The palace contains numerous secret passages leading to the rivers, while some of its rooms are decorated with effigies of all the kings of Spain.
Near Sinaia in Romania, it has a striking German Neo-Renaissance style. Located on the slopes of the Bucegi Mountains, it has 160 rooms, all finely decorated, with leather walls and huge windows. However, tourists hardly ever visit it, preferring Bran Castle 50 kilometres away which enjoys the marketing thanks to Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula. However, he did not live there but was based in Poienari, in Wallachia.
The ceiling of its extraordinary Hall of Honour is made of movable glass panels and powered today by an electric motor.
It owes its name to Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896), who had it built on the ruins of an ancient building dating back to the 13th century, the Rocca di Savignano, in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi in the province of Bologna. The structure was modified several times by the count during his lifetime and by his heirs, turning it into a maze of towers, monumental stairways, reception rooms and private rooms recalling different styles: from Neo-Medieval to Neo-Renaissance, from Moorish to Liberty. In short, everything you wouldn't expect in the Apennines. Inside the Rocchetta, the count led a life as a medieval lord of the castle and created a court complete with a jester. During these years he devoted himself to studying and popularising an alternative medicine which he christened 'Electrohomeopathy'. This made him world-famous, so much so that Dostoevsky mentions him in The Brothers Karamazov, where he has the Devil speak of managing to recover from terrible rheumatism thanks to a book and drops from Count Mattei.
This solid fortress is considered to be the largest brick castle in the world and represents one of the most beautiful examples of defensive Gothic architecture in Europe. The imposing structure stands near Gdansk in Pomerania, on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. The castle stands on the Nogat River, a privileged communication route which promoted commercial and cultural exchange. It owes its construction to the Teutonic Order, an ancient association of German crusaders, who wanted a bulwark against the pagan Lithuanian kingdom and the Russian Orthodox Republic of Novgorod. Its original name was in fact 'Ordensburg Marienburg', Mary's Castle, as a sign of devotion to the Virgin, the protector of the Order. The walls enclose an area of 210,000 square metres, more than four times the size of Windsor Castle. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
Author : The Slowear Journal