select - Fairy-tale Castles
Written by Oryx
Though their battlements and turrets attest to an age of warfare, castles have become symbols of fairy-tale romance, filling the pages of our storybooks and exciting our imaginations. Here are four beautiful and dramatic examples.
Neuschwanstein is the epitome of the turreted castle, perched on a crag overlooking Bavaria’s snow-capped mountains. It was used by Walt Disney as his model for Snow White’s castle, and has been part of popular culture ever since. Neuschwanstein is full of depictions of swans, one of the obsessions of its creator, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who went mad and drowned in mysterious circumstances in 1886. The ceiling of the fabulous Singer’s Hall is decorated with angels and dragons, while the Throne Room is Byzantine in style, with a splendid, domed blue ceiling covered with stars.
Distance: 4,393 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Himeji Castle, Japan
The most impressive castle in Japan, 55km from Kobe, has provided a location for many a samurai movie. Most of what you see today dates from the 17th century, when castle-building techniques were at their best. The exterior walls are made of 800-year-old cypress beams embedded in dazzling white plaster, and the commanding keep has views across the Inland Sea. Its interesting defensive features are outlined during free, guided tours, though visitors can also wander about themselves, following explanation boards (in Japanese and English) from turret to courtyard.
Distance: 8,279 km
Flight Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Warwick Castle, UK
Atop a crag that overlooks the River Avon in Warwick and that has been fortified since 914, this superlative medieval castle, former seat of the earls of Warwick, has long been central to English history. A visit could take all day: the castle features interactive exhibits, shows, kids’ activities and grand interiors. Save time for the manicured gardens, where peacocks strut and roses bloom, and the woodlands beyond.
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day