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As you may have heard, Disney’s movies and theme parks are incredibly popular in Japan. While Hello Kitty is the reigning queen of cute, she can never rest easy knowing that Minnie is just one step behind, ready to take the throne. And with the immense popularity of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, it’s hardly any wonder that one of the most popular destinations for Japanese folks traveling abroad is Alcázar of Segovia, a Spanish castle which served as the inspiration for the nearly universally-known Cinderella castle.

And when you see the pictures we’ve found of the castle, you’ll want to visit it too!

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The current form of Alcázar of Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage site along with the massive aquaduct and town of Segovia which both lie nearby, is several centuries old, though the location has been in use as a fort since the 12th century! We couldn’t find any mention of how many magic mirrors were stored there though…

The castle, in addition to being beautiful itself, is surrounded by the gorgeous Spanish landscape, including two rivers–Rio Clamores and Rio Eresma–flowing on either side. These rivers not only provide water for the greenery around the castle, but also add an extra layer of defense, in case you ever need to take on a wicked witch and her minions.

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Of course, this Cinderella castle wouldn’t be complete without a love story! And, in fact, the castle was heavily favored by kings and queens for many years and was even used in marriage ceremonies. Unfortunately, it was later abandoned when Madrid became the center of political life, and Alcázar of Segovia turned into a prison. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be a monster prowling the halls looking for someone to love him.

While the outside of the castle is simply stunning and its soft colors surprisingly relaxing, the inside is also astounding. From stained glass windows telling the history of the castle to rooms with “galley ship” roofs, the building is home to numerous relics of a by-gone age. You almost expect to bump into a sentient candelabra.

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You can also get a glimpse into the lives of the royalty hundreds of years ago! For example, the bedchambers and throne room of the king are open for viewing. While we’re sure it was very good to be the king, we can’t help thinking that our mattresses are waaaay more comfortable than this!

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Of course, they did have giant maze gardens too. That kind of makes up for the uncomfortable chairs and beds. Kind of…

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With all these stunning photos, it’s easy to see how this castle inspired the Cinderella castle. It’s like walking into a fairytale! We keep waiting for the hungry dragon to appear.

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While there are certainly numerous beautiful castles in the world, not many of them can claim to have been the inspiration for the most iconic castle in all of cinema!

Source: Naver Matome, Allabout
Images: Naver Matome