A moat is a deep artificial ditch, built as a line of defense around a castle or even an entire town. Here’s a list of 7 beautiful moats found around the world
Fort Bourtange, Bourtange, the Netherlands
A beautiful star shaped fort surrounded by an artificial moat with a similar shape. The fort was built in 1593 in order to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen. The fort experienced its final battle in 1672 and was converted to a village in 1851. Today Fort Bourtange serves as a historical museum.
Forbidden City, Beijing, China
The previous two moats surround beautiful castles, but they are rather small. On to much larger moats, the Forbidden City in the center of Beijing was the Chinese imperial palace from the 15th century to early 20th century. The large complex of almost a thousand buildings is surrounded by a 7.9 meters (26 ft) high wall, and a moat 6 meters (20 ft) deep and 52 meters (171 ft) wide.
Egeskov Castle, Funen island, Denmark
This 16th century castle is often mentioned as Europe’s best preserved Renaissance water castle. It is located in a small lake with a maximum depth of 5 meters (16 ft) that acts as a natural moat. Originally the only access to the castle was with a drawbridge. Today most of the castle is open to the public, and it is home to several museums.
Caerlaverock Castle, southern coast of Scotland
The Caerlaverock Castle is a triangular shaped moated castle. First built in the 13th century, the castle was ruined and reconstructed many times, but kept it’s original shape. Today the castle is a popular tourist attraction. Click here for the official site.
Matsumoto Castle, near Tokyo, Japan
Located about 3 hours drive from Tokyo, the Matsumoto Castle is the oldest and one of the most famous castles in Japan. Also known as the Crow Castle, the castle is surrounded by walls and moats. The castle was built at the beginning of the 16th century and was used till mid 19th century.
Bodiam Castle, East Sussex, England
This beautiful castle was built at the end of the 14th century. The castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in order to defend the area from French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. The moat surrounding the castle is on average only 1.5 meters (5 ft) deep but reaches a maximum of 2.1 meters (7 ft). The castle is about two hours drive from London.
Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly, Wales
This 13th century medieval fortification in South Wales saw many battles. The castle is surrounded by artificial lakes and considered to be the most elaborate water defenses in Britain. The castle and its moats are among the largest castles in Britain. As expected, today the castle is a tourist attractions.