The Most Beautiful Castle: Discover Magnificent Architectural Wonders

Choose the castle you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 18, 2024 05:21
Step into a world of enchantment and grandeur as we embark on a journey to unveil the most beautiful castles across the globe! From the towering spires of Neuschwanstein to the breathtaking elegance of Château de Chambord, our StrawPoll ranking is curated for dreamers, history buffs, and architecture enthusiasts alike. We invite you to cast your vote and partake in this regal quest to crown the ultimate fortress of beauty. Do you have a hidden gem that we may have missed? Fear not, as you can suggest your own captivating castle to be added to our list. So don your royal robes and let your voice be heard – together, we shall discover the majestic realm of the most exquisite castles that have ever graced our world!

What Is the Most Beautiful Castle?

  1. 1
    Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
    Thomas Wolf, · CC BY-SA 3.0 de

    Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

    King Ludwig II of Bavaria
    Known as the "fairytale castle," Neuschwanstein is perched atop a hill overlooking a picturesque landscape. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the late 19th century as a personal retreat.
    Neuschwanstein Castle is a stunning 19th-century palace located in Bavaria, Germany. It is renowned for its picturesque setting on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau. The castle was built as a personal retreat for King Ludwig II of Bavaria and is considered an iconic symbol of German Romanticism.
    • Location: Bavaria, Germany
    • Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
    • Construction Period: 1869-1886
    • Total Cost: 6.2 million marks
    • Height: 65 meters (213 feet)
    Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany in other rankings
  2. 2
    This Renaissance castle is the largest in the Loire Valley and boasts over 400 rooms, including a double helix staircase that is a marvel of engineering.
    The Château de Chambord, located in the Loir-et-Cher department in France, is one of the most spectacular examples of French Renaissance architecture. Built as a hunting lodge for King Francis I of France in the 16th century, it is renowned for its unique and intricate design.
    • Location: Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France
    • Architectural Style: French Renaissance
    • Construction Period: 1519-1547
    • Total Floor Area: Approximately 41,000 square feet (3,800 square meters)
    • Number of Rooms: 440 rooms
  3. 3
    Overlooking the city of Edinburgh, this castle has been a royal residence, military stronghold, and prison throughout its history. It is also home to the Scottish Crown Jewels.
    Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress located on Castle Rock, overlooking the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. It is one of the most iconic and beautiful castles in the world. With a rich history dating back to at least the 12th century, it has witnessed numerous conflicts and played a crucial role in Scottish history.
    • Location: Castle Rock, Edinburgh, Scotland
    • Construction Started: 12th century
    • Height: 135 meters (443 feet)
    • Total Area: 35,732 square meters (384,000 square feet)
    • Style: Medieval
  4. 4
    Himeji Castle, Japan
    Bernard Gagnon · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Also known as the "White Heron Castle" due to its white exterior, Himeji Castle is considered one of Japan's finest surviving examples of traditional castle architecture.
    Himeji Castle, also known as Himeji-jo, is a stunning castle located in Himeji, Japan. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved castles in Japan, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The castle's construction dates back to the 14th century, with significant expansions and renovations happening over the years. Himeji Castle sits atop a hilltop, providing a commanding view of the surrounding area. Its elegant white exterior, surrounded by a complex network of walls, moats, and towers, exemplifies the traditional Japanese castle architecture.
    • Construction Year: 14th century
    • Style: Japanese castle
    • Location: Himeji, Japan
    • Status: UNESCO World Heritage site
    • Architecture: Wooden construction with white plastered surfaces
  5. 5
    The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex built by the Moors in the 13th century. Its intricate Islamic architecture and stunning gardens make it a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    The Alhambra is a stunning palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Spain. It is known for its intricate Islamic architecture, beautiful gardens, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
    • Architectural Style: Islamic architecture with influences from Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance styles.
    • Location: Granada, Andalusia, Spain.
    • Size: The complex covers an area of approximately 13 hectares (32 acres).
    • Key Features: Ornate arches, intricate woodwork, colorful tiles, serene courtyards, and stunning views of the Albaicín neighborhood.
    • Palaces: The Alhambra comprises several palaces, including the Nasrid Palaces, the Palace of Charles V, and the Generalife.
    Alhambra, Spain in other rankings
  6. 6

