Scotland Tourism: Two castles ranked in the top 10 in Europe

And with an estimated 1,500 scattered across the country, it’s said that wherever you are you’re never far from a historic Scottish castle – the oldest still standing dates back to the 12th century.

Now a popular travel website has ranked two Scottish castles among the best – and most beautiful – castles among the thousands found across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.

The list, compiled by Brazilian travel bible Vagas Pelo Mundo, highlights the continent’s “most beautiful medieval and historic buildings” that “attract visitors from all over the world.”

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Topping the list is Neuschwanstein, King Ludwig II’s fairytale castle built in southwest Bavaria in the 19th century, followed in second place by the Alcázar of Segovia, a medieval castle in the city of Segovia, Spain.

In love with the wind castle, located in the village of Ravadinovo in south-eastern Bulgaria, comes third, ahead of the romantic 19th-century palace, the National Palace of Pena in Sintra, Portugal, fourth and the castle Hohenzollern in south-west Germany in fifth place, the ancestral seat of the Prussian kings and princes of Hohenzollern.

Conwy Castle, a fortress built by Edward 1st in Conwy, North Wales, ranks sixth ahead of the medieval Eltz Castle in Wierschem, Germany and Chambord Castle in Centre-Val de Loire, France, which is considered one of the most famous castles in the world.

Joining the top 10 in ninth place is Culzean Castle on the west coast of Scotland in South Ayrshire.

Herald Scotland: Culzean CastleCulzean Castle

Vagas Pelo Mundo wrote of the castle: “Culzean Castle is the jewel in the national crown of Scotland. This magnificent country house was renovated in the late 18th century by the renowned architect Robert Adam in his typical neoclassical Georgian style.

“Culzean Castle is perched high on a cliff overlooking the spectacular west coast. It is surrounded by magnificent forests, beaches and parks teeming with wildlife. The elegant interiors are filled with treasures documenting the stories of those who lived here and it is one of the most charming castles in Europe to put on your travel bucket list.”

Behind Culzean at number 10 on the list is the iconic Eilean Donan Castle – considered one of Scotland’s most famous castles and one of its most photographed monuments.

Herald Scotland: Eilean Donan CastleEilean Donan Castle

Of Eilan Donan, Vagas Pelo Mundo wrote: “Eilean Donan Castle was built in the early 13th century as a defensive measure to protect the lands of Kintail from the Vikings who invaded and colonized much of northern Scotland and the Western Isles between 800 and 800 AD and controlled 1266.

“In the 13th century this area was the ‘Kingdom of the Seas’, largely separate from the Lord of the Isles, where the sea was the main thoroughfare and the power of rival clan chiefs was counted by the number of their men at disposal. Eilean Donan offered the perfect defensive position. An amazing castle that can only be visited in Europe but throughout Scotland.”

To view the full list, click here Scotland Tourism: Two castles ranked in the top 10 in Europe

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