Can You Match These European Castles to Their Country?
By: Beth Hendricks
Image: Petra-81 via WikiCommons
About This Quiz
If you read fairytales or watched Disney movies growing up, you probably already have a little castle envy. All that glorious architecture is bursting with history, telling tales of romance, war and intrigue. It's what every little girl aspired to and what every boy would defend to the death. And don't get us started on moats and fire-breathing dragons!
Sprinkled throughout Europe, far and wide, many castles still stand, remnants of the past with stories to tell. For example, did you know that there's a castle in Germany that inspired the one portrayed in "Sleeping Beauty?" (It housed Germany's King Ludwig II before it caught the eye of Walt Disney.) Fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen had his favorite, which was in Portugal. There's even a castle in Slovakia where you can attend an international festival of ghosts or take a spooky candlelit tour.
Yes, it seems society — American, European and otherwise — is still fascinated by these stately structures. Which got us thinking, how much do you really know about Europe's castles? The hidden ones, the beautiful ones, the (gulp!) haunted ones? Flip through these 40 magnificent structures and see if you can pair them to the country where they can be found. Watch out for Dracula and the "gateway to Hell," though.
"I vant to suck your blood!" Bran Castle, which most people associate with Dracula, is housed in which country?
Construction on Transylvania's Bran Castle in Romania began in the 12th century. Unlike many castles, famous for who lived there, this one is more famous for who didn't: Dracula. Author Bram Stoker modeled Dracula's castle after the Romanian structure.
You can spot Neuschwanstein Castle's inspiration in "Sleeping Beauty," but you'd need to travel to which of these countries to see it in person?
Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is a romantic, fairytale-like structure, so it only stands to reason that Walt Disney would be compelled to model one of his Disney Princesses' castles after it. The real deal is located in Bavaria, Germany.
Can castles be in love with the wind? The Castle of Ravadinovo in this country is. Where is it?
The Castle of Ravadinovo is Bulgaria's No. 1 tourist attraction. It was designed from a childhood dream by architect George Tumpalov. It's just a baby, though, compared to others in this quiz – construction on it didn't begin until 1996.
Where do we sign up? Laiuse Castle in this country hosts a regular murder mystery dinner event. Where is this castle situated?
In addition to its murder mystery dinner nights, Laiuse Castle in Estonia is also a popular site for weddings and other events. Constructed in the late 1800s, this castle also contains a hotel and a restaurant onsite.
Is a castle made of wood still a castle? Bojnice Castle started out in wood, but has since been converted to stone. Where it is located?
Slovakia's Bojnice Castle was originally constructed from wood and later changed into a stone creation, which probably contributes to its longevity. It currently houses an art and history museum and plays host to the International Festival of Ghosts and Spirits. Spooky!
Vianden Castle in this country was essentially reduced to rubble for a period before its new owners restored it. Where is it?
Vianden Castle, situated in Luxembourg, was built on the site of a former Roman castle and changed hands several times, which caused it to fall into a state of disrepair for a bit. New owners finally restored the ancient structure.
Now home to a monastery, Kylemore Abbey can be seen in which of these European countries?
Built in the 19th century, Kylemore Abbey (formerly Kylemore Castle) is home to Benedictine monks in Ireland. At the time it was built, the owner wanted a castle with "modern" amenities, which we're certain have changed over the past 100 years or so.
The family who owned Nesvizh Castle was expelled from it not once, but twice. Where is this castle found?
Nesvizh Castle in Belarus has seen its share of conflict. The Radziwiłł family was expelled from it not once, but twice. The first time was in 1772 and the second happened 167 years later during the invasion of Poland.
At 75,000 square feet, Moszna Castle is no shrinking violet. Where is it located?
Moszna Castle, located in Poland, is big in every aspect of the word. Covering a spread the size of 14 football fields, the castle has more than 360 rooms and was replicated (in part) at Walt Disney World's Epcot.
Legend says that Egeskov Castle's foundation required an entire forest of trees. Where is this site?
Denmark is home to Egeskov Castle, so named for the forest of trees that are believed to have been necessary for the structure's foundation. The name "Egeskov," which means oak woods in Danish, was the perfect choice.
Edinburgh Castle sits high atop Castle Rock, dominating view in this country's capital city. Which nation are we referencing?
Travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, and you won't be able to avoid views of Edinburgh Castle. It sits upon the elevated Castle Rock and dominates the skyline from various viewpoints. Edinburgh Castle has been under construction in some capacity since the 12th century.
Predjama Castle is the largest "cave castle" on the planet. Where can you find it?
Predjama Castle in Slovenia is unlike any other castle in this quiz, since it's built into the side of a mountain at the mouth of a cave. The castle is roughly 800 years old, but the cave system is likely much older.
It's believed that a vision of Virgin Mary influenced the creation of Pena Palace. In which of these countries can you find it?
One of Portugal's most popular tourist attractions, Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal, was believed to have been build after a vision of Virgin Mary appeared to King Ferdinand II. The exterior of the castle boasts varying architectural styles.
Windsor Castle in this country is not only the largest but the oldest occupied castle in the world. Where is it located?
If you're looking for both the largest and the oldest occupied castle structure in the world, look no further than Windsor Castle in England. British royals for 1,000 years have called the castle home.
