The Great Hall inside Edinburgh Castle was made for King James IV and was completed in 1511, in order to be used for banquets. There are numerous tourist attractions available for the visitor. The most popular paid tourist attraction in Scotland include cafes and restaurants, numerous shops, and historical displays.
An educational center in the Queen Anne Building runs events for schools and educational groups and even employs re-enactors in costume and with period-correct weaponry. Another feature is the One O’Clock Gun, fired every day at one P.M., except for Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. The purpose? Originally, it told ships on the water what time it was.
The Largest Château in Loire Valley
This site is now visited by thousands of people every year, and there's plenty of space for all of them. The huge building includes 440 rooms, a total of 282 fireplaces, and eighty-four staircases. While it was built with tough walls, corner towers, and a moat, this castle was never intended to defend its dwellers from enemies. Even the partial moat was considered an anachronism at the time of its construction.
Also part of this home of kings and princes is the spectacular double-spiral staircase, the centerpiece of the château. It's so well known, that there are even thoughts that Leonardo da Vinci may have been the original designer of the staircase, though obviously not involved in its construction.
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland
If you visit Edinburgh, it's hard to miss this incredible construction. Situated on top of Castle Rock, and overlooking the entire city, this castle has been the home to Scotland and the U.K.'s monarchs. It maintains its position as one of the oldest fortified places in the whole of Europe – evidence of humans has been found on Castle Rock in one form or another, dating back three thousand years!
It dominates the skyline of the city, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Scotland. The castle is home to the Scottish regalia, AKA the Honours of Scotland, and is the site of the Scottish National War Memorial.
Bonus Castle: Swallow's Nest – Gaspra, Ukraine
Instead of protection, this castle is little more than a two-bedroom home that was built purely because the original designer – a doctor to the Tsar – loved the look. It's barely a castle due to its small size, only twenty meters long by ten meters wide.
The original design included a foyer, a guest room, stairs that lead to the tower, and two more bedrooms on two different levels within the tower. While many of those details were left out, the building does have an observation deck ringing the building, which provides a view of the sea and the distant shoreline.
Eltz Castle – Wierschem, Germany
Nestled between Moselle and Trier, the medieval castle of Eltz is one of the most photographed castles on social media. Instagram in particular. Thick green forests surround the castle, only adding to the fairytale scenario. The region the castle lies in is known for its Reisling wine production making the area a peak point on the traveler's list.
The castle has been mentioned in several battles between people who ruled the land, however, it has never been destroyed and remains in the possession of the Eltz family until this day.