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There are no structures quite like castles. Aside from being architectural marvels, these iconic buildings often come with a compelling history and carry a mythology that's hard to beat. Many castles are located in Europe, and whether you're traveling through Spain or in the midst of a tour of Germany, you'll have plenty to choose from. You can't go wrong with adding a castle to your itinerary, but there are several in particular that stand above the rest.
Hohenschwangau Castle, Germany
Built in the 19th century for King Ludwig II, this stunning palace seemingly rises up out of the lush Germany wilderness. Today, you can take guided tours through the castle, which will undoubtedly be among the most memorable experiences during your tour of Germany. There are so many rooms throughout the castle it's difficult to pick out just one highlight, but it's hard not to be struck by the sheer size of the Hall of Heroes.
Rocca Della Guaita, Italy
Italy tours are popular thanks in large part to the food, history and culture the country offers, but there are also a number of impressive castles, as evidenced by Rocca Della Guaita. Located on a cliff overlooking the city of San Marino, it's hard to miss this beautiful building. Some parts of the castle date as far back as the 11th century, and it has undergone changes since then, but remains an unquestioned highlight of the city.
Scotland is replete with centuries-old castles, and it's difficult to pick just one you should visit in the midst of your tour, but Glamis Castle is certainly a good choice. Built in the 14th century, the castle is still in the iconic Lyon family, but it is open for public viewing. Aside from being located in the heart of the beautiful Scottish landscape, the castle has also become a popular destination for ghost hunters. There are many legends and myths associated with the castle, and it is believed to be home to the Grey Lady, a ghost that inhabits the castle. In fact, the legend is so entrenched that a seat at the chapel is always left open for this famous resident.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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