There are many European royal palaces waiting to be discovered. Nearly every European country has a famous castle, palace or fortress. Many have many more to explore. In this article we will share some of the best royal palaces in Europe that can be on top of your bucket lists for your next trip.
You’ll love the stunning royal palaces all over the globe if you enjoy historical grandeur and architectural splendour. These opulent royal residences offer a breathtaking glimpse into the past, with their gilded walls and velvet staircases, as well as exquisite paintings and ornate garden. You can follow in the footsteps of 15 of the most beautiful royal palaces around the globe.
Be warned, though… you will definitely feel the urge to go on a European adventure after reading this article!
Pena Palace, Portugal
This fairytale palace is located high above Sintra. It is one of seven Wonders of Portugal. It contains a mix of architectural styles, including Moorish and Manueline. Pena palace is considered one of the most beautiful examples of 19th-century romanticism worldwide. It was once the location of the Royal Monastery of Our Lady of Pena. However, the monastery was closed in 1834 after religious orders in Portugal were banned.
The monastery was then abandoned and left in disrepair. Inspired by German Romanticism King Ferdinand purchased the building and transformed it into an eclectic castle. He also planted over 500 trees and exotic flowers on the grounds. It was constructed so that the palace could be seen from all points in the park.
The palace is situated on top of a rocky peak to its eastern region. The palace has two wings, which are surrounded by a third structure, which is a fantasy castle-like version. It has walls one can walk around, including watchtowers and battlements. If you want to see Pena Palace you’ll have to travel to Portugal. To have the latest information about EU travel requirements, we recommend you to check out ETIAS website.
Windsor Castle, The UK
Windsor Castle is a royal residence and the home of British Royal Family. The castle is located in Windsor, England and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is amazing that it has been home of 39 monarchs ever since William the Conqueror founded it in the 11th century. Fortunately for us, it is now open year-round.
Windsor Castle has been the site of many important and historic events over the years. It was a favourite of Queen Victoria and her daughter, Princess Margaret, who spent much time there during World War II.
The castle is also famous for its annual Royal Ascot race meeting, which takes place every June just outside its grounds.
Chateau Royal de Blois, France
Blois’ royal chateau is unique. It was built during four reigns, so you can see four distinct styles within one residence. This makes it one of Europe’s most beautiful royal palaces.
As you enter the building, the first thing you see is the 9th-century fortress wing. It is located to your left. The second, which dates back to Louis XII’s time, is a Gothic-style wing. It is easy to identify because its façade has a sculpture depicting the king riding on horseback.
Francois I, also responsible for the enormous Chambord palace, built the next wing. After returning from war in Italy, the king applied the Italian Renaissance style in his chateau. This is most obvious in the circular staircase which climbs one of its walls.
Gaston d’Orleans, the brother of Louis XIII (heir to the throne), built the final (Classical) wing. Gaston d’Orleans, brother of Louis XIII and heir to the throne, had intended to demolish the chateau’s other wings and build something completely new. However, the arrival of Louis XIV as an heir disrupted his plans. Gaston was pushed out, and his funding was rescinded. This was a blessing that saved Blois.
Over the years, seven kings and ten Queens lived in this castle. It is located in the middle of the town and can be reached easily even from Paris on a day trip to the Loire Valley. The main Blois station is also within walking distance.
Rundale Palace, Latvia
Rundale Palace, also known as the Baltic Versailles is a place you will never forget. Francesco Rastrelli was the architect behind St. Petersburg’s Hermitage. It is a Baroque- and Rococo masterpiece.
The garden is adorned with art treasures and has a lovely rose garden. It was originally built for the Dukes and Courland. Over the last 250 years, it has been through many incarnations, including a German army commandant’s Office, an infirmary, a school, and even a school. After extensive renovations that took almost a half-century to complete, the 54 rooms still look the same as they did in 18th century.
The salon features brocade tapestries and fine tile work, as well as elaborate moldings. The Gilded Hall is often compared with the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.
Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein
Vaduz castle is the official residence and palace of the Prince of Liechtenstein. The Castle is located on top of a hill, overlooking the town of Vaduz and the Rhine Valley. The castle was built in 1220 by Count Hartmann I von Thun and it was expanded over time by his descendants.
Between 1905 and 1920, the castle was subject to major restorations. It was then rebuilt again during the reigns of Prince Johann II in the early 1920s. The castle was also expanded by Prince Franz Joseph II during the 1930s. The castle has been Liechtenstein’s principal residence since 1938. The castle is closed to the public because the princely family lives there.
You might have heard of palaces like Buckingham and Versailles in Europe, but the continent that is so rich of history and culture has many more other places that deserve equal attention. These five castles are the perfect examples of European Cultural and Historical heritage. Seeing these places will only increase your general knowledge and will give you full authentic experience of Europe.