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12 Wonderful Water Castles
A water castle is a castle or stately home whose site is entirely surrounded by moats or natural water bodies. The water that surrounds the castle was used as an obstacle to hinder an attacker. In many places in Europe, castles that had formerly been fortified changed their role or were converted over the course of time so that they became largely representational and residential buildings.
1. Červená Lhota Castle, Czech Republic
Červená Lhota is a château situated about 20 km (12.5 mi) north-west of Jindřichův Hradec in south Bohemia, Czech Republic. It stands in the middle of a lake on a rocky island. Its picturesque Renaissance building is a destination of thousands of tourists every year. The name Červená Lhota means “red village” and can be explained by the color of the château’s bright-red roof tiles.
The four-winged two-storey château, with a small courtyard in the center, occupies the whole rock and just into the fishpond. A stone bridge, built in 1622, links the château with the banks of the pond, replacing the original drawbridge. The southern edge of the fishpond is covered in thick forest, which forms a backdrop to the château. A marked circular path stretches around the fishpond. Rowing across the fishpond is a pleasant diversion on a hot summer day, and boats can be hired near the château.
2. Schloss Nordkirchen, Germany
Schloss Nordkirchen is located in Westphalia, Germany, and was built in 1703 to 1734. It is known as the “Versailles of Westphalia” as it is the largest of the partly moated castles in that region. The castle stands on a rectangular island surrounded by a broad moat-like canal. At the island’s four corners stand four small free-standing pavilions.
The garden front gives onto a landscaped park of some 170 hectares (0.66 sq mi), reached through a formal parterre of scrolling broderie on axis, flanked by expanses of lawn. The gardens and the surrounded woods are peopled with a multitude of lifesize marble statues of which the first deliveries were made in 1721 from the Munich sculptor Johann Wilhelm Gröninger.
3. Moritzburg Castle, Germany
Moritzburg Castle is a Baroque palace in Moritzburg, in the German state of Saxony, about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) northwest of the Saxon capital, Dresden. The castle has four round towers and lies on a symmetrical artificial island.
It is named after Duke Moritz of Saxony, who had a hunting lodge built there between 1542 and 1546. The surrounding woodlands and lakes have been a favourite hunting area of the electors and kings of Saxony.
4. Vischering Castle, Germany
Vischering Castle in North Rhine-Westfalia is the most typical moated castle in the Münster region of Germany. This region has one of the highest German concentrations of castles, palaces and fortifications.
The castle consists of outer defensive courtyard, defensive gateways, moat, drawbridge, main building and chapel. The sandstone walls, the red tile roofs as well as their reflection in the moat provide many harmonious views from the wooded surroundings.
5. Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Island Castle is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania, on an island in Lake Galvė. The castle is sometimes referred to as “Little Marienburg”. The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century, and around 1409 major works were completed. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance.
The Trakai Island Castle today is the hub where plenty of concerts, events and festivals are held. In Lithuania, the castle is also considered to be one of the most beautiful historical monuments ever. In 1962, a museum was opened here. During the year Trakai Island Castle attracts up to 300 000 visitors.
6. Leeds Castle, UK
Leeds Castle, though only one of hundreds of castles in the U.K., is unique in that it has been updated to a comfortable, livable one. It became a royal palace over 700 years ago and has seen no military action for almost that long. The castle lies in a large park on a small lake – a beautiful sight, especially in the moonlight.