The castle voted Europe’s most beautiful is in Wales
A castle in Wales has been voted the most beautiful in Europe.
Travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller has released a new ranking of the 26 most stunning castles in Europe, and Conwy Castle took the crown.
The stunning Welsh fortress saw off competition from castles in Lithuania, Spain, Romania, Denmark, Scotland, France, Slovenia, Ireland and Italy, to secure the top spot.
The 21-tower medieval fortress in Conwy, is the most beautiful castle you’re going to find on the entire continent, according to the respected travel publication. It’s surrounded by high fortified walls which stretch for three-quarters of a mile, and you can walk a complete circuit around its battlements.
It was a given that Wales was going to make the top 10 of this prestigious poll given we have more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe.
According to Cadw, which works to protect the historic buildings and heritage sites of Wales: ‘Conwy Castle is regarded as one of the most magnificent medieval fortresses in Europe. The castle, and its 1.3km ring of town walls, have World Heritage status.
‘This remarkable fortress was built in an astonishing four-year period, between 1283 and 1287, and remains incredibly well-preserved today: it contains the most intact set of medieval royal apartments in Wales. If you have a head for heights, climb one of the castle’s eight tremendous towers for breathtaking views of the harbour and the narrow streets of Conwy below.’
Of course, Wales’ history has left a landscape scattered with Iron Age hill forts, Roman ruins and castles from Medieval Welsh princes and English kings. With over 600 castles, wherever you go in Wales you won’t be too far from a historic site.
Go and discover the rich history on your doorstep.
Top of the turrets
1. Conwy Castle, Wales
2. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
3. Alcázar of Seville, Spain
4. Bran Castle, Romania
5. Egeskov Castle, Denmark
6. Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
7. Château de Chambord, France
8. Predjama Castle, Slovenia
9. Kylemore Abbey, Ireland
10. Castel del Monte, Italy
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“Welsh princes and English Kings”. That sums up everything about the Psychology problems the Welsh suffer from. Wales had centuries worth of Kings long before England even existed.
There were a few Welsh kings…but the kingdoms that then made up Wales were small and Welsh law years ago divided any kingdoms within Wales to be inherited and split between the males of the line…not the female…. never the female. Gwynedd once covered the whole of North Wales …not now…Llanfairfechan and westwards…thanks to Owain Gwynedd who was buried at Bangor Cathedral.
That’s right, like virtually everywhere else. The difference being Wales as a solitary culture was very much in existence at these times. They would often unify and elect a High King (Head Dragon) to fight invaders (such as the Vikings would do). Effectively creating the Kingdom of Wales several times throughout History. As for Kings, Their were over 800 years worth before the English even arrived on this island. Spain, Scotland, Ireland and France all recognised Wales and its people as a Kingdom throughout these periods, the only ones who’d refuse were the English and Vatican.
It’s the Romantic movement of the late 18th century that has instructed us to perceive such monuments as these as beautiful, and to include them within its entirely new notion of the ‘picturesque’. The ruined castles of Wales can be fascinating, instructive, and offer fine views of their surroundings. Nevertheless they were built to repel, and to many they are indeed repellent. Medieval brutalism at its worst. I’ve written about this on my substack: ‘Welsh castles and other monstrous carbuncles’ at https://andysoutter.substack.com
I suppose we should admire them, but it would be hard to cherish them, bearing in mind what they stand for.
Never forget why it was built.
They obviously did not know about Castell y Bere…
Sadly it was not built for a beautiful purpose, but for conquest and oppression
Oppresion, pull them all down.
Nope! They should be left so future generations can see what happens when you give an inch. Nothing comes before Family and Country. Not even modern “Sensibilities”!
What and destroy our tourism industry?
Maintenance cost last 2yrs, £150,505
If you can take a positive out of a negative. You can. But at the end of the day all castles in Wales unless built by the Welsh are symbols of English state oppression & genocide of Britain’s native people. And I have no love for these English grave markers other than the knowledge that those monsters who built them are long dead and they have been cleansed by us.