Real life castles that make you believe fairy tales do come true

Real life castles that make you believe fairy tales do come true

So which one is it: art imitates life or life imitates art?

Whether you believe in the first statement or the second, feast your eyes on these fantasy-like places that actually exist in real life and decide for yourself.

These may look like images off of fairytales but I kid you not, these places actually exist. Just a few more places to add to your travel bucket list.

Neuschwanstein Castle



No, this is not a picture from Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty but you might as well think that because a single look at this real-life castle instantly brings to life your fairy tale dreams of towering castles and dancing princes and princesses. The picturesque background of lush trees and snowcapped mountains completes the experience even more as it is an outstanding backdrop to this wonderful architectural artwork.

The beauty and wonder of the Neuschwanstein Castle is so captivating and surreal that it is referred to by most people as The Cinderella Castle. Even Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland took some inspiration from it. The castle is known to be the most photographed building in the world and is visited by an estimated 1.3 million annually.

Bran Castle



If you’re a fan of the novel Bram Stoker’s Dracula, then this place should be on top of your bucket list. With dark clouds and eery trees all around, it is the perfect setting for Dracula’s house if he ever was real. Visitors from all over the world flock to the castle to appreciate its beauty secretly hoping to meet the King of the Undead Count Dracula himself.

Although Dracula is fictional, his character was in fact inspired by a real person Vlad Tepes who was nicknamed Vlad the Impaler because of his penchant for impaling his enemies on stakes in the ground and leaving them to die. Vlad apparently stayed in this castle for a few days but didn’t actually live there.

The scary stories and the historical intrigues associated with The Bran Castle has not stopped people from visiting the castle and in fact lures more visitors, making it the most visited attraction in Romania. After all, fairy tales are never really complete without the enemy or in this case, the bloodsucking monster, right?

Himeji Castle



The Japanese are best known for being able to preserve their culture and beliefs and the Himeji Castle is one of the examples of how Japan was able to preserve their architecture as well. Originally built in 1346 by Akamatsu Sadanori as a fortification against local shoguns, it was never actually used in a battle and thus has remained in its present shape for over three hundred years. It was designated Japan’s national treasure in 1931 and is also one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.

Perhaps one of the most romanticized stories related to Japan are of their samurais; their loyalty and bravery and how they would willingly offer their lives for love of country. To anyone interested pre-modern Japan and the rich history behind it is bound to get a thrill when they visit the Himeji Castle.

As for finding Mulan in any of the walls in the Himeji Castle? Maybe not, because although it is a bit confusing and there is still that debate, Mulan is actually a Chinese character.

Taj Mahal



No fairytale should ever be without a love story and the story behind the creation of the Taj Mahal is a story of eternal love that has been melting the hearts of people for years.

The Taj Mahal, a sought-after attraction in India is actually a mausoleum built by Prince Khurram to house the remains of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal after she died while giving birth to their 14th child. When the prince himself died, he is reunited with his wife when his remains were also buried beside hers inside this 42-acre complex that took 22 years until completion.

Over 200,000 tourists from overseas and as many as 2 to 4 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. UNESCO has designated the Taj Mahal as a World Heritage Site and it is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Just proof that people still believe in true love and in happy endings, after all.

Alcazar of Segovia



If watching this picture brings images of royal weddings and vast ballrooms, you’re on the right track as it was actually the site of Philip II's wedding to his fourth wife, Anne of Austria.

The Alcazar of Segovia is a unique palace located at the top of Guadarrama Mountains and the fort looks similar to the shape of a ships bow. The Alcazar was built as a fortress and later it was used as royal palace, Royal Artillery College, state prison and military academy.

If you’re a horse-riding fan of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, then it should pique your interest to know that this castle served as the French home of Sir Lancelot du Lac in the 1967 musical film "Camelot".

Whether you imagine yourself to be Cinderella or Queen Quinevere, this place is definitely a reason to believe in fairy tales just a tad bit more.

Château de Chillon, Veytaux



Can you imagine being a prisoner of this place and getting inspired by your very own prison, even writing a poem about it? That’s what Lord Byron did when he was held captive in the dungeons of Chateau de Chillon. The poem “The Prisoner of Chillon” was actually found carved into the wall of the cell he was in.

But you don’t even have to see the place in person to know how beautiful and inspiring it can be. Simply looking at the tranquil waters surrounding the castle with the rippling reflection of the trees and clouds instantly transports you to a place of pure happiness and inspiration - like your fairy godmother granting a wish.

So it is art that imitates life or life that imitates art? That question still remains to be debated, but one thing is for sure, if these enchanting castles actually exist in real life, then fairy tales do come true after all!