The best getaway in the Old World is a trip through castles and palaces of Europe. The European Medieval Castles and Palaces are magical and sumptuous spaces of heritage. The vestiges of a bygone era are peppered, either tucked away in forests or in plain sight in the middle of cities. From Prussian palaces to the castle that inspired Disneyland, are found in unexpected places, and prove to be a fairy tale away from the everyday. Steeped in art history, from century-old mirrors and chandeliers to antique furniture and china, these are designed regally. Here are the architectural features of castles and palaces in Europe.

Since the castles are constructed for fighting purposes, they have tall fortified walls enclosing a courtyard inside. Embrasures are the tapered silts in the walls for shooting purposes. Allure is the pathways on the wall. The most iconic feature is the towers serving as chapels or lookouts. They are square or round having either crenelated tops or conical roofs. The castles have a great hall, for dining or conferences. But, do you know some stunning interior architectural features? The palaces were either the private mansions for kings and queens or aristocrats or had converted to parliaments, museums or hotels. The palaces and castles commonly built in baroque architecture, include elaborate ornate decoration, ceiling frescoes, and dramatic use of light. 

Later, Romanesque revival architecture includes round towers, cone-shaped roofs, low arches over arcades and doorways, columns, and pilasters with spirals and leaf designs. Some have the definitive decorative elements of Gothic architecture such as vaulted ceilings making palaces an impressive structure of Europe.

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Versailles Palace, France

The palace is ornamented from Baroque to Rococo art. They act as the canvases along the ceiling having the polychrome marbles and the gilt expressing possibilities of the French art. Rooms decorated with mural painting strongly influenced by the Italian tradition of baroque painting. The palace is surrounded by immaculate gardens, with beautiful vistas. Its captivating architectural features include The Hall of Mirrors comprising 357 mirrored decorations, the central gallery of the palace has 17 mirror-clad arches reflecting the 17 windows.

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Belvedere Palace, Austria

The iconic landmark of Vienna has the Sala Terrena, the grand staircase, and the Marble Hall. Alongside the gilded ceiling paintings and extravagant apartment suites, the palatial gardens. In between the Upper and Lower Belvedere stretches an iconic French garden, full of carefully planted flower beds and several fountains. The two museums housed inside the Belvedere walked through visiting the gardens. It’s a stunning oasis of Baroque horticulture that transports you from the modern city to a more refined time.

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Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

The famous castle is the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland and Disney World. The Romanesque castles have original 18th-century furniture in the throne hall, while the dining room is known for its spooky, somewhat dark, medieval vibe. The design incorporates bi and triforia window openings and semi-circular arches, having Romanesque shapes with Byzantine and Gothic influences such as slim towers. The elongated building is characterized by its numerous tower, gables, balconies, and turrets. The castle was constructed using conventional brick, marble and white limestone.

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Eggenberg Palace, Graz ©velvetescape.com/schloss-eggenberg-palace-graz/

The palace’s architecture reflects the cosmos, astronomy and astrology in interiors through ceiling and wall paintings as well as sculptures, representing Greek gods. The grand banquet hall has a black-and-white checkered floor that makes you feel like you’re in a life-size game of chess. While the exteriors have limestone walls.

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Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
©www.austria-trend.at/en/hotels/schloss-schoenbrunn-suite

As the Baroque palace has more than 1,400 rooms, the extravagant gallery, with its gilded walls, and the Palm House greenhouse, with its wide selection of plants, from palms to cacti.

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Royal Palace, Sweden
©theculturetrip.com/europe/sweden/articles/the-most-beautiful-castles-and-palaces-in-sweden/

Also known as Stockholm Palace, is made of brick and sandstone. The roofs are covered with copper and are slanting inward towards the inner courtyard. On the main building, they are encircled by a balustrade made of stone. The building consists of four rows, commonly named after the four cardinal directions. The facades of the palace were each given their design. A triumphal arch in splendid Baroque style framed the entrance and the stairwell in the middle of the southern facade, and niches for statues placed at every second window ledge. The middle parts of the east and west facades are adorned with Baroque pilasters, herms, and statues. The most stunning design can be found in the Pink Drawing Room, painted mint green and filled with rose-hued furniture. This palace is truly a pastel dream.

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Windsor Castle, Berkshire
©www.royal.uk/royal-residences-windsor-castle

It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. St George’s Hall makes a spectacular setting for a State Banquet in the castle, providing seating for 160 people at a single table stretched at room size. The hall is decorated with porcelain and silver-gilt from the Royal Collection.

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Chenonceau Castle, France
©www.britannica.com/place/Chenonceaux

It is an unprecedented site spanning the river Cher. Its architecture has a stunning design and the richness in its decorations. The contemplation of Chenonceau evokes the idea of perfect harmony between nature, composed of water, air, greenery and unique architecture, recognized around the world. The rooms are crowned by a wooden coffered ceiling that is painted and gilded.

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Chambord Castle, France
©www.france-justforyou.com/blog/newly-restored-gardens-at-chambord-castle

The Loire Valley in France is dotted with hundreds of elegant castles, but Chambord is the largest and most famous of them all. Chambord’s architecture is a carefully balanced blend of traditional elements of Medieval French architecture and other features borrowed from the Italian Renaissance.

Manvi Khandelwal
Author

Manvi Khandelwal, a 20-year-old, is an architecture student. She had been passionate for architecture, since her childhood. She always thought of architecture as a way of living life, apart from designing spaces. She loves to dance, and to her architecture is a choreography of volumes to define her environment.

1 Comment

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    Wow! never read anything about European architecture and castles particularly yet. One thing to notice is their buildings are very proportionate in terms of height and length.

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