Captivating Lakeside Castles: Discover the Allure of Waterfront Wonders

While there are many enchanting castles on the ground, there are also beautiful castles on lakes in different countries. These castles are like on their small islands, a little cut off from the world around them. Some of the castles on lakes date back to centuries ago while some of them were primarily defensive forts, some of them are now luxurious hotels or only tourist attractions.

Scaligero Castle / Italy

One of the oldest and most-preserved castles in Italy, Scaligero Castle is on Lake Garda. It was built in the 14th century by the Della Scala family. The family was the ruler of Verona and a major part of Venice for centuries. The primary intention behind the castle was to use it as a defensive fort in case of an attack.

Although the castle lost its importance after a new castle was built nearby, it remained in service as an army barracks. In 1919, renovation attempts began and the castle became the castle it is today. Scaligero Castle is one of the most-visited places in Italy with a visitor count of more than 300,000 every year.

Oberhofen Castle / Switzerland

One of the 5 castles on Lake Thun, Oberhofen Castle is one of the oldest castles on lakes. Historians believe that its construction goes back to the 13th century. The castle was a gift from one lord to another but it never stayed in one family for too long. Matter of fact, Oberhofen Castle changed hands several times for centuries until it became a museum in 1952.

As the castle had multiple owners, it reflects each owner’s design taste and their respective eras. The castle is full of rooms, frescoes, and paintings ranging from the 14th century to the 19th century. Even in the 2010s, a new restaurant was added as an extension of the castle in order to draw tourists.

Chillon Castle / Switzerland

Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva is one of the most visited and well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. While there are conflicting views as to its real age, the first records of the castle are from the 11th century. From the 12th century to the 16th, it was also the summer house of the Counts of Savoy.

During the 16th century, the House of Savoy gradually became weaker through wars and conflicts. While at that time, the Savoys used the castle primarily as prison, in the following decades, they lost the castle, and their reign ended. For some time the Bernese owned the castle and turned it into an official prison in 1733.

Bled Castle / Slovenia

Though Predjama Castle may be the most famous castle in Slovenia, the beautiful Bled Castle is a sight to behold as well. It is one of the medieval castles on lakes and gets its name from the lake it is built upon. While at first only a defensive castle, as time passed, Bled Castle became the residence of feudal lords and such nobility.

The castle did not lose its defensive purposes, of course, as more towers and fortifications were added in different centuries. Moreover, Bled Castle still keeps some of the engravings and frescoes from those centuries. The castle is today a museum with many artifacts on display and occasionally home to some warm-season festivals.

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