Home News The 10 most spectacular castles around the world include a California treasure

The 10 most spectacular castles around the world include a California treasure

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Blame childhood fairy-tales or the Disney effect, but castles cast a spell over even the most level-headed of us. We’re enchanted by the very idea of crenellated ramparts and soaring towers, troubadors, jesters and knights. Not the reality of palace life, mind you — we read “Spare,” we definitely don’t want to be royal — but a peek might be nice. And there are castles round the world happy to oblige.

Tripadvisor recently featured 10 spectacular, open-to-the-public castles in Europe, Japan and here in California as the best places to conjure fairy-tale dreams. The list is topped by Neuschwanstein, the fantastical Bavarian palace that inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was one of three palaces commissioned by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, England’s Windsor Castle comes in at No. 3, and most of the others date back to the 15th or 16th centuries.

Neschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps of Germany served as Walt Disney's inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Getty Images)
Neschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps of Germany served as Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Getty Images) 

But the most recent castle on the list wasn’t completed until 2007. That’s winemaker Dario Sattui’s spectacular Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, a 150,000-square foot, Tuscan-inspired castle and winery built from handmade bricks and roof tiles shipped from Italy and ironwork forged by artisans on site. Like many of the other castles on the list, it has secret passages, a drawbridge and moat, a chapel and a torture chamber — but this Napa Valley castle offers wine tastings as well as tours.

Dario Sattui's Tuscan-style castle and winery, Castello di Amorosa, opened in 2007. (Castello di Amorosa)
Dario Sattui’s Tuscan-style castle and winery, Castello di Amorosa, opened in 2007. (Castello di Amorosa) 

Find details on Castello di Amorosa at https://castellodiamorosa.com and on the other castles at www.tripadvisor.com. Meanwhile, here’s a peek at the list.

10 castles for fairytale dreams

1. Schloss Neuschwanstein, Schwangau, Germany

2. Château de Chambord, Loire Valley, France

3. Windsor Castle, Windsor, England



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