Sep 25, 2012

World's Most Gorgeous and Beautiful Castle Moats

1. Bodiam Castle - East Sussex England 

Photograph by Unknown

Bodiam Castle is a magnificent 14th century stone quadrangular fortress, founded by Sir Edward Dalingridge. The ashlar curtain wall, with its substantial towers, stands perfectly symmetrical in the middle of its wide moat and is the picture book example of a castle. At the four corners are four-storeyed cylindrical towers, with square interval towers on the east and west walls. On the south wall is a square postern tower, while the north front has a formidable twin-rectilinar towered gatehouse, with gunports. The original bridge across the moat, was at right angles to the octagonal outwork, which had a drawbridge connecting it to the barbican. The ranges of buildings around the central courtyard, are little more than foundations, after the castle was partly dismantled during the Civil War

2. Matsumoto Castle, Japan

 Photograph by MIRAI

Matsumoto, situated almost right in the center of Nagano and known as the gate to the Northern Alps' climbing routes, prospered as a castle town at the foot of Matsumoto Castle. The castle's tower, a 5-story, 6-layer tower built in the Bunroku Period (1593-1594) is Japan's oldest existing castle tower and is designated as a national treasure. In summer, the Taiko (Japanese drum) Festival and the Takigi-Noh (Noh play under torchlight) are held at the castle and attract many visitors

3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Photograph by CHARLES J SHARP

Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the world's largest complex of Hindu temple. Built in the 12th century, this temple is epitome of Khmer architecture. Dedicated to lord Vishnu, this temple created by King Suryavarman II, has a design derived from the Chola architecture of Tamil Nadu in India. The exteriors of the temple have a intricate relief design and the interior walls have detailed carving of Apsaras, male demi-gods, and scenes and narratives from Hindu mythology. Angkor Wat is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Cambodia and the entire complex is listed in the UNESCO's world heritage site list.

4. Burg Gudneau, Germany

Photograph by RHEINPFEIL

Gudenau castle is located in the town of Villip in Wachtberg, Germany. It is the largest castle in Wachtberg. It was first built in the 13th century and was expanded around 1560.  Its remarkable garden was created under an Italian influence in the 17th century. The elements of many different periods come together to become a charming castle.

5.Caerphilly Castle,United Kingdom

Photographer Unknown

Caerphilly castle is one of the largest castles in the UK.  It was built from 1268-1271 by the Anglo-Norman lord, Gilbert de Clare. This mighty fortress was erected to defend his areas under threat against Llywelyn the Last, Prince of Wales. Several factors give it this pre-eminence - its immense size (1.2h), making it the largest in Britain after Windsor, its large-scale use of water for defence and the fact that it is the first truly concentric castle in Britain. Of the time of its building in the late 13th century, it was a revolutionary masterpiece of military planning

6.Forbidden City – Beijing, China

 Photograph by SHARON BEALS

The Forbidden City, located in the center of China's capital, Beijing, displays an extraordinarily harmonious balance between buildings and open space within a more or less symmetrical layout

7.Beloeil Castle, Belgium

 Photograph by HENRI @ Webshots

The word “Beloeil” literally means Beautiful eye.  Founded in the 13th century as a medieval fortress, it is one of the biggest and most beautiful castles in Belgium.  It later became a residential palace in the 17th and 18th century.  Since 1394, the castle has belonged to the Princes of Ligne, one of Belgium’s highest ranking noble families.  Every year for one week in the spring the castle holds a floral show. Various rooms in the castle filled with around 2000 amaryllis and 600 orchids are open to the public.

8.Egeskov Castle, Denmark

  Photograph by Flemming Christiansen

Egeskov Castle was an island fortress, built over 600 years ago in the Southern Funen region of Denmark. It is one of the best preserved examples of a moated castle. Surrounded by award winning gardens, many of which were first planted nearly 300 years ago, you will be awed by the series of hedges, mazes, lawns, shrubs, trees, and other flora.

9.Vadstena Castle, Sweden

Photograph by RIGGWELTER

Vadstena Castle was built by King Gustav Vasa in 1545 and was originally intended to shield Stockholm from possible attacks by the Danes and the Smålanders. However, the plans changed, and the castle was turned into a Renaissance palace for Duke Magnus, the King’s son. It was not fully completed until 1620.

10.Bodiam Castle – East Sussex, England

Photograph by PHIL LAYCOCK

Bodiam Castle is arguably the finest example of medieval moated military architecture in Britain. It was built between 1385 and 1388 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a veteran of the 100 Years War.

11.Chateau de Chambord, France

Photograph by Church of Emacs

At the heart of Europe’s largest enclosed wooded park (around 19 mi² enclosed by a 20 mile-long wall), Chambord, the dream of a young king and a marvel of the Renaissance period, is the largest château in the Loire Valley. It boasts a pleasure garden and a hunting park both listed as Historical Monuments. In 1516, François I, king of France since 1515, came back from Italy with Leonardo da Vinci with a desire to create a large structure in the Italian Renaissance style.

12. Château de Chenonceau, France

Photograph by RA SMIT

Château de Chambord is a special place. As the largest château in the Loire Valley, and most likely designed by Leonardo da Vinci, Château de Chambord was once the pinnacle of the French Renaissance.

13. Muiderslot Castle, Netherlands

Photograph by P BRUNDEL

 Muiden Castle is probably the castle that receives the most visitors in all of the Netherlands. This is not only because it's a popular destination for a lot of school trips, due to its importance in Dutch history, but also because of its proximity to Amsterdam which attracts most foreign tourists. The first castle on this site was built around 1280 by Count Floris V of Holland, to control the estuary of the river Vecht into the former Zuidersea. And undoubtedly it would also have been used to raise toll from passing ships on the river Vecht, as this river flowed through the territory of the bishops of Utrecht; opponents of Floris.

14. Oerebro Castle, Sweden

Photograph by MR BULLITT

The construction of Vadstena Castle was started in 1545 by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Vasa. However, it was not completed until 1620. It was built to protect Stockholm from enemies from the south.  This castle is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture with its three 31 meter wide ramparts, a courtyard, a moat and 4 circular cannons turrets.

15. Leeds Castle, England

Photograph via

Leeds was named after Led, the Chief Minister of King Etelbert IV, of Kent. Originally the site of a manor house owned by the Saxon Kings it was built in 857 AD. The original castle was an earthwork enclosure with a timber palisade and two timber towers along the perimeter. It is mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. King Edward the Confessor granted the Manor to the powerful house of Godwin. Over the next several hundred years the castle was the center of sieges and fighting resulting in many changes of ownership.

16. Bodelschwingh Castle – Dortmund, Germany

Photograph by SHARON BEALS

History Link 

17. Frederiksborg Palace, Denmark

Photographer Unknown

18. Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban (National Assembly Building), Bangladesh

 Photograph via Skyscraper City

19.Fagaras Castle, Romania

Photographer Unknown

20. Home of Charles Sieger – Miami, Florida

Photograph by FLORIDAPHOTO

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