The architects of the Middle Ages were geniuses. They built castles which combined astounding opulence and a rare practicality. The fact that many of them still stand today despite war, the ravages of the elements and the carelessness of their owners says much about their design. At the same time, many of them are astoundingly beautiful, looking as if they appeared on this Earth straight out of an ancient tale of knights and princesses.
Here are the 20 most awe-inspiring castles which have been left to us by our ancestors. You only have to look at them to know you’d happily live in them until the end of your days.
Reichsburg Cochem, Germany
This thousand-year-old castle was originally built as the residence of the German King Konrad III. It was burned down by
the French in 1689, and could well have disappeared into history, but luckily it was acquired by a German businessman in 1868 and restored.
Mont Saint-Michel, France
The impregnable fortress of Mont Saint-Michel, surrounded on all sides by the sea, is one of the most
popular attractions in France after Paris. Built in the year 709, it’s never lost any of its splendour.