Europe has more castles and palaces than anywhere else on earth. The wealth that is displayed at these elegant abodes is truly incredible. Even though some of the palaces are occasionally referred to as castles and vice versa, I will try to separate the two for this post.
I will concentrate on the palaces of Europe, not the castles. Many of these palatial residences were built for monarchs. There are so many that it would take pages and pages to list them all. Even though I have visited many of these grand structures, there are hundreds that I have yet to see.
One that seems to fit the bill is Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Actually, Vienna has several of these elaborate homes, i.e. Schonbrunn, the summer palace of Austrian kings,
and the Hofburg, the winter palace,
In Munich, Germany, the equivalent residences are Nymphenburg (summer)
and the Residenz (winter).
Also in Germany is “Mad King” Ludwig’s Linderhof Palace.
Moving to France, we find some of the most elaborate and ornate palaces on earth. Versailles is the epitome of a royal palace.
Just look at the famous Hall of Mirrors
In Paris, Luxembourg Palace is typical of the magnificent architecture of the city
The Loire Valley is famous for some of the most elaborate and ornate chateaux in the world. Check out Chambord
In England there is, of course, Buckingham Palace, the city residence of the Queen.
Blenheim Palace was the boyhood home of Winston Churchill
Brighton contains one of the most unusual royal residences. It is known as the Royal Pavilion and its architecture suggests the Far East.
Further north, in Edinburgh, Scotland, you can find the Scottish residence of the British monarchs, the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Brussels’ Royal Palace sits on a hill above the old part of the city
In Luxembourg, royalty is known as the Grand Duke and his palace is in Luxembourg City.
Italy has the Royal Palace of Caserta, south of Rome, on the way to Naples.
On the island of Rhodes, in Greece, the Knights Templar were the island royalty and their royal residence is known as the Palace of the Grand Master.
In Monaco, the Prince’s Palace reigns supreme
In Spain, the grandest palace in the country is the Alhambra, in Granada.
Its interior is decidedly Moorish
although the Royal Palace in Madrid is certainly spectacular.
Another beautiful mansion in Spain is El Escorial
The Primate Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia has some of the finest public bathrooms in Europe.
Istanbul, Turkey, on the very eastern edge of Europe, contains the famous Topkapi Palace, a elaborate complex of many buildings and extravagant wealth.
Other significant residences in this metropolitan city include Dolmabahce Palace,
and Beylerbeyi Palace, along the Bosporus.