One of the favorite pastimes for any child is making a secret fort.

Find a blanket and a few chairs – a fort is created.

Hammer, nails and a few old pieces of lumber – a fort is created.

Straw bales and some imagination, a fort is created.

Once inside the homemade secret fortress, a child feels safe and their imagination starts to go wild.

Visions of brave knights in shinning armor begin to dance in their heads.

Saving the princess.  Great victories against strong foes.  Being the HERO.

It all starts with a fortress.  Some would call it a CASTLE.

For us Canadian kids, we have never grown up around castles.  As children we would see images of these majestic fortresses set on the picturesque plains in Europe.  However the reality was that unless you visit the 12th hole at the local mini-putt or take a trip to Disneyland,  we likely would never see a castle in person.

Since we had never seen a real castle, I contacted a really great website called CastlesWeb and asked them to be our experts for this post.

Today, directly from our friends in Spain, here are 7 of the top Castles in the World.

1 Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)

1.3 million people visit this castle every year.  If the picture looks familiar it is because it has been featured in several movies and is the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.

2 Château de Chenonceau (France)

Built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, this amazing castle has been destroyed many times.  The present structure was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme.

3 Windsor Castle (UK)

Does this Castle sound familiar?  It should, the Queen considers this castle her preferred weekend home.  Just so you know, Windsor is a great place to tour but you would never be able to purchase it as it is owned by the Royal Family.

A red coloured castle with battlements and towers lies in the distance of the photograph. A path curves from the bottom of the picture towards it, with various people strolling along it. On either side is flat grass and green woodlands.

4 Royal Palce of Caserta (Italy)

The Royal Palce of Caserta was the largest palace and one of the largest buildings erected in Europe during the 18th century.  I wonder if they have a riding mower for their lawn?

Der bourbonische Königspalast in Caserta.jpg
5 Alhambra (Spain)

This palace and fortress complex was constructed during the mid 14th century.  Today it is one of Spain’s major tourist attractions.

6 Himeji Castle (Japan)

This castle is regarded as the finest surviving example of 17th century Japanese castle architecture. It contains a network of 83 buildings with advanced defensive systems designed in the feudal period.

Photo of the central castle towers in the Himeji Castle complex, projected against the blue sky. Trees can be seen in the grounds below the castle towers.

7 Pena National Palace (Portugal)

One of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, this castle stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra.  It is still being used by government officials for State business.

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If you like castles then you need to visit http://www.castlesweb.info/.  I am sure you will discover many interesting facts about castles.

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About thetop7

Seven is the Perfect Number

2 responses »

  1. Kerri says:

    “For us Canadian kids, we have never grown up around castles. As children we would see images of these majestic fortresses set on the picturesque plains in Europe. However the reality was that unless you visit the 12th hole at the local mini-putt or take a trip to Disneyland, we likely would never see a castle in person.”

    – Actually, I’ve been to a castle in Canada. Are you forgetting Casa Loma in Toronto?
    http://www.casaloma.org/

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