As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we can see love birds gearing up to express their true love for each other. Usually, lovers express their feelings by offering romantic gifts to their partner. But some architecture-loving romantics went above and beyond to make their partner swoon. It is really enthralling to see how some lovers have toiled for the sake of love and built extravagant mansions that live and breathe their love story even hundreds of years after they were constructed.
There are several masterpieces constructed all over the world that are the testament to their owner’s undying love. Here are 10 such magnificent monuments built in the name of love, and each of these has its own fantastic story.
Swallow’s Nest Castle: ‘Castle of Love’ in Crimean, Ukraine
This is one of the most romantic castles of Neo-Gothic style, built in 1912. Originally named ‘The Castle of Love’, The Swallow’s Nest Castle is built near Yalta in the South of Crimea. There was evidence that this beautiful castle was not exactly built for a great love but to create a space where love blossoms. Unfortunately, a massive earthquake in 1927 cracked the 130 feet long Aurora cliff, which closed the castle for the next 40 years.
Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Who is not aware of the TajMahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mehal, this mausoleum is the most iconic symbol of love. Apart from the mausoleum and its four standing minarets, which are finished with white marble, the rest of the building is built of red stone embellished with marble inlays and decorations. The monument features a perfect blend of Islamic, Indian and Persian architectural styles.
Dobroyd Castle in Todmorden, England
Set up high on the Todmorden moors, Dobroyd Castle began as a promise of love and transformed into a honeymoon destination. According to a legend, John Fielden, the son of a rich businessman, fell in love with a weaver girl, who said that she would marry him if he would promise to construct a castle for her on a hill. After completion of construction work, this historic place had four small turrets, 66 luxurious rooms, a stable for 17 horses and a central tower.
Kellie’s Castle in Batu Gajah, Malaysia
It is the oldest castle in Malaysia and built by William Kellie Smith to please his pregnant wife Agnes, whom he married in the early 18th century. This beautiful castle combines three architectural styles, including Greco-Roman, Indian and Moorish Styles. However, the construction work of the castle stopped in 1926 after the death of Kellie Smith from pneumonia. The government then acquired it. It is also said that during its construction, there was a break of flu epidemic which killed almost 70 Indian construction workers. The Smith then created a Hindu temple nearby the castle to please them to restart.
Mystery Castle in Phoenix, Arizona
Situated in the foothills of South Moutain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, this historic place was built in the 1930s by a father named Boyce Luther Gully for his daughter Mary Lou. He used to entertain her daughter with tales of dragons and castles and had promised to build a palace for her one day. But when Mary was five years old, Gully suffered from tuberculosis, which was an incurable disease at that time. After learning he had this disease, he left Seattle and moved to Arizona without informing his family. There he started building a house with inexpensive building materials. In 1945, he wrote a letter from his deathbed that he had developed a castle for her. Soon after receiving the letter, Mary Lou and her mother relocated to that place. Mary Lou lived in that mystery castle until her death in 2010. Today, the castle has become a tourist destination that remains open from Thursday through Sunday.
Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida
This amazing castle is made by Ed Leedskalnin in the early 1920s to showcase his undying love for his fiancé who left him a day before their wedding. It took him 28 years to complete this coral castle, which he used to build usually at night. Today, this legendary castle is visited by thousands of visitors all over the world every year.
Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California
This Californian ‘Castle’ is an architectural reflection of Sarah Winchester’s psyche, who was the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. Sarah believed that her life was in danger and that she was haunted by the spirits of those who were killed by Winchester rifles. Her master plan was to keep continuous construction work so that she would be safe and perhaps live as long as the house was being built. The castle is famous amongst the tourists because of its architectural curiosities, several turns, twists, and dead ends. The maze-like mansion was created so that the ghosts would get lost and never able to find her. In this mansion, there were about 47 fireplaces, 160 rooms and 10,000 window panes. It is now a designated historical landmark and serves as a tourist attraction.
Kodai-Ji Temple, Japan
An outstanding temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama District, Kodai-Ji Temple was established in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro in memory of her soul mate- Toyotomi Hideyoshi. She later started staying in the temple as a priestess and assumed the name KodaiinKogetsuni. The temple is one of Japan’s most significant historical figures that consists of a beautiful garden, the main building and a sanctuary with shrines called the Otama-ya.
PrasatHinPhimai in Phimai, Thailand
Located at the centre of Phimai city, PrasatHinPhimai presents the fantastic and mysterious folk-tale of love and tragedy. The legendary story starts with Pajitt whose father wanted him to get married. After travelling for months in the countryside, he found a pregnant light-skinned woman. He considered her his life partner, but he could not marry a widow. So, he decided to marry the unborn child- Orapima, when she reached at the age of 16. As she grew, they both fell deeply in love with each other. Once they were resting in a forest, a woodsman killed Pajitt and stole Orapima. She murdered the woodsman and returned to Phimai, where she constructed a sanctuary- PrasatHinPhimai. Disheartened Orapima wished for the reincarnation of Pajitt’s spirit. PrasatHinPhimai was sculpted and painted with the scenes from her life with Pajitt.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Austria
Situated in the largest city of Salzburg, Austria, Mirabell Palace is a historic palace built in 1606 by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his princess Salome Alt. The castle went through several renovations after its construction, but still, the interiors of this astonishing mansion remained untouched and preserved ancient beauty. The intricate carvings, sculptures and amazingly designed staircase showcase the true love of Prince for his beloved. This palace with its beautiful gardens is listed as a cultural heritage monument and is also part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site.