Match the Castle to Its Country

WORLD

Bambi Turner

7 Min Quiz

Image: Andrew Merry/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Castles are the stuff of fairy tales – where Sleeping Beauty lay in wait for her Prince, where Rapunzel let down her hair to serve as a makeshift climbing rope, where Cinderella finally triumphed over her evil relatives and found that lost shoe – the list goes on and on. Yet even as images from our favorite childhood films form our mental image of castles, we must also take into account that these wondrous structures are firmly rooted in history ... and you're a whole lot more likely to find a royal or rich nobleman at home than any damsel in distress. 

While your knowledge of castles might be skewed by those sanitized versions you see onscreen or at your favorite theme parks, it's important to realize that castles were primarily built for protection, not style. Dating back to the medieval period, those who could afford it commissioned castles in strategic spots to allow them to see incoming armies, fight off invaders and keep family and property safe from all those sieges that were always going on. Sure, many castles are ornately designed and come with priceless frescoes and works of art, but the real magic lies in their fortifications, including moats, gates and walls so thick that even the most vicious trebuchet wouldn't be able to cause much damage.

As you might expect, many of the world's most recognizable castles are located in Europe, but there are still plenty to be found in other areas. Think you can match these castles to the correct countries? Take our quiz to find out!

You can keep waiting for that Hogwarts letter or just head to which country's Alnwick Castle, where the Potter movies were filmed?

That scene where Harry and his friends learn to fly on broomsticks in the first of the Potter movies was filmed at England's own Alnwick Castle. Built in the 11th century, it's located in Northumberland County in the northeast part of the country. Also used in "Downton Abbey" to serve as Brancaster Castle, Alnwick has really embraced its Harry Potter heritage, hosting broomstick training and dragon quest programs.

Advertisement

Neuschwanstein Castle inspired the castles at the Disney parks. Do you know which European nation, whose capital is Berlin, is home to this structure?

Located in the Bavarian region of Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle is a fairy tale come to life. Envisioned by the very shy and private King Ludwig II in the 1860s, it was opened to the public just weeks after the king died in 1886. Today over a million visitors a year tour this once private abode, which is famous for its brilliant blue turrets. And if you're planning a siege, beware – that white limestone exterior covers walls and fortifications made from sturdy brick and concrete.

Advertisement

Where can you find Edinburgh Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James VI in the 1500s?

Built atop an extinct volcano known as Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle towers over the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Built in the 12th century, it was last occupied by Charles I in the 1600s. Today visitors to the castle can view not only the crown jewels but also the Stone of Destiny, which has been used at every U.K. royal coronation since the 13th century.

Advertisement

Bodiam Castle was built by a knight in the 14th century, in what is now Sussex. Which country's National Trust has owned the structure since 1925?

From the outside, Bodiam Castle in Sussex, England, looks like a heavily fortified 14th-century castle. Step beyond its original portcullis — that's a heavy-duty gate with jagged teeth used to keep out intruders — and you'll find that most of the inside lies in ruin. Located at the center of a large moat for protection, Bodiam was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge and housed his descendants for hundreds of years before it was abandoned in the early 19th century.

Advertisement

Located just four hours from Paris, the castle at Mont Saint-Michel was built in the Gothic style. Which country would you have to visit to take a tour?

Situated on an island near the beaches of Normandy, Mont-Saint Michel began as a monastery in the 8th century. Later, it served as a prison, but it is now a UNESCO Heritage Site and major tourist attraction. Once accessible from the mainland only at low tide, a new bridge allows easy access for visitors.

Advertisement

Queen Elizabeth II often weekends at Windsor Castle, with hundreds of staff to tend to her needs. Can you guess where it's located?

Located in Berkshire County, England, Windsor Castle is the largest occupied castle in Europe. Construction began in the 11th century, and major renovations and restorations over the years have resulted in a castle that blends Georgian, Victorian, Gothic and Baroque styles.

Advertisement

In 1697, Charles Perrault stayed at Chateau d'Usse, then penned the story of Sleeping Beauty. Do you know which country is home to this castle?

A stronghold was built by the Normans in the 11th century, overlooking the Loire Valley in central France. In ruins by the 1400s, it was rebuilt as the Chateau d'Usse in a Flamboyant Gothic style, which takes the arches and gables of Gothic design to a whole new level. One weird thing you should know if you visit this castle is that it's pretty much full of mannequins, who are dressed and posed to represent different people and styles over the past nine centuries.

Advertisement

Lichtenstein Castle includes a tower that looks like it comes straight from a film about Rapunzel. It's located 130 miles from Munich in what nation?

