Swallow’s Nest is a decorative castle located on the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine. The castle was built between 1911-1912 by a German noble and is perched on top of Aurora Cliff. Swallow’s Nest was constructed in a Neo-Gothic style, designed by Russian architect Leonid Sherwood. The castle overlooks the Cape of Ai-Todor of the Black Sea. An observation deck rings the building, providing a view of the sea and Yalta’s shoreline. The building is compact in size and is one of the most popular destinations for people visiting Crimea.
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Egekov Castle is located in Southern Funen, Denmark. The castle is Europe’s best-preserved Renaissance water castle. Egekov Castle was constructed by Frands Brockenhuus in 1554. The castle is located in a small lake, which was originally only accessible by a drawbridge. The structure consists of two long houses that connect by a double wall. This allowed defenders to abandon one section of the castle and continue fighting from the other building. The double wall is over a meter thick and has secret stairwells and a water well to supply the needed sustenance during a siege. The outer walls have machicolations for dropping solids or liquids on enemies below. According to legend, it took an entire forest of oak trees to build the defensive fortress, hence the name Egekov, which means oak forest.
Gravenstein Castle in located in Ghent, Belgium. Count Philip of Alsace built the current castle in the Middle Ages in 1180. The structure was modeled after a castle Philip encountered while on his second crusade in Syria. The castle is situated in the heart of Ghent, where the battlements overlook the city. A 9th century fortress built by Count Boudewijn had originally sat upon the site. The name Gravenstein stands for “castle of the count” in Dutch. The Gravenstein Castle has been a coin manufacturer, a prison, and a textile factory. It is now open for the touring public.
Alcázar of Segovia is a stone fortification located in the city of Segovia, Spain. The castle is built upon a rock cliff above the rivers of Eresma and Clamores. Segovia Castle is shaped like the bow of a ship, making it distinct from other castles. The fortification first began as an Arab Fort, which was built atop the remains of a Roman fort. The castle is believed to have been built in the 12th century, after the city of Segovia returned to Christian hands. The palace was enlarged and added to during the next four centuries. During the middle ages the castle served as a royal palace. It has also served as a state prison, a royal Artillery College, and a military academy. In 1862 a fire destroyed much of the structure and it was rebuilt two decades later in a more romantic style. Segovia Castle is one of the castles that inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island (meaning its connected to the mainland by a causeway) off the Mount’s Bay coast of Cornwall, England. The island is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway created of granite setts, which are passable at mid and low tide, and by boat at high tide. A medieval church and castle are the oldest buildings on this rocky island and they date back to the 14th century. These monastic buildings were built after an earthquake in 1275 destroyed the original priory church. St Michael’s Mount is one of 43 tidal islands that can be walked to from mainland Britain without a bridge.