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10 Unique Castles

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle in Wales.
Cardiff Castle in Wales.
© ­iStockphoto/poechri

­Wales is home to many castles, and Cardiff Castle is one of the country's jewels. Throughout its 2,000-year history, the castle has changed dramatically, starting as a timber fortress and evolving into a stone palace. It's served various functions, including a Roman fort, Norman stronghold and Victorian residence likened to a fairy tale. It was left mostly intact after the destruction of World War II, and much of its rich history is evident today. The castle has been occupied by many families since it was built, but the most recent owners donated it to the people of Cardiff. Today, Cardiff Castle is part of an ongoing conservation project and attracts visitors who tour the grounds and Mediterranean gardens; attend special events, such as concerts and lectures; and participate in the castle's Victorian Christmas celebration.