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Top 10 Best Castles In The World

Top 10 Best Castles In The World

Whenever we hear the word ‘castle’, a large structure with great walls comes to our mind. Particularly, if you are a fan of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, you might visualize the boisterous castles of Westeros, Bravos, and all around the mythical land, being guarded by armored soldiers. From ‘Dragon Heart’ to ‘Resident Evil’, many historical movies and games have their stories begin and end in castles.

Basically, a castle is a private, fortified residence of the nobles. However, the scope of the castle is highly contested. But contests aside, if you ever wonder visiting the world’s best castles, here is the list of the ‘Top Ten Best Castles in The World’.

1. Edinburgh Castle

1

    Edinburgh Castle is situated in Edinburgh, Scotland. The name Edinburgh is derived from ‘Din Eidyn’, which basically means ‘the fortress of Eidyn’. It was built in the extinct volcanic crag.

    Many buildings in the castle can be dated back to the 16th century. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building of Edinburgh, which can be dated to the 12th century is also located here. It covers an area of 35737 square meters. In present day, it is a tourist center and one can take a guided tour of the castle.

    2. Citadel of Aleppo

    2

      Citadel of Aleppo is one of the oldest castles of the world. It covers an area of 39804 square meters. It is situated on 50 meters high hill in center of Aleppo in Syria. It is found that the hill has been in use since the middle of the 3rd millennium for various purposes.

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      The majority of its construction was completed in the 13th century. It has stood on the crusader era fortification and has served as stronghold for crusaders. Various civilizations including the Greek, and the Byzantine had occupied this partly conserved fortress. It spreads on 39804 square meters area.

      3. Trim Castle

      3

        Trim Castle is located in Trim County on the southern bank of the River Boyne in Ireland. It was built in the 12th century during Norman rule by Hugh de Lacy and is one of the largest among Norman castles, which is spread over area of 30,000 square meters.

        The castle was built in three stages, the later 2 of which were done by Walter de Lacy during his time. It was used as the administrative center of Norman administration for the Lordship of Meath. The castle is also referred in “Song of Dermot and the Earl”.

        In present day, you can access the castle with a small admittance fee. Ireland is the perfect place for castle tours as there are many outstanding castles in Ireland which are sure to leave one awestruck.

        4. Himeji Castle

        4

          Himeji Castle is one of the most beautiful castles of Japan, situated in the Himeji, Hyogo prefecture of Japan. It is a sample of prototypical oriental castle architecture which was built in the 14th century and expanded throughout the century.

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          The construction was completed in 1609 A.D. Since then, it has survived many civil wars, bombings and earthquakes. It occupies 41648 square meters area. Presently, it has 83 buildings; each equipped with defensive system. One of the noticeable features of the castle is its complex, which looks like a bird that is about to take a flight.

          5. Buda Castle

          5

            Buda Castle is located in the southern tip of castle hill in Budapest of Hungary. After the attack of Mongols, Buda’s citizen built the castle to defend themselves against the Mongols.

            Despite the effort, the castle has been invaded numerous times. This effect can be seen in the styles of buildings in the castle, which ranges from Baroque styles to Gothic styles. The castle took several years of construction. Its present day form was completed in 1266 A.D. It covers an area of 49485 square meters. In present day, it is a museum and also includes National Gallery of Hungary.

            6. Spis Castle

            6

              Built in the 12th century AD, Spis castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Central Europe. It is located in the countryside of eastern Slovakia. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the tectonic quake.

              Stone wall was used to fortify the main building during the first half of the 13th century for anticipated Tartar incursion. Lower courtyard was fortified in the middle of the 11th century. The fortress was changed into homes for the noble families of Hungary later on.

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              In 1780, the castle caught fire which destroyed most of it. In present day, it is one of the sites listed in the world heritage by UNESCO.

              7. Hohesalzburg Castle

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                Hohesalzburg Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe. It is situated in the city of Salzburg in Austria. It was actually built in 1077 AD, but further works of expansion were done from 1495 A.D to 1519 A.D.

                It is the best preserved and one of the biggest medieval fortresses in Central Europe. It covers an area of 54523 square meters. This castle is believed to have never been captured by any enemy. In present day, it stands as fortress museum and displays a wide range of ancient weapons, coins and many musical instruments.

                8. Windsor Castle

                8

                  Windsor Castle is one of the largest and oldest inhabited castles in the world. It is located in England and spreads over an area of 54835 square meter. It is one of the various official residences of Queen Elizabeth II where she has spent many weeks and weekends.

                  The castle is also used for various state functions. The notable structures in the castle are Queen Mary’s doll house and State apartment. The castle has also served as the burial site of some monarchs.

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                  9. Prague Castle

                  St Charles Bridge Prague

                    Prague Castle was built in the 9th century and now stands as one of the largest and majestic castles in the world. Although it was built in the 9th century, its expansion can be dated back to the second half of the 18th century.

                    It is situated in Czech Republic and covers an area of 66761 square meters. It consists of St. Vitus Cathedral, where the crown jewels are kept. It is full of Gothic structures. The castle has been used as the seat for the Czech monarchs since its construction in 880 A.D.

                    It also served as the residence of many religious leaders and Holy Roman emperors. In present day, it is used as the official house for the head of the state.

                    10. Malbork Castle

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                      Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world with an area of whopping 143591 square meters. It is located in Poland.  It was founded by Teutonic Knights, which was the Roman Catholic religious order based in Germany.

                      The knights used it as headquarter to defeat the Polish enemy, which also helped to rule the northern Baltic territories. Several expansions were done to accommodate the growing number of knights until they retreated in 1466 A.D in Konigsburg.

                      In 1466, it was home to Polish monarchy. Now, it consists of monasteries and museums. It is also listed in the ‘World Heritage Site’ list by UNESCO.

                      Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                      1. Exercise

                      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                      2. Drink in Moderation

                      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                      4. Watch Less Television

                      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                      5. Eat Less Red Meat

                      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                      6. Don’t Smoke

                      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                      7. Socialize

                      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                      9. Be Optimistic

                      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                      10. Own a Pet

                      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                      11. Drink Coffee

                      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                      12. Eat Less

                      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                      13. Meditate

                      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                      15. Laugh Often

                      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                      17. Cook Your Own Food

                      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                      18. Eat Mushrooms

                      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                      19. Floss

                      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                      21. Have Sex

                      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

                      More Health Tips

                      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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