Scotland is a land of turbulent history, legends and mystery. Almost every its corner is connected with some heroic battle, romantic love story or other significant event. Who hasn’t heard of the picturesque landscapes with high mountains and deep lakes that fulfill the function of a background for the marvelous architectural masterpieces – castles?
There are plenty of them in Scotland. The castles differ greatly, but there exists one common feature – all of them are visited by tourists during the whole year. What does attract people to these fortified structures the first of which appeared in the 11-12th centuries? Perhaps, their mightiness, prominent events connected with them or famous and noble people that once lived there and their secrets. These buildings are the peculiar windows to the past of the country.
The historians consider that there were about 2000 castles in all the parts of Scotland, but, unfortunately, the majority of them are known only from the documentary records. The others are either ruins or rather decent houses used nowadays for accommodation or even for the wedding ceremonies. The majority of castles are in private ownership.
Edinburgh Castle is visited by everyone who comes to the country as it is situated in the heart of its capital. Its history dates back to the 12th century. The Scottish monarchs liked to live in the castle. The Crown Jewels are kept and displayed in the Crown Room. Though, the 5 centuries later it was also known as a military jail.
The land on which Stirling Castle stands was many times covered with blood because of its important strategic position. Entering the castle one opens the door to Scottish Renaissance monarchy, its intrigues and fashion as visitors are welcomed by the costumed characters that bring castle’s history to life.
Culzean Castle is a superb-looking fairy-tale structured Scottish castle standing on a cliff and surrounded by forests, gardens and lakes. It’s a real palace from the late 14th century with a bunch of ghost stories that is definitely worth seeing.
Loch Ness is famous not only for its monster but for the Urquhart Castle that is one of the largest in this part of the UK. Unfortunately, this medieval fortification has transformed into just the remnants of castle with time, but they are still very picturesque. Some visitors are standing on its tower for hours hoping to see Nessie in the lake’s waters.
These are only some strongholds located in Scotland. Eilean Donan, Caerlaverock, Blair, Duart, Inveraray and a lot of other castles should also be seen, if possible, as they offer truly breathtaking looks and views.