Royal retreat – the world’s greatest castles

October 16, 2012

FOR most of us, visiting a castle is the closest we will ever get to living like royalty.

They fascinate us, inspire both awe and terror, but most of all they provide a glimpse into a world most of us will never know.

The structures we traditionally associate with castles have a history spanning 1000 years in Europe. However their form and function has evolved over the centuries.

Where once they were created as fortresses on hills or surrounded by moats to protect and serve as the homes of  rulers, they were symbols of military power, with the coming of more peaceful times they simply became elaborately decorated follies and bore testament to the excessive wealth of their owners.

Functional or decorative, the one thing all castles have in common is they were built to stand the test of the time.

Booked.net presents our picks of the world’s greatest castles. Some have great historical and cultural significance, others are familiar because of being on the big or small screen, while some made the list for their over-the-top extravagance.

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