Choosing only a handful images of castles is nearly an impossible task. The combination of talented photographers and surreal architecture is so amazing that I ended up spending many more hours browsing than I intended. My next photography trip will now be planned around some of these surreal castles!
The fact that some of these buildings date back to the 500s is hard to believe, yet I am grateful that they still stand as beautiful today as they did back then.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

Fairytale Castle by Achim Thomae
Image by Achim Thomae

The Neuschwanstein Castle really looks like a fairytale castle. Neuschwanstein is a castle of the paradox. It was built in the 19th century in Bavaria, in a time when castles no longer had strategical and defensive purposes.

Mont Saint Michel, France

Far Far Away by İlhan Eroglu
Image by İlhan Eroglu

Mont Saint-Michel is a island commune in Normandie, France. It was first populated in the 500 and 600s, and named Mont Tombe. The settlement has over the centuries been further expanded, and the island is today a separate municipality. In 2009 the island had a population of 44.

Bodiam Castle, England

bodiam castle by Mirek Galagus
Image by Mirek Galagus

Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle’s design as well as defence. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family and the centre of the manor of Bodiam.

Corfe Castle, England

Misty Sunrise by Alex Harbige

Image by by Alex Harbige

Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates back to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The first phase was one of the earliest castles in England to be built using stone when the majority were built with earth and timber. Corfe Castle underwent major structural changes in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle by Markus Nemeth

Image by by Markus Nemeth

Bran Castle, situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” it is the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula. As discovered by the Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos, the location Bram Stoker actually had in mind for Castle Dracula while writing his novel was an empty mountain top, Mount Izvorul Călimanului, 2,033 metres (6,670 ft) high, located in the Transylvanian Călimani Alps near the former border with Moldavia.

Matsumoto Castle, Japan

Matsumoto Castle on the Ground by Anuparb Papapan

Image by by Anuparb Papapan

Matsumoto Castle is one of Japan’s premier historic castles. The building is also known as the “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior. It was the seat of the Matsumoto domain. It is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Tokyo by road or rail.
The castle’s origins go back to the Sengoku period. At that time Shimadachi Sadanaga of the Ogasawara clan built a fort on this site in 1504, which originally was called Fukashi Castle. In 1550 it came under the rule of the Takeda clan and then Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Kylemore Abbey, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey by David Gerulis on

Image by David Gerulis

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. The current Mother Abbess of the Benedictine Community is Mary Margaret Funk.

Fortress of Guaita

San Marino by Daniele Rossi on

Image by Daniele Rossi

The Guaita fortress is the oldest of the three towers constructed on Monte Titano, and the most famous. It was built in the 11th century and served briefly as a prison. It is one of the three towers depicted on both the national flag and coat of arms. Is is registered as one of World Heritage Sites in 2008.