill spur over the River Tauber.

Caledheim Ruin(kaldheim), Germany

The Caledheim Ruin is a fortified tower that was built during the 11th century. The tower is situated near Haldensleben in the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. This tower was used as a fortified castle and a refuge during times of war.

It was built during the reign of the German emperor, Heinrich IV, who was also known as the “King of the Romans” (King of All the Germanic Peoples). This tower was built by a nobleman named Bernhard von Caledheim. In its heyday, the Caledheim Ruin was one of the most important fortifications in the region. The tower is now a popular tourist destination, and it hosts several festivals during the year.

Himeji castle,  Japan

Himeji Castle( Japan’s Castles) is a Japanese castle that is located in Himeji, in the Hyōgo Prefecture. Its second name is Hakuro-jō or Shirasagi-jō. It is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Japan. Himeji Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and most visited castles. It attracts over 2 million visitors every year. It was built on a natural hilltop between 1581 and 1609 CE.

The history of the castle can be traced back to the early 16th century when it was built by the warlord Mitsuru Toyama. The castle was built in the Japanese architectural style of “gasshō-zukuri”. A crane, or “hime” in Japanese, is claimed to have served as the design inspiration for the castle.

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