Eilean Donan Castle is located on a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. The castle is situated on the island at the point where three great sea lochs meet. This picturesque castle was built in the mid-13th century, although people inhabited the island around the 6th century. During the 13th century, the castle walls enclosed much of the island. Eilean Donan provided a strong defense against Norse expeditions. At a later date, the castle became a stronghold for the Mackenzie clan. The castle has undergone four different versions of itself, having been built and re-built. It was partially destroyed in a Jacobite rising in 1719 and laid in ruins for 200 years. Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911 and restored the castle. He had an arched bridge constructed to allow easier access to the castle. Eilean Donan Castle is reputed to be the most photographed castle in Scotland and is open to the public.
St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island (meaning its connected to the mainland by a causeway) off the Mount’s Bay coast of Cornwall, England. The island is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway created of granite setts, which are passable at mid and low tide, and by boat at high tide. A medieval church and castle are the oldest buildings on this rocky island and they date back to the 14th century. These monastic buildings were built after an earthquake in 1275 destroyed the original priory church. St Michael’s Mount is one of 43 tidal islands that can be walked to from mainland Britain without a bridge.
Gravenstein Castle in located in Ghent, Belgium. Count Philip of Alsace built the current castle in the Middle Ages in 1180. The structure was modeled after a castle Philip encountered while on his second crusade in Syria. The castle is situated in the heart of Ghent, where the battlements overlook the city. A 9th century fortress built by Count Boudewijn had originally sat upon the site. The name Gravenstein stands for “castle of the count” in Dutch. The Gravenstein Castle has been a coin manufacturer, a prison, and a textile factory. It is now open for the touring public.
Saint Vitus Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Prague. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague. Coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place here. The cathedral displays Gothic architecture and is the largest and most important church in the country. Located within Prague Castle complex, the cathedral contains many tombs of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. The cathedral was built upon the site of a rotunda from the early 10th century. The present day Gothic Cathedral was founded in 1344. The cathedral is the third church built on this site, all dedicated to St. Vitus. Saint Vitus Cathedral is owned by the Czech government.