Medieval Gothic castles are some of the most impressive and visually stunning structures ever built. From massive fortresses to delicate chateaus, these castles were designed with the intention of protecting their inhabitants from attack. They also served as places of grandeur and status for the nobles who owned them. Today, many of these castles still stand and can be visited by tourists from around the world. Here are 15 of the most beautiful medieval gothic castles that you should consider visiting this year.
Most Beautiful Gothic Castles
- Corvin Castle, Romania
- Château de Chambord, France
- Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
- Windsor Castle, England
- Bran Castle, Romania
- Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- Château de Chenonceau, France
- Dunrobin Castle, Scotland
- Moszna Castle, Poland
- Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
- Glamis Castle, Scotland
- Hluboká Castle, Czechia
- Chillon Castle, Switzerland
- Orlík Castle, Czechia
- Alcázar de Segovia, Spain
- Malbork Castle, Poland
- Visconti Castle, Italy
- Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
- Gjorslev Castle, Denmark
1. Corvin Castle, Romania
- Location: Hunedoara, Romania
- Built: 1446-1480
Corvin Castle (Castelul Corvinilor), located in Hunedoara county, is one of the largest and oldest Gothic castles in Europe.
Built on a cliffside with thick walls made from dolomitic limestone and river stones, this impressive structure dates back to the 14th century when it was gifted to Voicu and his brothers (Radu and Mogoş) by the King of Hungary, Sigismund de Luxemburg.
However, it was Voicu’s son Ioan de Hunedoara (Johannes de Hunyad), who made the greatest contribution to the castle, transforming it into a structure that was comparable to the other medieval constructions from across Europe.
Corvin Castle is a must-see destination if you plan to visit Romania. Its spectacular architecture will take your breath away as soon as you stand in front of it.
2. Château de Chambord, France
- Location: Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France
- Built: 1519-1547
Château de Chambord is a magnificent medieval Gothic castle constructed in the 16th century. It is a grand example of Renaissance and French Gothic architecture and is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.
Built as a hunting lodge for King Francois I, the castle is surrounded by lovely gardens and moats and offers a fabulous view of the Cosson River. Château de Chambord is open throughout the year with long opening hours and tickets are sold at the castle itself.
Visiting Château de Chambord is a must for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Europe’s stunning medieval Gothic castles.
3. Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria
- Location: Salzburg, Austria
- Built: 1075–1078
Hohenwerfen Castle, located at the majestic elevation of 2,044ft in the Salzburg region of Austria, is considered one of the most impressive Gothic castles in all of Europe.
Constructed by Gebhard von Helfenstein in the 11th century, it was initially used as a fortress to protect the region from attacks but also served as a residence and hunting retreat.
In the 16th Century, it was used as a state prison and gained a terrible reputation due to the inhumane conditions suffered by its prisoners.
Despite its tumultuous history, Hohenwerfen Castle has stood the test of time and remains a popular tourist destination for both its historical significance and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding region. If you’re looking for a truly breathtaking experience, then Hohenwerfen Castle should be at the top of your list.
4. Windsor Castle, England
- Location: Windsor, Berkshire, England
- Built: 1070-1086
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been home to 40 British sovereigns. The castle’s location was selected by William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England, and its gothic-styled construction started in 1070.
A noteworthy part of a visit to Windsor Castle is observing its outstanding art collection. Splendid works by renowned artists such as Van Dyck, Rubens, and Michelangelo can all be seen while touring the majestic state rooms, and halls.
With its vast history, captivating architecture, and beautiful grounds, it is a must-see for those looking to explore Europe’s most stunning medieval castles this year. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get the chance to witness the changing of the guard ceremony.
5. Bran Castle, Romania
- Location: Near Brașov, Transylvania, Romania
- Built: 1377-1388
Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, has a long and colorful history, not only in Romania but also as the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s character Count Dracula and its connection to Vlad Tepes a Prince of Wallachia from 1448 to 1478.
Vlad Tepes was known for his cruelty in defending his territory against the threat of invaders, and his reputation as a merciless torturer has given him the nickname ‘Vlad the Impaler’ due to his use of stakes as a form of punishment.
Located 25 kilometers from Brasov in the Carpathian Mountains, this Gothic castle is a must-visit for anyone interested in Medieval history and architecture. Whether you’re a fan of Count Dracula movies or simply looking for an awe-inspiring photo opportunity, Bran Castle is definitely worth the trip.
