Forget your passport and expensive airline ticket. If you want to tour a real castle you can stay much closer to home! Just put these four Midwest castles on your “must-see” list and you’ll see what I’m talking about. You won’t even know you’re in the Midwest, much less the United States!
Must-visit castles in the Midwest
Joslyn Castle. Omaha, Nebraska
Built in 1903, this Scottish-style castle-home is an architectural wonder with its gold trim, intricately carved mahogany woodwork, and stained-glass windows. Visitors can tour much of the 19,360-square-foot castle, which includes a ballroom, library, drawing room, music room, reception hall, and more. This 35-room mansion is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. You can find more information here. Or call for tours at: 402-595-1415
Bettendorf Castle. Fox River Grove, Illinois
Theodore (Teddy) Bettendorf immigrated to the United States from Luxembourg in 1931. Bettendorf, an artist and visionary of his time, dreamt of constructing a castle reminiscent of medieval European architecture. Bettendorf used local materials—stones from farmers’ fields and nearby stone quarries—and determinedly set out to build his dream over the course of 30+ years! The completed castle sits atop a scenic bluff overlooking the Fox River, and boasts classic features like battlements, turrets, and even a drawbridge! Find tour information and more here or call 847-639-8280.
Stronghold Castle. Oregon, Illinois
Built in the late 19th century, Stronghold Castle was the vision of Walter Strong, a prominent Chicago businessman and philanthropist. Inspired by his travels in Europe, Strong aimed to recreate the charm of medieval architecture and began construction of the castle in 1899. Stronghold Castle features intricate stonework, a prominent tower, and fortified walls, and was originally intended as a summer retreat for Strong’s family and friends. It later gained a deeper purpose as it transitioned into an educational and spiritual retreat center. See this site for more information and to schedule a tour.
Loveland Castle. Loveland, Ohio
Sir Harry Andrews began building his castle in 1927, fashioning it after Europe’s many famous fortresses. Andrews included battlements, towers, and a drawbridge, all of which hearken back to the romanticism of the Middle Ages. Sir Harry also founded a fraternity called the Knights of the Golden Trail to promote camaraderie, chivalry, and education. Today, the Knights of the Golden Trail organize events, reenactments, and activities that encourage appreciation for history, culture, and the values of honor and loyalty. For additional information check this website or call 513-683-4686.
Have you visited these Midwest castles?
Or have you discovered additional castles in the Midwest that readers should add to their “must see” list? Please tell us in the comments below.