After days of traveling the world, one may think they’ve seen it all. They’ve tasted every exotic dish, seen a wealth of different cultures, learned several new languages and have witnessed unusual sightings that can’t be found anywhere in America. Traveling provide for some pretty interesting experiences, whether they’re good or bad. Tourists might even come across national landmarks, such as castles.
For decades, these structures existed to rule over kingdoms, intimidate enemies and build up military defenses when under attack. They were symbols of great power. Though, a powerful castle is nothing without its height. Take a step back through time and check out the 10 tallest castles in the world!
10 Rochester Castle
Located in beautiful London, England, this castle has existed since the days of King Henry I reign. The medieval king eventually entrusted the stronghold to his Archbishop of Canterbury William de Corbeil, who ensured the longevity and significance of this great fortress. The Rochester Castle has survived three sieges, a fire, and even ruin.
How does a castle from the Dark Ages still look this good? The stronghold has gone on to become a national monument for the public, including writers such as Charles Dickens who wrote pieces that made references to the castle’s glorious exterior. Not only is the castle one of England’s most notable landmarks but stands at a towering 70 feet high! And get this, it’s made entirely of stone! Of course, England has one of the coolest castles ever!
9 Warwick Castle
In Warwickshire, England, lies the Warwick Castle, a stronghold built at the wee age of 914! It survived several sieges and a roaring fire as well—oddly enough the Rochester and this fortress suffered similar fates. Additionally, its highest tower, Caesar’s Tower, stands at 147 feet tall, beating the Rochester Castle by several feet. Not only that, but the Warwick Castle had a serious rep for belonging to one of England’s most prestigious families in history.
Every year, thousands of tourists travel to the castle to get a taste of the Earl of Warwicks’ family’s lavish lifestyle. Guests can also take part in family-fun events throughout the year, such as The Falconer’s Quest and a great jousting show where opponents compete for a fair lady’s hand!
8 Dover Castle
The Dover Castle has also become a tourist attraction. Located in Dover, England, the structure features events throughout the year for families and tourists alike. Other than its imposing 100 ft. stature, the major attraction has a lot to do with the fact that it’s been transformed into an Escape Room. There’s nothing better than solving real-life puzzles at a castle. After all, they’re full of secrets and history.
One hidden secret travelers may not know is that the structure was the first of its kind to feature concentric defense walls, which prevented enemies from entering the donjon. Ultimately, the walls proved unsuccessful as the castle fell under siege in 1216 CE by Prince Louis of France, aka “The Lion,” and several other attacks. Apparently, the kings of the Dark Ages weren’t ever content with just having one castle.
7 Citadel Of Aleppo
Dover Castle may have been the first to feature innovative walls used to successfully keep out invaders, but the Citadel of Aleppo brings more to the table. Not only is this 100 ft. castle buzzing with decades of ancient history dating back to the days of ancient Syrian, but it also offers up a strange history. Like many of the castles listed already, the Citadel of Aleppo was invaded by enemies, as well as damaged by natural disasters such as earthquakes.
Researchers have even dug up the remains of an ancient Bronze Age temple that retold the belief systems of gods, goddesses, and mythological monsters along the walls. Now having been made into a Middle Eastern-monument, Citadel of Aleppo remains a prominent sector of Syria’s history.
6 Windsor Castle
Huge castles hold many secrets behind their doors. The Windsor Castle of Berkshire, England, maybe one of the oldest strongholds around but that doesn’t mean it’s shy around visitors. In fact, this 100 ft. tall fortress marvels in tourism! For 2 to 3 hours, visitors can view several of the 1,000 rooms the castle offers.
Two great attractions are the Moat Room, which displays three bronze models of the stronghold throughout its lifespan, and the State Apartments, where Her Majesty hosts meetings with powerful members of the Heads of State throughout the country. There is so much history at the Windsor Castle that it deserves a spot on our travel bucket list!
5 The White Heron Castle
Unlike the Citadel of Aleppo, the Himeji Castle or rather, the White Heron Castle, in Japan survived 400 years without falling into ruin. It represents a symbol of strength throughout Japan, which makes it a pretty big deal. The 17th Century castle may have lasted as long as it did is because it was one of the 12 original castles built at the start of the 15th Century.
Its iconic structure of walled paths, gateways, and baileys were even used to expose and slow down enemies. While its architecture proved successful in war, it now has found its way onto every tourist-must-see list. The castle features approximately eighty structures, all winding-buildings said to look like the wings of a Heron. By it being 150 ft. tall, no other castles stand a chance.
4 Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is a stronghold that resides in the beautiful land of Scotland, holding a dear prominence amongst its residents. Every year a record 1.25 million tourists arrive at the city of Edinburgh just for a look at the castle and the extinct 70 million-year-old volcano Castle Rock it was built upon!
The 250 ft. tall castle was home to some of Scotland’s most important leaders, such as King James and King Charles I. Additionally, it has a chamber that houses “The Honours of Scotland” or rather, its own version of Crowned Jewels - which spent 9 years in safekeeping from Oliver Cromwell! This castle had a long life and given the abundant tourism that rolls in annually, it’ll continue to thrive for the next few years!
3 Penafiel Castle
This next castle’s keep might be too old to house Crowned Jewels but that doesn’t detract from its appeal. Hailed as a national monument in 1917, the Penafiel Castle of Spain is better than any gemstone. The medieval castle has undergone several renovations throughout the 9th Century and 15th Century. With the Penafiel Castle having a height of 656 ft. and a keep that is 98 ft. alone, it’s hard to understand why people even bother with maintaining the integral structure of these fortresses!
The castle also features two courtyards; the southern yard houses a particularly interesting Provincial Wine Museum and was often a place for stables and guard’s quarters. The Penafiel Castle’s size may not be a match for some other castles on this list but it still has a huge presence.
2 Hohensalzburg Castle
Coming from Salzburg, Austria is the Hohensalzburg Castle, a national landmark that’ll never lose its historic charm. If people thought the Edinburgh Castle and others were the only ones that ruled the skies, the 11th Century fortress is right behind them at an insane height of 820 ft. It symbolizes the political power and authority held by the prince bishops of the time.
In actuality, the castle was built to protect them from outside threats, even though the fortress rarely fell under siege. Due to this castle’s historical significance, it has opened its doors to tourism. Travelers may tour the ancient walls of the castle and learn of the secret lives of the Archbishops that once ruled over Austria. These tours sound too good of an opportunity to pass up.
1 Prague Castle
What’s the point of traveling anywhere in the Czech Republic without visiting at least one castle? The Prague Castle is one of the oldest 9th Century strongholds ever to come into existence and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ancient fortress, with a square foot of 753, 474. It’s a no brainer that it’s an insane 1,870 ft. in length, making it the tallest castle on this list! Tours of the castle are hosted year-round.
Tourists can view the 1999 Orangery, a glass-enclosed greenhouse that is home to a garden of tropical plants, and the St. Vitus Cathedral which contains ancient relics dating back even further than the Middle Ages. Forget about getting a peek of the Crowned Jewels, though. They are heavily guarded!