Grab your sneakers! The journey to the top of the Tourbillon Castle site is up a steep and winding set of stairs. Where can you find it?
If you want to see Tourbillon Castle (and not from a distance), you'll need to be prepared to climb a hefty number of steep and winding stairs at its location in Switzerland. You'll be rewarded with awesome views of Sion, though, the city where it's located.
Örebro Castle has close association to a nearby river, built and named for that connection. Where is it found?
Sweden's Örebro Castle was built to provide a watch post for activity around the River Svartån. Its name is also derived from the river; more specifically, the word "ör," which are small stones found in the riverbed.
Prague Castle in this country is a "Guinness Book of Records" world record holder. Where is it?
Czech Republic (Czechia)
Prague Castle in the Czech Republic (Czechia) is a world record holder. According to "Guinness Book of World Records, it is the biggest ancient castle in the entire world, occupying a paltry 750,000 square feet.
Are you a fan of the von Trapp family? Then you'll likely recognize Hohenwerfen Castle from "The Sound of Music." What country is it in?
Hohenwerfen Castle does, indeed, make a cameo appearance in the 1965 movie musical, "The Sound of Music." The castle is perched on a cliff overlooking Werfen, Austria, where it has stood for more than 900 years.
A stone bridge with 14 arches paves the way to Methoni Castle in which of these European countries?
Methoni Castle in Greece is certainly located in one of the more visually-stunning locations, overlooking the Ionian Sea. You'll have to travel across a stone bridge that features 14 archways to get across the moat, however.
This country's national hero, Skanderbeg, is said to have battled the Ottoman Empire at Krujë Castle. Where can you find it?
Krujë Castle in Albania is well-known by locals for the role it played in Skanderbeg's battle against the Ottomans. The castle was able to withstand the Ottomans' siege and today houses a museum honoring Albania's national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbej.
The walls of Conwy Castle tally up to nearly a mile in length. In which of these countries can you find it?
Located in the United Kingdom (Wales, to be specific), Conwy Castle's construction totals nearly a mile of walls as well as more than 20 towers and gatehouses. The castle was part of a one-time plan to encase all of Wales in a system of walls.
The president of this country still counts Riga Castle as an official residence. In what country can you find it?
Positioned in Latvia, Riga Castle is still considered an official home of the Latvian president. It sits alongside River Daugava in Latvia's capital, Riga. A fire in 2013 caused substantial damage, which launched a series of repairs.
Château de Chambord in this country was never actually finished, despite being started in 1519. Where can you find it?
You'd think that after 500 years, Château de Chambord in France would finally be finished, but it was never entirely completed. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts more than 20,000 tourists every day.
The Alhambra earned its name due to its color. Where is it located?
The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, is a colorful structure. Named in the Arabic for "the red one" or "red castle," its towers and walls give off a red tint, a nod to its moniker. Various rulers throughout history tried their hand at remodeling the structure.
Houska Castle is said to guard the "gateway to hell." Yikes. Where should you probably avoid traveling?
Czech Republic (Czechia)
Houska Castle is another magnificent structure in the Czech Republic (Czechia), except this one is a wee bit scary. The castle is said to sit atop the "gateway to hell," controlling the flow of demons entering the world. Well, we'll vacation elsewhere.
If you're measuring castle size by land area, Malbork Castle in this country comes in No. 1. Where is it?
Malbork Castle, also known as the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, is located in Poland. It's the largest castle by land area in the entire world. German Crusaders are credited with its construction.
Burghausen Castle may not be the biggest, but it's definitely the longest. Guinness says so. Where can you find it?
Germany's Burghausen Castle is another world record holder, this time for "longest castle," as confirmed by Guinness World Records. This member of Europe's "Big 3" (that's the third-largest castle on the continent) was started in the 10th century.
In which country can you find Hohensalzburg Castle, a structure built to symbolize the power of the Catholic Church?
Austria's Hohensalzburg Castle was the brainchild of Archbishop Gebhard I of Helffenstein, who wanted the castle built to demonstrate the power of the Catholic Church. Salzburg Archbishops lived there until the early 19th century.
Eilean Donan sounds like a woman's name, but it's actually a castle located in which of these European nations?
Scotland's Eilean Donan is a popular castle inside its nation's borders and a favorite of tourists far and wide. It has appeared in various movies, including 1999's James Bond flick, "The World is Not Enough."
Corvin Castle is said to have been the site of the imprisonment of Vlad the Impaler. In which of these countries would you find it?
Vlad the Impaler was said to have been imprisoned for a time in this Romanian castle in Hunedoara. You're not familiar with Vlad the Impaler? Well, it's believed he was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula.
The Gravensteen was nearly lost in its entirety until local preservation efforts salvaged it in which of these locations?
Located in Belgium, the Gravensteen had a less than stellar history, prompting some to call for it to be razed. And, it was ... almost completely ... until some local preservationists saved the site for its historical significance and architectural details.
Napoleon almost destroyed Rheinfels Castle just before1800. What country is it in?
Rheinfels Castle, located within sight of the Rhine River in Germany, nearly fell to Napoleon's troops in the late 1700s. Though it's not quite the same, part of the original castle still stands ... roughly one-third of what was originally built.