    Windsor Castle, England

    William the Conqueror
    This castle is the oldest continuously inhabited royal residence in the world, and has been home to British monarchs for over 1,000 years.
    Windsor Castle, England, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful castles in the world. It is located in the county of Berkshire, England, and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. With its stunning architecture and rich history, Windsor Castle continues to serve as an official residence of the British Royal Family.
    • Location: Berkshire, England
    • Age: Over 900 years old
    • Size: Over 13 acres (5 hectares)
    • Architecture Style: Combination of Gothic, Norman, and Georgian styles
    • Royal Residence Status: Official residence of the British Royal Family
  7. 7
    Prague Castle, Czech Republic
    VitVit · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The largest ancient castle in the world, Prague Castle has been the seat of power for Czech rulers for centuries. Its Gothic architecture and stunning views of the city make it a must-see attraction.
    Prague Castle, located in Prague, Czech Republic, is a spectacular and historic castle complex that dominates the city's skyline. It is one of the most beautiful castles in the world, known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and picturesque surroundings.
    • Size: The Prague Castle complex covers an area of about 70,000 square meters, making it one of the largest ancient castles globally.
    • Architectural Style: The castle exhibits a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.
    • St. Vitus Cathedral: The castle is home to the magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture and a symbol of the Czech Republic.
    • Golden Lane: The Golden Lane is a charming street within the castle complex that preserves colorful historic houses, originally built for castle guards in the 16th century.
    • Royal Garden: The castle boasts a beautiful Royal Garden, featuring various terraces, fountains, pavilions, and an enchanting summer palace.
  8. 8
    Bran Castle, Romania
    Todor Bozhinov · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Also known as "Dracula's Castle," Bran Castle is a popular tourist destination due to its association with the vampire legend. Despite this, it is still an impressive example of medieval architecture.
    Bran Castle, commonly referred to as Dracula's Castle, is a stunning medieval fortress located near Brasov, Romania. It is perched atop a rocky hill, overlooking the picturesque countryside. The castle is renowned for its Gothic architecture and rich history, making it one of the most popular attractions in Romania.
    • Location: Brasov, Romania
    • Architecture: Gothic
    • Construction Period: 13th century
    • Significance: Associated with the legend of Dracula
    • Size: Over 57,000 square feet
  9. 9
    Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
    Syxaxis Photography · CC BY-SA 4.0
    This castle is located on a small island in Loch Duich and is considered one of Scotland's most iconic landmarks. Its stunning location and well-preserved medieval architecture make it a must-visit destination.
    Eilean Donan Castle is a picturesque castle situated on a small tidal island in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is often considered one of the most beautiful and iconic castles in the world. The castle is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with the rugged mountains and the serene Loch Duich adding to its charm.
    • Location: Western Highlands of Scotland
    • Construction: Stone
    • Architectural Style: Medieval
    • Size: Three-story structure
    • Features: Impressive towers, battlements, and fortified walls
  10. 10
    Château de Versailles, France
    ToucanWings · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Originally built as a hunting lodge for Louis XIII, Versailles became one of the most opulent palaces in the world under Louis XIV. Its extravagant furnishings and gardens are a testament to the wealth and power of the French monarchy.
    The Château de Versailles, located near Paris, France, is one of the most famous and breathtaking castles in the world. It was originally a hunting lodge built by Louis XIII in 1623 but was later transformed into a luxurious palace by Louis XIV, the Sun King. The palace, along with its stunning gardens, represents the epitome of French classical architecture and extravagant Baroque design.
    • Location: Versailles, France
    • Construction Started: 1664
    • Construction Completed: 1710
    • Architects: Louis Le Vau, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, André Le Nôtre
    • Size: 67,000 square meters

Missing your favorite castle?


Ranking factors for beautiful castle

  1. Architectural style
    Consider the castle's architectural style, including its design, structure, and features such as towers, bridges, and gates. Different castles follow different architectural styles, for example Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance, or Baroque, and each has its unique charm.
  2. Historical significance
    A castle's historical importance can contribute to its perceived beauty. Take into account the castle's age, role in history, and any significant events that took place there.
  3. Aesthetics and Artistry
    Look for details like intricate carvings, sculptures, and artwork on the castle's walls or any unique design elements that enhance its beauty.
  4. Setting and landscape
    Take into account the location and surroundings of the castle, including the surrounding landscape, gardens, and views from the castle itself. A beautiful setting can greatly enhance the appeal of a castle.
  5. Preservation and authenticity
    Consider how well-preserved the castle is and how much restoration work has been done to maintain or bring back its original glory. A well-preserved or carefully restored castle may be considered more beautiful than one that is falling into disrepair.
  6. Interior design and decor
    Explore the interior of the castle, taking into account the quality and style of furnishings, artwork, and other decorative elements inside.
  7. Atmosphere and ambiance
    Consider the overall atmosphere and feeling that the castle conveys. This might be influenced by factors such as its size, lighting, and the emotions it evokes when you visit.
  8. Cultural significance
    Take into account the castle's role in a particular culture or society and its reflection of cultural values and traditions.
  9. Popularity and public opinion
    Consider the general public's opinion about the castle's beauty and whether it is a popular tourist attraction or widely recognized for its aesthetic appeal.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful castle. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or castle is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 153 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each castle once every 24 hours. The rank of each castle is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful castle

Castles have always been a symbol of royalty and power, and their majestic architecture and rich history have captured the imagination of people for generations. From medieval fortresses to opulent palaces, castles have become popular tourist attractions all over the world. When it comes to the most beautiful castles, there is no shortage of contenders. Each castle has its own unique story and charm, and choosing the most beautiful one can be a daunting task. Some of the most popular contenders include Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, the stunning Château de Chambord in France, and the iconic Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Whether you're a history buff or simply appreciate the beauty of architectural marvels, there's no denying that castles are a sight to behold. So, which one do you think deserves the title of the most beautiful castle? Cast your vote and let your voice be heard on StrawPoll!

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