Stay in a European castle

Borthwick Castle

Mary Queen of Scots honeymooned here and carried out a daring escape from Scots noblemen using a window in Borthwick’s Great Hall. It now boasts the “Mary Queen of Scots” room. Here a traveler can use the same bedchamber where the ill-fated Queen stayed.

Borthwick Castle

The medieval fortress : castles, forts and walled cities of the Middle Ages
J.E. Kaufmann & H.W. Kaufmann ; illustrated by Robert M. Jurga.
Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2004.
  1. Originally published: Combined Pub., 2001.
  2. Includes bibliographical references (p. [309]-313) and index.
Castles and fortified cities of medieval Europe : an illustrated history
Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage.
Jefferson, N.C. : London : McFarland, c2002.
Here is an illustrated guide to the architecture of medieval fortifications, from the first castles to the fortified cities of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In hundreds of detailed and thoroughly researched pen-and-ink drawings, artist Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage introduces the reader to a heterogeneous group of buildings whose unique characteristics show the development and diversity of European medieval military architecture. Each drawing is accompanied by detailed text describing types of buildings (e.g., motte-and-bailey castles), built-in defenses (arrow slits, pepper-pot towers), and particular castles and cities (the Mont-Saint-Michel, the city of Jerusalem). Elements of medieval warfare and weaponry are also covered in drawings and text.
Castles : their construction and history
Sidney Toy.
New York : Dover Publications, 1985.
The art of fortification had reached a high state of development even at the dawn of history. Powerful military works, dating from the remotest periods, have been found in Asia Minor, in Greece, and in the basins of the Tigris, the Euphrates and the Nile rivers. The medieval castle, with its strategic, crenellated ramparts and aura of legend and romance, represents perhaps the most familiar form of a long-crucial art. This concise, scholarly volume traces the history of the castle from its ancient roots in the Levant, through Roman times and the Middle Ages, to the fanciful chateaux of the sixteenth century. Profusely illustrated with nearly 200 photographs, floor-plan diagrams and pen-and-ink renderings, Castles explores innovations in castle design, siege operations, artillery and other weapons, living conditions within the castle, and clearly explains intriguing features of construction: moats, baileys, keeps, donjons, barbicans, double curtains, loopholes and many others. In addition, noted historian and fortification expert Sidney Toy takes the reader on a detailed guided tour of over 120 of the most famous castles and fortresses of Europe and the Middle East. Explore Caernarvon Castle (associated with the Princes of Wales), Dover Castle, Arundel Castle, Hadrian's Wall, the Tower of London, the famed city of Troy, and dozens of others in vivid accounts focusing on the architecture, offensive and defensive modifications, and historical importance of each structure or site. Castle enthusiasts, medievalists, military buffs, travellers and anyone interested in the evolution and development of the castle will find this meticulously researched overview an informative and absorbing account. Book jacket.

Imagine spending the night in a 16th century castle. Climb the winding stone staircase leading to your room. Take tea in front of the massive fireplace where lords once toasted their bread. Wander manicured gardens and explore forested acres. Seemingly, you’ll be transported back in time!

Castle hotels in Europe offer accommodations for people who appreciate architecture and history. Rooms range from singles to suites and entire floors. There is such a variety in the castles themselves that travelers can select small tower houses or very large ornate fortresses. Most were built over a 600 year period.

Each traveler should decide what is most important to him in choosing accommodations. Is quality of restoration important? What about amenities such as fireplaces or proximity to bathrooms? Is scenery important? Location--near a city or far away from urban areas? What about meals? Some establishments serve dinner and tea as well as breakfast while others have limited dining options.

Stuart Castle

Stuart Castle has a colorful history as the home place for the Earls of Moray. Bloody family feuds and beheadings are part of its history. This place near the Culloden Battlefield saw strife in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s war.

Stuart Castle

Most travelers agree that authenticity is the most important element of a castle stay. Original interiors with period furnishings set an ambience of ancient splendor. New bathrooms and heating systems support comfortable stays and when carefully done do not effect the historical integrity of the castle. When the castle figures prominently in the history of the area it becomes all the more special to visitors who loves the past.

A castle stay provides an unforgettable experience where history comes to life.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff