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Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz), Above the Moselle Riv…

Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz),
Above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany.

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The Eltz family lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago, and still does. About 100 members of the owners’ families lived in the over 100 rooms of the castle. It is a Ganerbenburg, or castle belonging to a community of joint heirs. It is divided into several parts, which belong to different branches of a family. In the case of Eltz, the family comprised three branches and the existing castle comprises three separate complexes of buildings The Rübenach and Rodendorf families’ homes in the castle are now open to the public, while the Kempenich branch of the family uses the other third of the castle. The main part of the castle consists of the family portions with up to eight stories and with eight towers reaching heights of between 30 and 40 meters.

This is as close as reality gets to Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast

Château de Vitré,Vitré,  Ille-et-Vilaine, Fran…

Château de Vitré,
Vitré,  Ille-et-Vilaine, France.

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The first castle in Vitré was built of wood on a feudal motte around the year 1000 on the Sainte-Croix hill. The first stone castle was built by the baron Robert I of Vitré at the end of the 11th century. The defensive site chosen, a rocky promontory, dominated the valley of the Vilaine. A Romanesque style doorway still survives from this building. During the first half of the 13th century, baron André III, rebuilt it in its present triangular form, following the contours of the rocks, surrounded with dry moats.

The castle was bought by the town in the 1820 for 8,500 francs. It was one of the first castles in France to be classified as a monument historique (historic monument).

Castello DI Padernello (Padernello Castle), Pa…

Castello DI Padernello (Padernello Castle), 
Padernello, (near San Giacomo), Brescia, Italy.

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The castle was built at the end of the 14th century by the Martinengo family, who owned it until the death of the last heir. After changing owners a few times, the castle was abandoned in 1961 until in 2006 the Padernello Castle Foundation started a long series of renovation projects. It has a working drawbridge and moat.

Schloss Drachenburg (Drachenburg Castle)Königs…

Schloss Drachenburg (Drachenburg Castle)
Königswinter, on the Rhine near Bonn, Germany.

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Schloss Drachenburg is a private villa in palace style constructed in the late 19th century. It was completed in only two years (1882–84) on the Drachenfels hill. Baron Stephan von Sarter, a broker and banker, planned to live there, but never did. Today the Palace is now in the possession of the State Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Kitchen, Royal Pavilion,Brighton, England.

Kitchen,
Royal Pavilion,
Brighton, England.

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The Royal Pavilion also known as the Brighton Pavilion is a former royal residence built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century. The current appearance of the Pavilion, with its domes and minarets, is the work of architect John Nash, who extended the building starting in 1815

Saint George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor…

Saint George’s Chapel,
Windsor Castle,
Windsor, Berkshire, England.

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Windsor Castle is a royal residence notable for its long association with the English and later 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. 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.

Burg Vischering (Vischering Castle), Lüdinghau…

Burg Vischering (Vischering Castle),
Lüdinghausen, North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany.

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Vischering Castle consists of an outer courtyard, defensive gateways, moat, drawbridge, main building and chapel. Vischering Castle was built by Bischop Gerhard von der Mark to counter one built nearby by the von Lüdinghausen family. Vischering Castle became the seat of the Droste zu Vischering Family. The castle keep is now missing, having been removed during Renaissance renovations.  

Dunnottar Castle,Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Sc…

Dunnottar Castle,
Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

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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.

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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.

Bourtange, Vlagtwedde, Westerwolde, province o…

Bourtange,
Vlagtwedde, Westerwolde, province of Groningen, Netherlands.

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Bourtange is a village situated near the German border. The star fort here was built in 1593 during the Dutch Revolt against King Philip II of Spain. It was was used until 1851, and restored to its mid-18th-century state in 1960. It is now an open-air museum.