If any man- made architecture that is supposed to embody majesty, glory, valour, honour, pride, heritage and charm at one time, it is got to be the castles. They conceive in their fathom the stories of the days bygone, the glimpses and sights that changed the course of history and human lives. Like every great civilization, these castles also tell the tale of human endeavour and psyche. No wonder, the American musician Stephen Jenkins was awed by this fact and observed, “You make kingdoms and castles on your own”.
Essentially the outcome of the creative and imaginative spirit of the makers, the castles and forts were built with myriad purposes. But with the passage of time, they still stand firm in different parts of the world to remind us of our great roots and origin.
Even today, when a modern traveller roams direction less inside any castle on earth and spots an open window that offers a awesome view of the world outside, he/she is no longer a slogging employee nor a tax paying common person. The feeling is king size!
So, here we are today to present to you some of the most astounding forts that hounds you:
Hohenzollern Castle, Germany: You need to climb up a staggering 855 meters on Mount Hohenzollern, situated about 50 kilometers south of Stuttgart, to reach the amazingly wonderful Hohenzollern Castle. This castle with jaw drop looks and an unseen but well felt aura has been witness to the reigns of the Prussian Kings, German Emperors and the Swabian branch of the Princes of Hohenzollern. Built in somewhere in the 11th century and reconstructed in 1461, Hohenzollern Castle is is open year-round with daily guided tours to assist you through.
Alcázar of Segovia, Spain: The unmatched Spanish feel will accompany you once you visit this castle in the walled city of Segovia, with Eresma and Clamores rivers flowing nearby. Housing several rulers and dynasties, castle Alcázar flaunts its signature style of architecture that makes it easily recognizable in anywhere in the world. Adding to its popularity is its visible impact on some of the animated castles created by none other than Walt Disney!
Himeji Castle, Japan: Deservingly a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji is a mind blowing castle situated in the the Kansai region of Japan with 83 wooden buildings inside it. Otherwise known as the White Heron Castle (thanks to its white exterior), Himeji is basically a defence motif driven fort. Built in the 14th century, the castle has a puzzle of paths that led the intruding counter parts to face some dead ends as they got lost and trapped in the spiral ways.
Prague Castle, The Czech Republic: One of the largest (570 meter long and 130 meter wide) and oldest in its category, the Prague Castle finds easy recognition any where across the globe. This iconic structure has an extended history to share as its first constructions were started back in the 9th century by the Premyslid family. And from there on, it saw numerous additions and modifications only to put more value to its present status. Experts rejoice here as they get to see as many as three style of architecture in this fort- Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany: The sheer uniqueness of this castle is evident from the fact that it was not designed by any architect, but a theatre person named Christian Jank! The brain child of king Ludwig II of Bavaria, Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the Alps range overlooking the Hohenschwangau valley. Equally majestic and enigmatic like a dream fort coming out straight from a fairytale, Neuschwanstein Castle invites around 1.300.000 tourists every year.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland: The mere sight of this castle surrounded by water and standing alone in an island with some Gothic features that pours in charm to it is enough for a traveller to go hunting it. Constructed back in the 13th century with an objective to brave the vikings, this castle is believed to be named after Bishop Donan. It has been modified and rebuilt for several times during the past two centuries (18th century to 20th century) before opening it for visitors in 1932.
Corfe Castle, England: The English county of Corfe houses one of the most beautiful ruins (though sounds paradoxical) that casts a spell on every mind. Scattered across the Purbeck Hills, the remains of Corfe Castle lies with pride and history. The origin of the castle goes back to 9th century and before being demolished in 1646, it served as a denfence fort, a royal treasure house and even a prison.
Enigma and charisma are the two mistresses that any grand castle in the world courts. You just need to let yourself loose amidst the depth of their story and style.