(Reblogged from http://opentravel.com/blogs/15-amazing-castles-from-around-the-globe/ so that I don't lose the link.)
Although designed and built for the prominent purpose of defense, today the castles seem like somewhat unrealistic constructions straight from the fairytale world. From solid strongholds to oriental fortresses and highly decorative palaces, the castles are our connection to the past, where legends mix with history and reality blends with a fairyland.
1. Hohenzollern Castle. Germany.
This fairytale castle is the historical seat of the Prussian Kings and German Emperors. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages - it was built in the 11th century, then completely destroyed in 1423 and reconstructed in 1461.
The view from the castle that stands on top of Mount Hohenzollern (855 m) is as stunning as the complex itself. The castle is located about 50 kilometers (30 mi) south of Stuttgart, the capital of the Baden-Württemberg state.