6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- Location: Hohenschwangau, Germany
- Built: 1869-1886
Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century Neo-Gothic, and Romanesque Revival castle built by King Ludwig II on top of a rock ledge, above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
After the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public and it has been one of Europe’s most iconic castles ever since, with an average of 1.4 million people visiting it each year.
Neuschwanstein has become a symbol of romance and beauty, making its way into popular culture around the world. It was even an inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and has been featured as a backdrop for many films and shows.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for some beautiful scenery, Neuschwanstein Castle is an excellent choice for your European castle tour.
7. Château de Chenonceau, France
- Location: Chenonceaux, France
- Built: 1514-1522
Situated in France’s Loire Valley near the village of Chenonceaux, Château de Chenonceau is a stunning example of transitional Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Built by Thomas Bohier and his wife Catherine Briçonnet, the castle overlooks the Cher River and boasts immaculate gardens, terraces, and riverside banks.
During the eighteenth century, the castle was owned by the Dupin family and served as an intellectual center for some of Europe’s greatest minds, including Montesquieu, Buffon, and Voltaire.
Today, the castle features an impressive collection of art from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. If you’re in the area, Château de Chenonceau is not to be missed.
8. Dunrobin Castle, Scotland
- Location: Golspie, Highland, Scotland
- Built: Completed in 1845
Dunrobin Castle is an incredible structure and one of Britain’s oldest continually inhabited houses with roots dating back to the Middle Ages. However, it was mostly built from 1835 to 1845, by Sir Charles Barry, known for his Gothic Revival style.
This vast castle with 189 rooms is the largest in the Northern Highlands. Rising above the North Sea with its majestic spires, the castle is home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland.
From the magnificent architecture to the splendid furniture, art, and gardens, Dunrobin Castle is definitely a must-visit for anyone looking to experience some of Europe’s most impressive and beautiful medieval Gothic castles.
9. Moszna Castle, Poland
- Location: Moszna, Opole, Poland
- Built: Initially completed in 1768
Moszna Castle is one of the most notable and awe-inspiring gothic castles in Europe. Located in the south of Poland, this historical monument combines Baroque, Neo-Gothic, and Neo-Renaissance architectural styles in a truly unique way.
The castle was previously owned by the Tiele-Winckler family and is known for its 99 turrets and 365 rooms. An impressive sight, this spectacular castle continues to draw visitors from around the world.
10. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
- Location: Bisingen, Germany
- Built: 1850-1867
Hohenzollern Castle is located in Southern Germany and is considered to be one of the most spectacularly built castles in the country.
The construction for this castle began around 1850 and was eventually completed in 1867, although the first mention of a fortress in the location dates back to the 13th century.
This castle has a total of 140 rooms and a stunning interior design, which includes marquetry flooring and a gilded coffered ceiling. It is truly a sight to behold and is definitely worth a visit.
11. Glamis Castle, Scotland
- Location: Angus, Scotland
- Built: 1372
Founded in the 14th century, Glamis Castle is a majestic combination of Renaissance and Gothic architecture and has been the dwelling of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne for centuries.
It is most famously known as being the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and for being mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. A visit to Glamis Castle can be quite busy, especially in summer, but is well worth it for the spectacular views of the castle and its surrounding gardens.
12. Hluboká Castle, Czechia
- Location: Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czechia
- Built: In the 13th century
Hluboká Castle is one of the most popular and visited castles in the Czech Republic and is a perfect representation of the region’s culture and history. It is situated close to České Budějovice and perches above the Vltava River.
In the 13th century, King Premysl Otakar II built the castle and it was given to the Schwarzenberg family in 1661, who was responsible for its transformation into the Neo-Gothic masterpiece it is today.
The castle was reconstructed four times and the last, which was finished in 1871, added 140 elaborately decorated rooms and 11 towers and bastions to the structure. If you love exploring breathtaking historical sites and Gothic architecture, this is the perfect destination for you.
13. Chillon Castle, Switzerland
- Location: Veytaux, Switzerland
- Built: In the 11th century
Chillon Castle is one of the most beautiful examples of Medieval Gothic architecture in Europe. Chillon’s chapel and keep have been around since the late 11th century, and its dungeon is particularly striking.
