Category: castle

Dunnottar Castle,Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Sc…

Dunnottar Castle,
Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Dunnottar Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Fhoithear, “fort on the shelving slope”) is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages. Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location and defensive strength. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s army in the 17th century. The property of the Keiths from the 14th century, and the seat of the Earl Marischal, Dunnottar declined after the last Earl forfeited his titles by taking part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. The castle was restored in the 20th century and is now open to the public.

The ruins of the castle are spread over 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres), surrounded by cliffs that drop to the North Sea. A narrow strip of land joins the headland to the mainland, along which a steep path leads up to the gatehouse. Buildings within the castle include the 14th-century tower house as well as the 16th-century palace. Dunnottar Castle is a scheduled monument, and twelve structures on the site are listed buildings.

Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England.

Windsor Castle,
Windsor, Berkshire, England.

Windsor Castle is a royal residence notable for its long association with the English and later the British royal family, and also for its architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor Castle.

Originally designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London, and to oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte and bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound. Gradually replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons’ War at the start of the 13th century. A round keep now stands on the motte. Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, and Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to produce an even grander set of buildings. Edward’s core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and centre for diplomatic entertainment.

Alcazar, Segovia, Spain.

Segovia, Spain.

The Alcázar of Segovia (literally, Segovia Castle) is a stone fortification, rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of the rivers Eresma and Clamores near the Guadarrama mountains. It is one of the most distinctive castle-palaces in Spain, shaped like the bow of a ship.

Like many fortifications in Spain, it started off as an Arab fort, which itself was built on a Roman fort but little of that structure remains. It has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since Moorish times.

Burg Rabenstein (Rabenstein Castle), Ahorntal,…

Burg Rabenstein (Rabenstein Castle),
Ahorntal, Upper Franconian county of Bayreuth in the state of Bavaria, Germany.

Rabenstein Castle is a former high medieval aristocratic spur castle built between 1175 and 1200. During the Thirty Years’ War, the castle was destroyed by imperial troops, because its lord, Hans Christoph of Rabenstein, had aligned himself with the Swedes. After the war between 1648 and 1728 a few small buildings and a farm were re-established. In 1742 the von Rabensteins died out and the castle passed to the counts of Schönborn-Wiesentheid, who revamped the ruins in 1829/30 for a royal visit by Ludwig I.

The castle is now a hotel used for events and conferences. It also houses a falconry used for research and education, along with a café and a beer garden.

Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Argyll and Bute, Sc…

Kilchurn Castle,
Loch Awe, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

Kilchurn Castle is a ruined 15th and 17th century structure on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe Access to the castle is sometimes restricted by higher-than-usual levels of water in the Loch, at which times the site becomes a temporary island. It was the ancestral home of the Campbells of Glen Orchy, later Earls of Breadalbane – the Breadalbane family branch, of the Clan Campbell.

Inchdrewer Castle, Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotl…

Inchdrewer Castle,
Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Inchdrewer Castle is a 16th-century tower house in the northeast of Scotland. Originally owned by the Currour family, it was purchased by the Ogilvies of Dunlugas in 1557 and became their main family seat. It was uninhabited after 1836 and the structure deteriorated. The former model Olga Roh bought it in 2014 intending to restore it. It is now a category A listed building.

Castle Bürresheim (Schloss Bürresheim), near M…

Castle Bürresheim (Schloss Bürresheim),
near Mayen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

The castle consists of buildings constructed between the twelfth and the seventeenth century. The twelfth century keep is the oldest part. The castle was never taken, or raised, or slighted (unlike almost all other Rhine castles).

It featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in which it was called Brunwald Castle.

Sammezzano, aka the Castle of Sammezzano,Lecci…

Sammezzano, aka the Castle of Sammezzano,
Leccio, Reggello, Province of Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

Sammezzano is an Italian palazzo, notable for its Moorish Revival architectural style. The original palazzo was erected in about 1605 by the Spanish nobleman, Ximenes of Aragon. In the 19th century, Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes inherited the property. Between 1853 and 1889, he remodeled it into one of the largest examples of Moorish Revival architecture.

Bobolice Castle, Bobolice (or Bublitz), Poland…

Bobolice Castle,
Bobolice (or Bublitz), Poland.

This Polish Gothic castle in Bublitz was built by King Casimir III the Great in the middle of the 14th century. It was accessible through a drawbridge over the dry moat. The entire construction was surrounded by walls with battlements, made of local white limestone. Reconstruction works are underway  to restore the entrance gate and the curtain wall around the grounds.

Burg Kriebstein (Kriebstein Castle),Kriebstein…

Burg Kriebstein (Kriebstein Castle),
Kriebstein, near Waldheim, Saxony, Germany.

The Kriebstein is an unusual combination of a tower castle (a Turmburg) and a ringwork castle.