Situated high on a cliff in southern Germany, Lichtenstein Castle was restored in the 1800s, thanks to a book. A 13th-century castle on the spot had been left in ruins over the centuries, until Wilhelm Hauff wrote his 1826 novel "Lichtenstein," based on actual historical people and events in the area. The book was so famous that a smart businessman decided to restore the castle to its current glorious condition in order to draw tourists.

Advertisement

Which country — whose capital is Madrid — is home to Castillo de Coca, an unusual red brick castle that has been a national monument since the 1920s?

Situated in central Spain, Castillo de Coca blends Gothic and Islamic design into a style known today as Mudejar. Unlike many other European castles, this 15th-century structure is made of rust-colored brick rather than light-colored stone. Partially destroyed by Napoleon's troops in the 1800s, it has since been restored and is open for visits.

Advertisement

First Lady Melania Trump hails from the same European nation as Predjama, a 13th-century castle built in a cave. Do you know where it's located?

Predjama Castle in Slovenia just might be the coolest castle in this quiz. It's built inside of a large cave complex, complete with plenty of secret tunnels and passageways. Sadly, those tunnels didn't help the Knight Erazem Lueger, who was master of the castle in the 15th century. He was shot off his own toilet via cannon fire after getting himself in trouble with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III.

Advertisement

Prague Castle dominates the skyline of the capital city of what country, which is known for its beer — especially Pilsner?

Prague Castle began as a simple fort in the 9th century, before undergoing major renovations over the centuries to transform it into the Gothic-Renaissance wonder it is today. The castle is the official home of the president of the Czech Republic. It also houses a special room to hold the crown jewels. Seven different people hold seven different keys, and all are required to access the priceless treasures.

Advertisement

"Downton Abbey" fans might recognize the magnificent Highclere Castle, but can you guess where it's located?

Located in Berkshire, England, the 17th century Highclere shot to fame after appearing in "Downton Abbey" in the 2010s. The Renaissance Revival structure is also famous for its rich collection of Egyptian artifacts, which were collected by an early 20th-century resident, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who helped discover the Tomb of Tutankhamun.

Advertisement

People flock to which country to tour the mysterious Bran Castle and soak up the Transylvanian vampire lore?

Back in the 15th century, the cruel leader Vlad the Impaler terrorized the regions of Transylvania and Wallachia in modern-day Romania. While some believe that Vlad helped to form Bram Stoker's Dracula character, there's really no evidence that Bran Castle had any connection to Vlad. That doesn't seem to bother vampire fans, who visit the castle in droves and casually refer to it as Dracula's Castle.

Advertisement

Which nation is home to Chateau de Chambord, which was actually built for looks rather than for defense, and is located just over 100 miles south of Paris?

Situated in northern France, Chateau de Chambord began as a medieval wooden structure. During the 16th century, it was completely rebuilt in an elegant and opulent French Renaissance style, with more than 400 rooms. One thing that makes this palace stand out is its ornate roofline, which is made up of a huge variety of spires, cupolas, gables and towers.

Advertisement

Where would you have to travel to tour Orebro Castle, which is located just over 100 miles west of the country's capital city of Stockholm?

Built in the 13th century above the River Svartan to protect this precious trade route, Orebro Castle began as a simple tower. Various additions over the years have given it a distinctive Renaissance style, and it's been a Swedish State Monument since the 1930s.

Advertisement

Which nation is home to the Gothic Revival Hohenzollern Castle, located about 160 miles south of the city of Frankfurt, high on a mountain?

Germany's Hohenzollern Castle has faced some difficulties in the thousand years since its construction. The castle was destroyed in battle in the 1400s, rebuilt, then left in ruins by the 18th century. Fortunately, it was faithfully reconstructed in the 19th century and now hosts a November race that ends in the castle courtyard, as well as an annual Royal Christmas Market.

Advertisement

Caerphilly Castle has really embraced the whole dragon-of-the-castle concept. Can you name the small country where this castle can be found?

Constructed in the 13th century and surrounded by artificial lakes added for protection, Caerphilly Castle in Wales is one of the biggest British castles. Local legends of the CADW (Welsh historic environment service) dragon family inspired a kid-friendly dragon display on the site, known as the Dragon's Lair.

Advertisement

Do you know which Asian nation is home to the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which now serves as a museum and popular tourist attraction?

Built in a traditional Japanese architectural style, the 16th-century Osaka Castle is set on an imposing stone base surrounded by a moat. Burned to the ground in the 1600s, the castle has since been restored into a modern reproduction of the original — complete with elevators to transport tourists.

