The world's most beautiful castles are better than any Disney fairy tale

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The World's Most Beautiful Historic Castles

If you've ever dreamt about losing a shoe while running down castle steps, leaping from roof top to roof top battling Huns at the emperor's palace or whirling around an empty dance hall like FOX's (yes, FOX's) 'Antastasia,' then there is hope for you.

Fairy tale castles and palaces captured our imagination early on — but little did you know, many of them are based on reality.

The mountaintop Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany was built in the nineteenth century by the shy King Ludwig II as a hideaway. The stunning Bavarian castle, as well as several other castles in Poland, France and Spain, served as inspiration for the 1950 Disney film 'Cinderella' and the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

And while the Little Mermaid might come from under the sea, Prince Eric's seaside castle is inspired by Switzerland's Château de Chillon, a Medieval island fortress along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Even modern day Disney imagineers and artists need a bit of inspiration. For Disney-Pixar's 'Brave,' heroine Merida lives in a Medieval castle that looks just like the Dunnottar Castle perched precariously on the cliffs of north-east Scotland.

So, all hope is not lost if you have fantasized about becoming Sleeping Beauty for a couple of hours. You'll just have to BYOP (bring your own prince).

Click below to the see real-life castles that would make Maleficent jealous:

137 PHOTOS
Most stunning castles in the world
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Most stunning castles in the world

