The World's 10 Most Beautiful Historic Castles 

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra towers over Granada, symbolizing Spain's past. The Naṣrid dynasty's founder, Ibn al-Aḥmar, commissioned the hilltop castle and stronghold in 1238. 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) took about 250 years to build. Spanish builders began erecting the fort at the top of Old San Juan around 1539.

Château de Chenonceau in Chenonceaux, France

With its maintained formal gardens, Château de Chenonceau appears to float over the Cher River. Diane de Poitiers, Henry II's mistress, commissioned Philibert de L'Orme to create the castle's iconic arched bridge in the 16th century.

Peleș Castle in Sinaia, Romania

The Bucegi Mountains captivated King Carol I, who ordered the construction of a neo-Renaissance fortress in Sinaia in the 1860s. Each of the 160 royal summer home rooms has a theme. 

Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City, Mexico

The only North American castle to host sovereigns was Mexico City's Chapultepec Castle. Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez ordered the fortress's construction in 1785 to house New Spain's commander-in-chief.

Qaitbay Fort in Alexandria, Egypt

After Sultan Al-Ashraf Qaitbay realized Ottoman troops were approaching Alexandria, he began building this austere Mediterranean fortification in 1477. 

Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto, Japan

In 1504, the Ogasawara clan began building Matsumoto Castle to defend against invasions. The great warlord Takeda Shingen conquered the military structure a few years after its completion. 

Bojnice Castle in Bojnice, Slovakia

According to Zobor Abbey documents, this Romanesque fortress may have been built as a wooden fort around 1113. Renaissance elements were added to Gothic castles in the 16th century when stone replaced wood.

Fasil Ghebbi in Gondar, Ethiopia

After founding Gondar as the capital, Emperor Fasilides ordered the construction of the fortress-city in 1636. Previously, Ethiopian emperors traveled the land eating native meals and slept in tents. 

Nakhal Fort in Nakhal, Oman

The impressive fortification above Oman's Al-Batinah plain appears odd at first. Nakhal Fort, erected before the Islamic era around a big boulder at the foot of Mount Nakhal, looks incomplete since it was built around it.

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