Advertisement

Which country, whose capital is Copenhagen and whose people are called Danes, is home to the 16th-century Egeskov Castle?

Located near Funen, Denmark, Egeskov Castle was built in the 16th century on a series of oak piles within a lake. Once accessible only via a drawbridge, the Gothic and Renaissance-style structure is now a working farm with a car museum in an old barn on the property. Egeskov has been owned by the Bille family since the 1700s, but portions are open to the public for tours.

Advertisement

The largest brick building in Europe is Malbork Castle. It can be found in which nation, whose capital is Warsaw?

Malbork Castle was built by Teutonic Knights in the 13th century in what is now known as Poland, and it served as a residence of the royal family for several hundred years. Badly damaged in WWII, the Gothic structure has since been restored, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Advertisement

Situated in Transylvania, Corvin Castle may have once held Vlad the Impaler in its dungeons. Where is this castle located?

Romania has its fair share of famous castles, and many claim some kind of association with the 15th-century ruler Vlad Tepes — affectionately known as Vlad the Impaler and rumored to be an inspiration for Dracula. The Storybook Gothic Corvin Castle is no exception, and some legends suggest Vlad spent years imprisoned in Corvin's dank dungeons.

Advertisement

Technically Hearst Castle is a castle in name only ... Do you know which country is home to this icon of the California coast?

Media mogul William Randolph Hearst built himself a modest little home — OK, a palatial estate — known as Hearst Castle in Sam Simeon, California, in the early 20th century. The Spanish Revival mansion was donated to the U.S. state of California in 1958 and now serves as a tourist mecca. The 1941 classic "Citizen Kane" was based on Hearst's life, and his castle was renamed Xanadu for the film.

Advertisement

Queen Elizabeth II was at Balmoral Castle when she got the news of Princess Diana's death. Where can you find this royal family residence?

Balmoral Castle in northern Scotland was bought by the British royal family in the 1850s. As soon as it was done, the family deemed it too small and began working on a new royal residence, using Balmoral for occasional jaunts to Scotland. Visitors to the site can view massive stone pyramids or cairns, one of which was installed as a memorial to Prince Albert.

Advertisement

One of the few castles in North America, Vancouver's Hatley Castle features in the X-Men movies. Think you know which country is home to Hatley?

Now a Canadian National Historic Site, Hatley Castle was built in the early 1900s as the private residence of James Dunsmuir, a Lieutenant-Governor in British Columbia. Dunsmuir famously instructed builders, "Money doesn't matter, just build what I want," resulting in an opulent 40-room residence.

Advertisement

Damaged by civil war in the 2010s, Krak des Chevaliers is located near the Lebanon border. Which country features this castle?

Krak des Chevaliers, or Castle of the Kurds, was built in the 12 century in the country we now call Syria. It sits atop a 2,000-foot hill and is heavily fortified, thanks to its sturdy limestone construction. While recent restoration work revealed medieval frescoes hidden under plaster, the castle has been threatened since 2011 by civil war bombings.

Advertisement

Choose the European nation, whose capital is Vienna, where you can visit Hochosterwitz Castle ... if you can make it through the structure's 14 gates.

In Austria's province of Carinthia, Hochosterwitz Castle sits atop a 500-foot limestone rock. Construction has been ongoing since the 9th century, and even heavy Turkish invasions in the 11th and 12th centuries failed to penetrate the structure. Today, a winding path to the top of the rock through 14 different gates leads visitors to Hochosterwitz.

Advertisement

Built to fight off Viking invasions, the island castle of Eilean Donan is situated in the highlands of which European country?

Eilean Donan in the Scottish Highlands was designed to serve as a defensive fort against Viking invaders in the 13th century. Subject to three days of constant bombing by the English government in 1719, the structure was badly damaged. It was restored in the 1930s, and a footbridge was added to allow visitors to access the island.

Advertisement

You can still visit this castle along the River Thames, where the queen keeps the family jewels. Know which country the Tower of London is located in?

Officially named Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London was built along the River Thames in England way back in the 11th century. It served as a prison for hundreds of years and was even used to confine the doomed Anne Boleyn in 1536. Today people are lining up to get into the tower instead of begging to get out, as visitors pay big bucks for tickets to tour the facility and view the crown jewels.

Advertisement

Want to take in the glory of Versailles? It's just a short trip from Paris, the capital city of which European country?

