6 Beautiful Old Castles You Can Visit In Europe
By: Pinki Sat, 23 Jan 2021 4:03 PM
Few tourist attractions are as impressive to visit as castles. These awe-inspiring structures are characterized by their strong, fortified walls, often made of stone that is strong enough to remain standing for hundreds or even thousands of years. Check out a few of the oldest castles in the world that can still be visited today.
# Alcázar of Segovia
It’s hard to know exactly how old the Alcázar of Segovia in Spain is, but the first written record of its existence is from 1120 AD. The fortress originally contained a small city that centered around an ancient church called the Cathedral of Santa Maria, but was later used as a royal residence.
# Citadel of Aleppo
Located in Syria, the Citadel of Aleppo is often touted as the oldest castle in the world. The earliest structures date back to 3000 BC. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the millennia, most recently during the Syrian civil war. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
# Prague Castle
Built in 880 AD, Prague Castle is located in the Czech Republic and holds the Guinness World Records title for largest castle at 70,000 square meters. Its age means that many different building styles have been used throughout the years, including Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
# Alhambra de Granada
The Alhambra de Granada’s origins are unknown, but any existing structure at the site in Spain was destroyed and replaced by today’s stone fortress in the year 889 AD. Its strategic location on a hilltop made it perfect for military defense. It was abandoned during the 18th century but later restored and preserved.
# Reichsburg Cochem
Reichsburg Cochem is a castle in Germany that is estimated to have been built around the year 1000 AD. It was used as a military stronghold until the 19th century, when it was converted into a summer residence for nobility. It’s now owned by the town of Cochem and functions as a tourist attraction.
# Krak Des Chevaliers
This castle in Syria was built for the Emir of Aleppo in 1031 AD. It was used by the Knights Hospitaller throughout the medieval period and at one point housed up to 2,000 military men. The castle was eventually neglected, but managed to escape heavy damage during the Syrian civil war in the early 21st century.