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Princesses, here are your castles!

If you find yourself traveling abroad, it’s a great idea to check for any castles in the area. Between their awe-inspiring architecture, their historical significance and the beautiful scenery that often surrounds them, they’re the perfect attraction for the traveler who really wants to get in touch with the roots of their destination.

But some castles are more well-preserved than others. That’s why we’re going to give you a good foundation for judging the castles you encounter in your travels.

So here are 16 prime examples of the most beautiful castles that ever protected the monarchies of old.

Inveraray Castle, Scotland.

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Finally, this dark castle looks both impressive and kind of foreboding.

via reddit / onlysame1

Castelgrande, Switzerland.

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This stately castle looks better as night falls, thanks in no small part to the lighting.

via reddit / ExtremeReadit

Dunster Castle, England.

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It’s ornate enough, but what really sets this castle apart is its lovely reddish hue.

via flickr / kenchie

Schloss Pillnitz, Germany.

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This fantastic photo does a lot of legwork in making this castle look spectacular, but the sunset accentuates this castle’s beauty rather than fabricating it.

via imgur / Aluminiumoxynitrid

Matsumoto Castle, Japan.

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Nicknamed the “Crow Castle,” it only shines like this in the winter. It certainly looks impressive year-round, though.

via reddit / arbili

Bran Castle, Romania.

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This was the castle of Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Dracula. You wouldn’t know that just going by its exterior, though. Even an infamous castle can be a beautiful one.

via reddit / TopdeBotton

Reichsburg Cochem, Germany.

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This castle was probably very intimidating in its day, and it still looks a little eerie now. But sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

via reddit / TopdeBotton | Ryan Wyckoff

Vajdahunyad Castle, Hungary.

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I don’t know how many castles are lit up at night, but this one certainly makes a strong argument for doing that.

via reddit / Bunt_smuggler

Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, France.

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It’s a shame this castle has seen so much wear and tear because you can still see how beautiful it once was. Hopefully someone will be able to restore it.

via reddit / curiousho88

Copice Castle, Poland.

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It may be a rather small castle, but it looks like exactly the kind of hidden gem you’ll be glad to stumble on. Especially during the same time of day as this photo.

via reddit / TopdeBotton | Leon Beu

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, France.

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It’s probably one of the largest castles you’ll ever see, but this is one place I don’t think you’ll mind getting lost in.

via reddit / whysocomplacent

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland.

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Scotland is loaded with lovely castles, but this lonely specimen is a popular choice for its loveliness.

via 9GAG

Eltz Castle, Germany.

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This castle doesn’t look easy to get to, but everything about it and the surrounding area screams that it’s totally worth it.

via reddit / arbili

Bojnice Castle, Slovakia.

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With its reflective moat and mounting vegetation, this castle looks like it came straight out of a storybook.

via reddit / kaamki

Château et basilique de Fontaine-lès-Dijon, France.

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This one’s kind of an odd case in that it’s a castle and a basilica, but that helps give it a certain unique character.

via reddit / whysocomplacent

Castle of Sirmione, Italy.

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The design may be a little boxy, but the rampart furnishings go a long way in giving it some flair.

 

via reddit / James123182

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