Lifestyle

Regal Ease: Texas Hill Country Castles too Charming to Miss

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Hidden away in the Texas Hill Country are real-life, honest-to-goodness castles. We’re not talking enormous fortresses with moats and ogres and whatnot, but smaller versions intermingled amongst the Hill Country as its beautiful vistas. Within 90 minutes (driving of course, not charging ahead on your steed) of Austin, one can be found, and there are more still.

Oh, there are the usual suspects such as the Texas Military Institute Castle and perhaps Pemberton Castle, but the true castle feeling can be found in the rolling hills and dramatic landscapes that harbor them. And since certain areas of the Texas Hill Country mirror that of European landscapes, what better place to have one? Here are three Texas Hill Country castles to gaze upon and bask in the glory of!

1. Castle Avalon

Regal Ease: Texas Hill Country Castles

Photo: Pinterest/Shannon Elliott

Constructed in 1996 in New Braunfels, Castle Avalon features a 22-foot-tall gatehouse, a beautiful 160-acre property, a gorgeous staircase and ballroom area, beautiful chandeliers, and painted ceilings, together with charming medieval décor pieces. Previously, the castle was a fully operational bed and breakfast and commercial restaurant, and now its primary function is the hosting of weddings and special events.

2. Smythwick Castle & Lodge

Regal Ease: Texas Hill Country Castles

Photo: Pinterest/Smythwick Castle & Lodge

The smallest of the three Texas Hill Country castles featured here, and not often viewed in the traditional sense of what a castle is, the description and the property itself are like something out of a novel. Situated on 10 acres of pristine Hill Country oak and waterfall-covered property, the Smythwick is a venue for fine events such as weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and the like. It’s also been known to host cooking classes, with overnight stays, and has been available to rent on Airbnb. The property has five bedrooms that accommodate 10 people comfortably.

3. Falkenstein Castle

Regal Ease: Texas Hill Country Castles

Photo: Pinterest/Rachel Littleton

A Texas Hill Country castle with a Bavarian backstory, Falkenstein Castle was constructed in 1996 by a Texas developer named Terry Young, together with his wife Kim. The concept came from a trip to Germany they had taken in 1995 when the couple visited Castle Neuschwanstein (the very same that inspired the Disney Wold castle.) While touring the castle, they noted original architectural drawings that appeared to differ greatly from the completed building and learned of a secret project which was going to be considered once Neuschwanstein was completed. This secret project would eclipse Neuschwanstein in beauty and ornateness, but as a result of the king’s untimely death, the plans for the secret design were never actioned. It was these same drawings that inspired Falkenstein Castle. Considered a private residence, the castle can still be rented for weddings, and has been for TV and movie projects. Due to it being a private residence, the gates are typically shut and tours aren’t necessarily something that are frequently entertained. Its beauty from the outside would typically make you sigh, however, which qualifies this as possibly the “best for last”.