Royal residences in Europe and Asia have inspired writers from Shakespeare, who set Hamlet at Kronborg Castle in Denmark, to Henry James, who admired Switzerland’s lakeside Château de Chillon. In James’s day, wealthy Americans crossed the Atlantic for a grand tour of Europe, visiting the great monuments and castles of the Old World. Today, these opulent palaces are still some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, offering contemporary visitors a glimpse into the past. You can’t spend a night in these palaces, (though there are many others that have been converted to hotels), but you can visit them and soak in their architectural splendor and rich history.
by Laura Itzkowitz