The castle is a succession of elegant rooms and grand halls with amazing decoration and, sometimes, a rustic touch. The most impressive spaces are the Gallery of Francis, the Ballroom and the Chapel of the Trinity, all richly decorated. This castle is also famous for its impressive gardens, representing the major landscaping styles of its period.
Constructed in 1631 by King Louis XIII, the château was designed in the French Baroque style and comprises of 2,300 rooms, a luxurious park, decorative gardens and a Grand Canal. Be sure not to miss the most notable part of the palace – The Hall of Mirrors connects the King and Queen’s apartments and is decorated with more than 350 mirrors. It’s quite impressive!
Perched on a rocky promontory 750-metres above the Alsace plain, Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is an impressive sight. The original château dates back to the 12th century but has had many reincarnations since then. The fairytale-like version we see today is a restoration project by German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm, completed in the early 20th century.
Large, grand, intact and surrounded by a wide moat, Leeds Castle is what many people imagine when they think of an English castle. Located in Kent, in the southeast corner of England, the castle was constructed during the reign of Henry I and served as a residence for royalty for much of its history. Six queens called Leeds home, earning the castle the nickname “The Ladies Castle.” The castle’s last private owner was a woman as well. She inherited the estate in the early 1900s and established the foundation that has run the castle as a tourist destination since 1974.
Warwick Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 on a bend of the River Avon. Since its construction in the 11th century, the castle has undergone structural changes, with additions of towers and redesigned residential buildings. Originally a wooden structure, it was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. It was used as a stronghold until the early 17th century when it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville, who converted it to a country house. It was owned by the Greville family until 1978 when it was bought by a leisure company.
These impressive stone structures are designed to stand the test of time. Many castles of this type, built in medieval times, are still standing to this day. One of the most famous examples is the Tower of London.
Round stone keeps are actually preferable to square stone keeps for one important reason. You see, people eventually figured out that you could undermine the structural integrity of a square stone keep by damaging the corners of the structure. This wasn’t a simple thing to do, but it was possible to collapse a square stone keep if you managed to damage the corners enough.
There are still examples of the shell keeps that are standing to this very day. The tall stone walls lend themselves well to longevity.