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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

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      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

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        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

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          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

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            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

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              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 October 5, 2020

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                      Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                      I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                      This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                      What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                      As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                      While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                      The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                      Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                      Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                      The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                      It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                      My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                      You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                      Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                      1. Drink Plenty of Water

                      Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                      2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                      The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                      3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                      One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                      4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                      The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                      To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                      5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                      While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                      Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                      You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                      How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                      Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                      This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                      Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                      Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                      The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                      Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                      Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                      One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                      This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                      Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                      Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                      Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                      How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                      The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                      While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                      Can I Work out While Fasting?

                      Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                      The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                      Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                      Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                      First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                      Is Fasting Safe?

                      As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                      I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                      Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                      As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                      I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                      For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                      Conclusion

                      Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                      If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                      More About Intermittent Fasting

                      Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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