Here, visitors can find a 13th-century Gothic cathedral-like atmosphere, with majestic, soaring ceilings and stonework, presenting a captivating view into medieval life.
Originally used to store weapons and supplies, the dungeon was later turned into a prison by Peter II of Savoy. With its rich history, Chillon Castle is sure to be an unforgettable place to visit this year.
14. Orlík Castle, Czechia
- Location: Orlík nad Vltavou, Czechia
- Built: 13th-19th centuries
With a stunning position overlooking the Eagle Dam and a romantic interior, Orlík Castle is a top destination for any visitor to Czechia. The castle park, which was once one of the largest in Bohemia, is just a short walk from the castle.
It first gained popularity in the late 18th century, but part of it was flooded by the dam in 1960. The path along the river offers beautiful views of the castle.
The castle was established by Ottokar II of Bohemia in the second half of the 13th century and has since been passed through a number of noble families. Over time, it has been rebuilt and expanded into a solid Gothic castle, a historical landmark that will be sure to captivate anyone who visits.
15. Alcázar de Segovia, Spain
- Location: Segovia, Spain
- Built: In the 11th century
A castle that is considered to be a vision of a fairytale is the Alcázar of Segovia in Spain. It was established around the 11th century by the Almoravid dynasty, and since then it was used as a prison, an artillery college, and a state prison.
The castle exterior has a Herrerian-style courtyard, coupled with the King John II of Castile’s Gothic tower from the 15th century, and a large Gothic window on the east side of the tower allowing visitors to view the entire city from its peak.
The Alcázar de Segovia castle was featured in films such as Chimes at Midnight (1965) and Camelot (1967), but it is most known for inspiring the design of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Currently, it is a museum and military archive building, offering insight into its medieval past.
16. Malbork Castle, Poland
- Location: Malbork, Poland
- Built: In the 13th century
Malbork Castle is a spectacular example of a brick-built Gothic structure located in northern Poland, on the east bank of the River Nogat. It serves as a reminder of the Teutonic Order State in Prussia, formed by German military monks and their crusades against pagan Prussians.
Featuring medieval works, weaponry, and historic displays that embody the drama of Christianity, this castle is now a museum, where visitors can admire its grand architecture and take in the sights of Malbork Castle from a viewing point across the river. A truly spectacular place to explore.
17. Visconti Castle, Italy
- Location: Pavia, Italy
- Built: 1360-1365
The Visconti Castle is yet another exquisite example of medieval Gothic architecture. Located in the Lombardy region in Pavia, Italy, its construction had been commissioned by Galeazzo II Visconti in 1360.
The castle served as the main residence of the powerful Visconti family and it had four entrances with drawbridges and fortifications. The park area of the castle also housed a private chapel called the Certosa of Pavia, which was established in 1396.
The Visconti Castle’s exterior is accentuated with large mullioned windows, while its inner rooms showcase murals of the international Gothic style, which makes it one of Lombardy’s best-preserved examples of Gothic architecture.
18. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
- Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
- Built: 11th century through to the 21st century
Featuring a magnificent mix of Gothic, Norman, and Renaissance architecture, the proud Edinburgh Castle stands tall in the center of Edinburgh, and it was a stronghold of power – whoever held the castle held control over Scotland.
Built by King David 1st around 1103 and improved over subsequent centuries, the castle was often besieged by Scottish and English forces during medieval wars.
Now, it receives over a million visitors yearly to its impressive ramparts, gatehouses, ditches, and towers. It is a testament to the power, history, and beauty of Medieval Gothic castles.
19. Gjorslev Castle, Denmark
- Location: Store Heddinge, Denmark
- Built: 1400-1588
Gjorslev Castle is located 17 kilometers southeast of Køge on the Stevns Peninsula in Stevns Municipality, roughly forty kilometers south of Copenhagen, and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of Gothic secular architecture in Denmark.
It was originally built around 1400 by Peder Jensen Lodehat, Bishop of Roskilde, and trusted advisor of Margrete I, to be used as a fortress.
Over time, the castle was passed between different noble families, merchants, and the royal house until it was finally bought by Adolf Valdemar Tesdorf in 1925.
Today, the castle still retains its original cross-shaped structure, made of local limestone. If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful Gothic castle to explore, Gjorslev should be on your list.