Caerphilly Castle is a medieval fortification in Caerphilly, South Wales. The castle, which encompasses thirty acres, was constructed in the 13th century and is surrounded by manmade lakes. Caerphilly Castle is considered the second largest castle in Britain, second to Windsor Castle. The castle is said to have introduced the concentric castle defense, which is described as a castle nestled inside another, with an outer wall protecting the inner wall. The castle is also known for its huge gatehouse. Originally, the gatehouse could only be reached by two drawbridges. Caerphilly featured a network of moats and dams that were said to be the most elaborate water defenses in Britain, and inspired by Castle Kenilworth, which I spoke of in a previous post. Caerphilly was a masterpiece of military strength and design.
Alcázar of Segovia is a stone fortification located in the city of Segovia, Spain. The castle is built upon a rock cliff above the rivers of Eresma and Clamores. Segovia Castle is shaped like the bow of a ship, making it distinct from other castles. The fortification first began as an Arab Fort, which was built atop the remains of a Roman fort. The castle is believed to have been built in the 12th century, after the city of Segovia returned to Christian hands. The palace was enlarged and added to during the next four centuries. During the middle ages the castle served as a royal palace. It has also served as a state prison, a royal Artillery College, and a military academy. In 1862 a fire destroyed much of the structure and it was rebuilt two decades later in a more romantic style. Segovia Castle is one of the castles that inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
Margam Castle is a mansion built in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales. The first human habitation of the site dates back 4000 years. The site held an abbey in the 11th century. Margam Castle is a revival castle that was built in the 19th century during the Gothic Revival in architecture. The castle was commissioned by Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot and was constructed from the years 1830-1840. The palace was sold in 1941 but soon fell into disrepair. In 1977, a fire caused substantial damage and soon after restoration on the castle began. Today the castle is listed as a historic landmark. The castle has been shown on paranormal programs and is believed to be haunted. According to a Margam County Park reporter, “The number of paranormal stories coming from the castle on a regular basis could make this property a contender for the most haunted house in Britain.”
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th century Romanesque Revival palace located on a rocky ridge in Bavaria, Germany. The palace was intended for the reclusive King Ludwig II of Bavaria. King Ludwig II had been fascinated by the medieval legends in Richard Wagner’s operas. Motifs for Wagner’s operas are seen in paintings and murals throughout the interior of the castle. Unfortunately, Ludwig did not live long enough to see his dream castle completed, but he did spend eleven nights in the castle before his suspicious death in 1886. Ludwig II had wished to create a private refuge, but only seven weeks after his death, the castle was opened to the public. The complex consists of several individual structures decorated with towers, turrets, and sculptures. The castle was created to look older than it was, and unlike authentic castles, Neuschwanstein Castle had luxuries such as indoor plumbing and forced air heating. The castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany and is known as the fairytale castle.