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5+ of the Oldest Castles in the World & Why You Should Visit (When You Can)


Interested in learning about or visiting some of the oldest castles in the world? In this post, we take you on a virtual tour of the very best old castles.

Since our childhood, we’ve heard stories about castles inhabited by princesses, princes, jesters, and dragons. Even though dragons unfortunately are not real (we do have some cool legends about them for you), castles have been an important part of history.

We’ve prepared a list of some of the oldest castles in the world, from Europe to Asia, so if you are a lover of history or architecture or simply want to know more about the world we live in, scroll down to learn more!

Mamure Castle

Mamure Castle in Turkey is one of the oldest castles in the world
Mamure Castle, Turkey. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user D7031tg. [CC BY-SA 3.0].

This old castle, which is located not far away from the city Anamur, is one of those ancient things with a complicated history that Turkey has in abundance. Its history stretches way back, from the 3rd century when the Romans built a fortification on the Mediterranean Sea. Slowly, over time, it was expanded, both by the Byzantine and during the Crusades, but it reached its prime in 1221 when Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I built a large medieval castle mostly using the old foundation. 

It’s not only one of the oldest castles on Earth, but Mamure Castle is also considered to be one of the best-preserved medieval castles placed on the Mediterranean coast. 

Related Read: 10+ Things to Do in Turkey

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle in the UK is one of the grandest old castles in the world
Windsor Castle. Taken by T. Heftiba via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

This list of ancient castles would be incomplete without Windsor Castle, probably the most well-known castle in the world. For centuries, this glorious place has been a residence for the British royal family, and even now it is still being used by the Queen of the United Kingdom!

Windsor Castle was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, and it has been in constant use by the monarchs of England since the beginning of the 12th century. It holds the records for being the longest-occupied castle in Europe and the largest inhabited palace worldwide. 

Related Read: 25 Interesting Queen Elizabeth II Facts

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is one of the oldest medieval castles in the world
Warwick Castle. Taken by O. Ko via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Yet another medieval castle erected in the 11th century thanks to William the Conqueror is Warwick Castle, which for centuries has been overlooking the river Avon in England. Like many other old royal fortresses and castles on our list, it was constantly transformed and expanded and even suffered from a severe fire in 1871, only to be renovated back to life.

For the last few decades, Warwick Castle has become a legitimate Disneyland among castles – there are always some shows and various kinds of events happening at this old building, and you can even spend the night inside its ancient walls!

Related Read: Great Britain vs United Kingdom: What’s the Difference?

Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle in Wierschem Germany is an ancient castle in a Germany forest
Eltz Castle in Wierschem, Germany. Taken by S. A. Mode via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Germany is another place to which we owe the creation of many breathtaking and magnificent old castles. One of them is Eltz Castle, erected in the picturesque hills of the Eltz Forest. The oldest part of the castle dates back to the 9th century. However, its main body was built in the 12th century.

The most fascinating page in the history of Eltz Castle is its owners, as it has been owned by the same family for 33 generations! Even now, though most of the castle is open to the public to enjoy its unique architecture, some part is used by the owners.

Fun Fact: One of the famous visitors of the Eltz Castle was Victor Hugo, who was so impressed by the scene in and around this old castle that he even included it in his written pieces.

Related Read: St. Lambert’s Church: The Lambertikirche of Münster, Westphalia, Germany

Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle Japan is one of the oldest castles in Asia
Inuyama Castle, Japan. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Z. Tanuki. [CC BY-SA 2.0].

Some amazing (and pretty old) castles can be found in Europe, sure, but Asia deserves some spots on our list, as well. Japan has been another place where creating magnificent castles was popular centuries ago. There are five castles in the country that share nine structures that are named as national treasures, and among them is Inuyama Castle, situated in the city Inuyama.

Though it is not known for a fact when exactly Inuyama Castle was built, according to the castle’s guidebook, it happened in the mid-15th century, which would make it the oldest castle in Japan. The castle preserved the exterior from additional construction in 1537, and now it is a true gem for any visitor who is interested in castles, Asian architecture, or beauty in any form.

Related Read: How to Avoid Sitting Next to a Baby on a Flight

Alcázar de Segovia

Alcázar de Segovia in Spain is one of the oldest castles in the world.
Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Rafa Esteve. [CC BY-SA 4.0].

Another country that found its way on our list of the oldest castles in the world is Spain and the spectacular Alcázar de Segovia (“Fortress of Segovia”). As with Mamure Castle, at first it started off as a Roman fortress and later was rebuilt by Berbers. However, it started to acquire its shape as we know it today only in the 12th century when King Alfonso VIII decided to make this castle his primary residence and put a lot of time and effort into construction.

For the next few centuries, Alcázar de Segovia played a major role both as a castle and a fortress, serving various rulers, each of whom would add or change some parts of the structure. Later on, it was used as a prison, military academy, and a Royal Artillery College. Of course, today it is open to the public, so its visitors can enjoy the luxurious furnishings and imagine what the life of medieval Spanish royalty back in the day looked like.

Related Read: Casa Batlló: A Brief History & Short Tour of Gaudí’s Casa dels Ossos

Well, that’s all for now on our list of some of the oldest castles in the world, and we hope you get to see them all at one point or another! Got any questions, feedback, or other locations to add to our old castle list? Let us know in the comment area below, and thanks for reading!

Written by
Mariia Kislitsyna
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