Beautiful Castle Moats
Moats were built as a form of defense in ancient times. They were also utilized as natural or artificial lakes and dams. However, as the years passed, the moats become more ornamental. Today, they are viewed as beautiful structures. A moat can be defined as a deep, broad ditch that surrounds a castle, building or even a town. It can be either dry or filled with water. Following are some of the most beautiful castle moats in the world.
1) Bodiam castle, East Sussex, England
Built in 1935 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, it is a perfect illustration of a late medieval castle. It was built as defense against invasion by the French during the Hundreds Years war. It also became his family home.
2) Matsumoto Castle,Japan
Matsumoto Castle was originally known as Fukashi Castle. What makes it stand out from all the fortresses in Japan is that it is an excellent example of a “hirajiro”, a castle built on flat land rather than on a hill or a mountain. The original castle was built by Shimadachi Sadanaga of the Ogasawara clan between 1504 and 1508 during the “Warring Period”. The present castle’s construction began in 1580.
3) Gudenau Castle, Germany
Gudenau castle is located in the town of Villip in Wachtberg, Germany. It is the largest castle in Wachtberg. It was first built in the 13th century and was expanded around 1560. Its remarkable garden was created under an Italian influence in the 17th century. The elements of many different periods come together to become a charming castle.
4) Caerphilly Castle, United Kingdom
Caerphilly castle is one of the largest castles in the UK. It was built from 1268-1271 by the Anglo-Norman lord, Gilbert de Clare. This mighty fortress was erected to defend his areas under threat against Llywelyn the Last, Prince of Wales. The scale of water defense has no rivals anywhere in Europe.
5) Beloeil Castle, Belgium
The word “Beloeil” literally means Beautiful eye. Founded in the 13th century as a medieval fortress, it is one of the biggest and most beautiful castles in Belgium. It later became a residential palace in the 17th and 18th century. Since 1394, the castle has belonged to the Princes of Ligne, one of Belgium’s highest ranking noble families. Every year for one week in the spring the castle holds a floral show. Various rooms in the castle filled with around 2000 amaryllis and 600 orchids are open to the public.
6) Egeskov Castle, Denmark
The name “Egeskov” which means Oak forest comes from the legend that it took an entire forest of oak trees just to build the foundation. The castle was built by Frands Brockenhuus in 1554. The castle itself consists of two long buildings connected by a thick double wall. This allowed defenders to abandon one house and continue fighting from the other. Egeskov also houses a number of museums including a vintage automobile collection, a collection of flying vehicles and a country describing the history of architecture. The castle itself is still in use as a family home by Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille.
7) Vadstena castle, Sweden
The construction of Vadstena Castle was started in 1545 by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Vasa. However, it was not completed until 1620. It was built to protect Stockholm from enemies from the south. This castle is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture with its three 31 meter wide ramparts, a courtyard, a moat and 4 circular cannons turrets.
8) Fagaras Castle, Romania
The Fagaras castle was built by Transvlvanian princes in 15 C. It is one of the most well conserved medieval castles in Romania. The castle itself has 80 rooms and is one of the strongest in Transylvania. It survived Turkish and Tartar invasions. It has three floors and five towers. The castle also has the Museum of Fagaras Country which encompasses an archaeology section, a history section and an ethnographic section.
9) Muiderslot castle, The Netherlands
Muiderslot is one the most visited castles in the Netherlands. It is also the most picturesque. It guards the important Estuary of the Vecht River where it empties into what used to be the Zuiderzee and is now the Ijmeer. Muiden means “mouth”. The castle was begun around 1280 by Count Floris V. It has passed through the hands of many owners over the years.
10) Château de Chambord
Located at the heart of Loire Valley, this castle is one of the finest examples of French Renaissance architecture. Even though the construction of the castle was initiated King Francois I, it was never completed. He built it in order to be close to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, Claude Rohan, whose castle as adjacent. It is a Royal castle because it used to be the retreat of some of the most powerful French Kings, including Louis XIV.