Starting in the 17th century, French royals made their home at the luxurious Baroque palace of Versailles. It's the spot where Marie Antoinette and hubby Louis XVI were staying when they were arrested during the French Revolution. Today, Versailles receives nearly as many visitors as the Eiffel Tower.

Advertisement

Can you guess which country you would need to visit to tour Hohensalzburg Castle, a fortress perched high on a hill over the city of Salzburg?

Built upon Austria's Festungsberg Mountain, overlooking the city of Salzburg, Hohensalburg Castle wasn't much more than a simple wooden fort when it was constructed in the 11th century. It's been improved quite a bit over the years, including the addition of a freight railway used to carry supplies to the castle on the hill. A similar rail car for visitors was added in the 1890s.

Advertisement

Can you identify the home country of Agra Fort, a 16th-century walled city located only about two miles from the Taj Mahal?

India's Agra Fort is more than just a castle; it's an entire walled city filled with religious centers, palaces and great halls. Primarily made of red sandstone, some buildings within the walls are constructed from the same white marble used to erect the Taj Mahal. The entire compound of this Indo-Islamic structure is linked by underground tunnels and passageways.

Advertisement

Trakai is an island castle located in Eastern Europe. Can you guess which country, whose capital is Vilnius, you can find this ancient castle in?

Built in the 14th century, Lithuania's Trakai Castle sits well-protected on an island within Lake Galve. Lower portions of the castle are constructed from white stone, while the main walls are red brick. Some say this castle resembles Poland's Malbork Castle.

Advertisement

Want to take a peek at Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire, which once hosted Joan of Arc? You'll have to head to which nation that is Joan's birthplace?

France's Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire overlooks the Loire River. It was built in the 14th century. It is famous for its defensive features, including a patrol route for launching stones at intruders, as well as walls as thick as 15 feet in places. Joan of Arc stayed here a few times in 1429 while visiting King Charles VII.

Advertisement

Tour Warwick Castle, located between London and Liverpool, and take in its claim to fame ... one of the world's largest trebuchets. Which nation features this attraction?

Warwick Castle is situated in the central part of England and features not only a massive trebuchet for launching stones at invaders, but also an impressive collection of arms and armor. It began as a wooden fort, built by William the Conqueror in the 1060s. It was expanded over the years in an array of materials and architectural styles.

Advertisement

Located only 140 miles or so from the country's capital of Prague, where can you find the 14th-century red-roofed Bouzov Castle?

Bouzov Castle in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic features a variety of architectural styles, from early Gothic and Renaissance features to Neo-Gothic designs added on in the early 20th century. Seized from the Order of the Teutonic Knights after WWII, the castle has been the subject of extensive court battles between the Knights and the Czech government.

Advertisement

Shakespeare chose Glamis Castle as the setting for "Macbeth," but do you know which British country is home to the real Glamis Castle?

While Scotland's Glamis Castle serves as a home for nobility, it was never the home of the real-life King Macbeth. However, Shakespeare did set his famous play of the same name at Glamis. One person who did live here that you might recognize is Queen Elizabeth – mum to Elizabeth II of England.

Advertisement

This country, located just west of Spain, welcomes tourists to the iconic Pena Palace. Know which nation hosts this visually-appealing landmark?

Pena Palace overlooks the town of Sintra, Portugal, and it just might be the most head-scratching castle in this quiz. Built in the 19th century to the whims of King Ferdinand II, it is a confusing hodgepodge of colors and styles, including Islamic domes and minarets alongside medieval parapets.

Advertisement

The only thing that saved Chateau de Chenonceau from destruction was the fact that it was built over a bridge. Think you know where it's located?

France's Loire Valley is home to a huge number of castles, including the 16th-century Chateau de Chenonceau. Built over an arch bridge that spans the River Cher, it was threatened by angry mobs during the French Revolution. Fortunately, the lady of the manor, Louise Dupin, was home to remind the crowd that destroying the chateau meant destroying the only nearby bridge over the river. Her words were enough to disperse the mob and save the castle.

Advertisement

Kilkenny Castle was built by a knight named Strongbow in the 1100s. It is located about 80 miles south of Dublin, which is the capital city of which European nation?

Kilkenny Castle in Southern Ireland started as a simple wooden fort, built in the 12th century. It grew larger and stronger over the years, thanks to additions and fortifications, but suffered a major blow when Oliver Cromwell's army blew out an entire wall in 1650. Despite a siege during the Irish Civil War in 1922 in which, miraculously, no one was injured, the castle still stands and welcomes visitors to this day.

Advertisement

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes