5 jaw-dropping castles in Wales

Caernarfon Castle, photo by Robert Emperley

Wales has beautiful natural areas that will make you stare in wonder, but it would be unjust to say that this little country got its attractions without a pinch of effort. Some of the most stunning sights in Wales are man-made, and as such the results of huge efforts. We’re talking about the castles of Wales, which are more than one can even count. Approximately 500 castles built over the span of many centuries can be found all over the Welsh countryside, and more than a few of them are worth a visit. Castles are a huge part of Wales’s appeal, and they are tied into the country’s history and folklore. Here are 5 jaw-dropping castles in Wales, for the curious traveler.

Castell Coch, Tongwynlais

Castle Coch, photo by Tony Hisgett

Castell Coch, or the Red Castle in English, is a magnificent Gothic Revival structure built at the end of the 19th century on the remains of a much older fortification dating back to the 13th century. The castle has an unmistakably medieval appearance, with portcullis and a drawbridge, and with lavish interiors which are clearly Gothic-inspired but adapted to more modern sensibilities.

Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly

Caerphilly Castle is a genuine medieval castle built in the 13th century in the center of the small town of Caerphilly. After Windsor Castle, Caerphilly is the largest castle in the United Kingdom, and although it has weathered through some harsh times, the castle is as beautiful as ever. The restoration of the castle continues to this day, but even so it is already a very popular tourist attraction.

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle, photo by nicksarebi

Pembroke Castle was built during the Norma Invasion of Wales in the 11th century, but it’s the first Earl of Pembroke, William Marshall, who gave the castle its present appearance. Oliver Cromwell ordered the destruction of the castle in the 17th century, and the complex laid in ruins until its renovation in the 1930s. Now the castle is open to the public.

Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd

Caernarfon Castle is not only one of the 5 most jaw-dropping castles in Wales, but also possibly the most famous. Caernarfon Castle was built as a symbol of the English rule of Wales, which is why it was built in a particularly impressive style.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle, photo by Gnomedude

Cardiff Castle has went through many changes since the first building rock was laid down at the site by the Romans in the first century. After two Roman forts, a Norman keep was built whose outer structure is still visible. The present castle is a Gothic Revival refashioning of the old fort according to the plans of William Burgess, whose interior designs are of an unparalleled beauty and elegance.

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