Rundale Palace - Latvia

Photo: Reuters

Turaida Castle - Latvia

Photo: Getty

Trakai Island Castle - Lithuania

Photo: Getty

Mir Castle Complex - Belarus

Photo: Getty

Pless Castle - Poland

Photo: Getty

Goluchow Castle - Poland

Photo: Getty

Moszna Castle - Poland

Photo: Getty

Castle Ksiaz - Poland

Photo: Getty

Neuschwanstein Castle - Germany

Photo: Getty

Eltz Castle - Germany

Photo: Getty

Lichtenstein Castle - Germany

Photo: Getty

Hohenschwangau Castle - Germany

Photo: Getty

Wurzburg Residenz - Germany

Photo: Getty

Sanssouci Palace - Germany

Photo: Getty

Zwinger Palace - Germany

Photo: Getty

Hohenzollern Castle - Germany

Photo: Getty

Muiderslot Castle - Netherlands

Photo: Getty

Castle De Haar - Netherlands

Photo: Getty

Huis Bergh Castle - Netherlands

Photo: Getty

Gravensteen Castle - Belgium

Photo: Getty

The Castle of Veves - Belgium

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Chantilly - France

Photo: Getty

Palace de Versailles - France

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Fontainbleau - France

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Chambord - France

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Chenonceau - France

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Pierrefonds - France

Photo: Getty

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg -France

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Suscinio - France

Photo: Getty

Vianden Castle - Luxembourg

Photo: Getty

Alcazar de Segovia - Spain

Photo: Getty

Castillo de la Mota - Spain

Photo: Getty

Peñafiel Castle - Spain

Photo: Getty

Royal Palace of Aranjuez - Spain

Photo: Getty

Manzanares el Real Castle - Spain

Photo: Getty

Almodovar Castle - Spain

Photo: Getty

Guimaraes Castle - Portugal

Photo: Getty

Obidos Castle - Portugal 

Photo: Getty

Castle of Sao Jorge - Portugal 

Photo: Getty

Chateau de Chillon - Switzerland

Photo: Getty

Gruyères Castle - Switzerland

Photo: Getty

Neuchâtel Castle - Switzerland 

Photo: Getty

Oberhofen Castle - Switzerland

Photo: Getty

Castello di Fenis - Italy

Photo: Getty

Castel Nuovo - Italy

Photo: Getty

Vaduz Castle - Liechtenstein

Photo: Getty

Castle Hochosterwitz - Austria

Photo: Getty

Schonbrunn Castle - Austria

Photo: Getty

Riegersburg Castle- Austria

Photo: Getty

Hohenwerfen Castle - Austia

Photo: Getty

Kreuzenstein Castle - Austria

Photo: Getty

Bled Castle - Slovenia

Photo: Getty

Predjama Castle - Slovenia

Photo: Getty

Sneznik Castle - Slovenia

Photo: Getty

Stari Grad castle - Croatia

Photo: Getty

Gjirokastër Castle - Albania

Photo: Getty

 Golubac Fortress - Serbia

Photo: Getty

Bran Castle - Romania

Photo: Getty

Corvinesti Castle - Romania

Photo: Getty

Peles Castle - Romania

Photo: Getty

The Castle of Buda- Hungary

Photo: Getty

Bojnice Castle - Slovakia

New Castle - Slovakia

Photo: Getty

Prague Castle - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

Palace of Lednice - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

Litomysl Castle - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

Karlstejn Castle - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

Orlik Castle - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

Zleby Castle - Czech Republic

Photo: Getty

The Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle - Ukraine

Photo: Getty

Vorontsov's Palace - Ukraine

Photo: Getty

Ashford Castle - Ireland

Photo: Getty

St Patrick's Rock - Ireland

Photo: Getty

Kilkenny Castle - Ireland

Photo: Getty

Birr Castle - Ireland

Photo: Getty

Lismore Castle - Ireland

Photo: Getty

Warwick Castle - England

Photo: Getty

Bodiam Castle - England

Photo: Getty

Windsor Castle - England

Photo: Getty

St Michael's Mount: England

Photo: Getty

Castle Howard - England

Photo: Getty

Leeds Castle - England

Photo: Getty

Alnwick Castle - England

Photo: Getty

Balmoral Castle -- Scotland

Photo: Getty

Edinburgh Castle -- Scotland

Photo: Getty

Dunnottar Castle - Scotland

Photo: Getty

Glamis Castle - Scotland

Photo: Getty

Eilean Donan - Scotland

Photo: Getty

Stockholm Palace - Sweden

Photo: Getty

Gripsholm Castle - Sweden

Photo: Getty

Akershus Castle -- Norway

Photo: Getty

Kronborg Castle - Denmark

Photo: Getty

Amalienborg Palace - Denmark

Photo: Getty

Frederiksborg Palace - Denmark

Photo: Getty

Olavinlinna Castle - Finland.

Photo: Getty

Ivangorod Fortress - Russia

Photo: Getty

Winter Palace - Russia

Photo: Getty

Peterhof Palace - Russia

Photo: Getty

The Kremlin - Russia

Photo: Getty

Tsaritsyno Palace -- Russia

Photo: Getty

Menshikov Palace -- Russia

Photo: Getty

 Palace of Emperor Alexander III - Russia

Photo: Getty

Pavlovsk Palace - Russia

Photo: Getty

Catherine Palace - Russia

Photo: Getty

Hawa Mahal - India

Photo: Getty

Mehrangarh Fort - India

Photo: Getty

Maharaja's Palace - India

Photo: Getty

Man Mandir Palace -- India.

Photo: Getty

Agra Fort - India

Photo: Getty

Jaisalmer Fort - India

Photo: Getty

Cooch Behar Palace - India

Photo: Getty

Rambagh Palace - India

Photo: Getty

Junagarh Fort - India

Photo: Getty

Dechencholing Palace- Bhutan 

Photo: Getty

Samteling Palace - Bhutan

Photo: Getty

Ahsan Manjil - Bangladesh

Photo: Getty

Mandalay Palace - Myanmar

Photo: Getty

Grand Palace - Thailand

Photo: Getty

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace - Thailand

Photo: Getty

Royal Palace - Cambodia

Photo: Getty

Imperial Palace - China

Photo: Getty

Summer Palace - China

Photo: Getty

Potala Palace - Tibet, China

Photo: Getty

Shenyang Imperial Palace - China

Photo: Getty

Matsumoto Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Nijo Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Himeji Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Matsue Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Kumamoto Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Shuri Castle - Japan

Photo: Getty

Changdeokgung Palace - South Korea

Photo: Getty

Injeongjeon Hall at Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

Nakhal Fort - Oman

Photo: Getty

Krak Des Chevaliers - Syria

Photo: Getty

Kerak Castle - Jordan

Photo: Getty

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By: Morgan Giordano, AOL.com

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