The human race really is incredible, isn’t it?
In the past 100 years alone we’ve invented television, the internet and the electric car amongst countless others.
But, even centuries before this, it is the work of master builders and expert architects that still stands tall to this day in the form of Castles, Chateaux and Palaces across Europe.
At Freewheel Holidays we’ve made it our goal to offer cycling holiday enthusiasts amazing trips to these wonders from centuries gone by.
Here’s a look at our top 5 awe-inspiring buildings to visit on a cycling holiday:
Situated along the idyllic Loire River in France, the Loire Valley Castles (or Chateaux of the Loire Valley) are a collection of over three hundred castles and classic residences dating back to the 10th century.
French Kings of old recognised the valley to be the perfect site for their castles and as soon as the originals were built and seen in all their splendour, other castles and residences followed suit.
Like something out of a fairy-tale, you will be entranced as you ride from one awe-inspiring structure to the next, passing by thousands of years of French history and culture.
With good reason, the Valley was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 and continues to be a totally unique geographical and architectural wonder to this day.
One of the most recognisable cathedrals in all of Europe, St Vitus Cathedral is situated just outside the centre of Prague within the grounds of Prague Castle in the Czech Republic and is well known for its reconstruction to become the ‘Gothic Cathedral’ we all know today.
The very first building at the site was completed in 930, but construction was only finalized in 1929 1000 years after it began, making it one of the longest architectural feats in history.
Its imposing and unique design was highly influential on other architects and eventually led to the popularisation of the Gothic style across much of Europe.
Just outside Vincenza in Italy, atop a quaint hillside you’ll find a stunning piece of Italian architecture known as the Villa Capra (Or “La Rotonda”).
Surrounded by white pillars on all sides, it offers exquisite views to the surrounding landscape and was specifically designed to keep with the natural harmony of the local nature.
In fact, just before construction began, the design was altered by 45 degrees to accommodate each room receiving sunlight at some point during the day. An interesting idea!
It has since inspired similar villas overseas including the famous Chiswick House in London.
Formerly home to Hungarian Royalty, it’s easy to see why Visegrad would seem so appealing to a ruler looking to settle down.
Nestled atop a steep hill, the castle was constructed after King Bela IV grew concerned after an invasion by Mongol troops.
He requested a castle with solid reinforcement, a good view point of potential surrounding threats and a new fortification system.
Upon completion it quickly became the Hungarian Royals’ favourite choice of residence.
While much of the castle has been destroyed over the centuries, it is still open to the public today.#
Built in the 13th and 14th century, Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland serves as a prime example of a combination of architectural styles perfectly blended together!
A mixture of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque influences, the castle and its surroundings are considered to be some of the most historically important sights in the entire country.
Formerly home to Polish Royalty, the castle is now a hugely popular museum, featuring some of the most beloved and revered artwork in Europe.
The castle is so renowned in Polish culture, in fact, that a column fragment from the castle was incorporated into the construction of the Tribune Tower in Chicago USA which boasts a large Polish population.
All of these magnificent buildings are just a taste of what you can expect on a Cycling Holiday for Castles, Chateaux and Palaces.
If you’d like to see what we have available for you, visit our dedicated page here: https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/castles-palaces
Or, if there’s anything else you’d like to know, feel free to contact us and we’ll find the perfect cycling holiday to match your needs.