Photo by Giuseppe Milo

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European castles hold a rich history, and within their walls, stories of betrayal, oppression, and the history of a people are often found. Whether they are medieval castles or more modern takes on the romantic themes of fairytales, each of these fortresses also make spectacular photographic subjects. For the photographer, this is the second part of our two-part series on the Most Beautiful Castles of Europe. So, get your camera and passport ready as we continue to countdown the most stunning, photogenic, and frankly stunning castles Europe has to offer. If you like this post, be sure to check out Part 1!

Peleș Castle - Photo by Nomadic Julien

Peleș Castle - Photo by Nomadic Julien

As if ripped from the pages of a fairytale, Peleș Castle stands majestically on a hillside in the rolling mountainous region of Sinaia, Romania. This stunning castle was completed in the early 1900s at the behest of King Carol I who had visited the site in 1866 and fallen in love with the area. The result is a stunning neo-renaissance structure that is a popular destination for tourists in the Romanian countryside. Today the Castle is a museum and now belongs to the people of Romania. (Sinaia, Romania)

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Neuschwanstein Castle - Photo by Lanju Fotografie

Neuschwanstein Castle - Photo by Lanju Fotografie

Inspiring the Disney Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disney Land, Neuschwanstein Castle is a stunning site. Built high atop a rocky outcrop in the hills overlooking Schwangau, Neuschwanstein Castle's construction began in the 1800s for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. King Ludwig II was declared insane as the castle neared its completion, and in 1886, Ludwig and the State Commissioner (who had declared him insane) went for a walk in the woods with the mad King. They were both found dead in a lake that evening. To this day, the mysterious deaths remain unexplained. Ludwig never saw his castle completed, and since its completion, Neuschwanstein Castle has been open to the public to pay off the debt accrued during its construction. Today it is possibly the most well known European castle and certainly one of the most photogenic. (Schwangau, Germany)

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Conwy Castle - Photo by Lisa Fotios

Conwy Castle - Photo by Lisa Fotios

In the heart of the town of Conwy can be found an ancient medieval fortification appropriately named, Conwy Castle. This Welsh castle, built by Edward I, was constructed during Edward's conquest of the county between 1283 and 1289. Over the millennia that followed, Conwy Castle played an essential role in several wars that defined Welsh history. Today the castle is a photographer's dream rich in texture classic medieval styling and because of Conwy Castle's waterfront location. (Conwy, Wales)

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Castel del Monte - Photo by Italo Greco

Castel del Monte - Photo by Italo Greco

Situated on a hilltop in Italy, this 13th-century castle is unique in its design and simplicity. The Castel del Monte is a perfect hexagonal castle fortification that is unlike almost any other castle in Europe. With no moat or defensive walls, historians surmise that Castel del Monte served no higher purpose than that of a simple hunting lodge. However, the castle's imposing and minimalist appearance makes it one of the most photogenic castles in the region. Built in the 1200s by Holy Roman Emporer Frederick II, it was never actually finished and used for a time as a prison and then a refuge site from the plague. Originally it had marble columns and walls, but vandals stripped the castle's interior for use in other constructions. In folklore and legend, the Castel del Monte is often mistakenly associated with the Knights Templar; however, there is no historical evidence to suggest an association. The castle is a pleasure to photograph because of its unique design, perfect symmetry and hilltop location at an otherwise mostly empty landscape. (Andria, Italy)

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Corvin Castle - Photo by Giuseppe Milo

Corvin Castle - Photo by Giuseppe Milo

One of the largest castles in Europe and named one of Romania's Seven Wonders, Corvin Castle, adds a romantic touch to the rolling hills of Hunedoara. Built on the foundations of an earlier defensive structure, Corvin Castle is an imposing fortification that originates from the 1700s. Legends tell that Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Count Dracula) was once imprisoned in Castle Corvin's dungeons where he was driven mad. What makes Castle Corvin such a treat for photographers is not only its placement in the surrounding landscape but the long, stone-supported footbridge that leads to the castle. Underneath this bridge, there is a waterfall and footpath that only adds to the fairytale-like whimsy of the castle's appearance. Corvin Castle is a remarkable fortification and the picture-perfect example of a storybook castle in the Romanian countryside. (Hunedoara, Romania)

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Alcázar of Segovia - Photo by Elia López G.

Alcázar of Segovia - Photo by Elia López G.

Alcázar of Segovia translates to Fortress of Segovia, and this castle-like fortress towers above the surrounding countryside at the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains. The Alcázar of Segovia is a medieval fortification that has a long history. Like many medieval castles, it stands on foundations built by the Romans, and the rest of the structure developed over the millennia until it became what it is today. The castle fortification is immensely photogenic from the surrounding countryside, perched atop a rocky outcrop in a mountainous valley. But, the exterior is not all the Alcázar of Segovia has to offer. The interiors are just as opulent and magnificent with tapestry covered walls and ornate furniture. The Alcázar of Segovia is open to tours. (Segovia, Spain)

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Château de Chenonceau - Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Château de Chenonceau - Photo by Andrea Schaffer

Château de Chenonceau is a beautiful French château that spans the River Cher. Built on the foundations of an old mill between 1514 and 1522, the chateau is unique in its design and construction. Idyllic waters pass beneath the château's columnar stone foundation, and when the water is calm, the reflection opportunities for photographers are marvellous. Don't miss the equally photogenic tower nearby, and from some angles, you can get both the Château de Chenonceau and its tower in the same shot. (Chenonceaux, France)

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Royal Alcázar of Seville - Photo by Vitor Pinto

Royal Alcázar of Seville - Photo by Vitor Pinto

A stunning ancient royal palace in the heart of Seville. Dating to the early middle ages, the gardens, palace and surrounding palace grounds are some of the most stunning in Europe. In addition to the iconic courtyard, there are also numerously opulently decorated halls and spaces on the Alcázar of Seville grounds. The palace is widely regarded as one of the best examples of architecture in the style of Mudejar (the Moorish style). Recently it also had a starring role in the HBO series Game of Thrones where it served as the seat of the fictional House Martell. (Seville, Spain)

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Bran Castle - Photo by Jorge Fernandez Salas

Bran Castle - Photo by Jorge Fernandez Salas

Bran Castle was built in 1378 to regulate trade and defend against Turkish invaders. It served as the Romanian royal residence from 1920 to 1947. There are also many legends that the castle is tied to Count Dracula. It can be quite busy so plan your trip accordingly - early or late in the day to avoid most of the crowds. (Bran, Romania)

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Discover Even More Beautiful Castles

We hope all you shutterbugs and travel photographers found this post and Part 1 useful. Do you agree with out picks for the most beautiful casltes in Europe? Have a European castle we forgot? Well let us know about you favourite castle in the comments or even better upload your shot of what you think the most photogenic castle in Europe is. We’d love to see it!

Be sure to check out even more stunning castles from around the world below. Also find even more great photo locations on our world map. Each photo spot is carefully curated and vetted by the PIXEO team and shared here to help photographers find the best places to shoot around the world. Discover your next shot with PIXEO, the world’s best photo locations!