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Beautiful Castles in Illinois

Twelve beautiful castles located in the state of Illinois all of which are open to the public and some of which can be rented out for weddings, parties and special events.

Presented here are a dozen beautiful castles in Illinois. All of these castles are open to the public in some form and most welcome tourists and visitors. A few of these castles have been built to be or converted into hotels, restaurants and bed and breakfast places and a number of them are available to be rented out for weddings, parties and special occasions. Some of these castles were built by state of Illinois while one was built by the city of Chicago and the rest were built by wealthy individuals or companies.

Stronghold Castle in Oregon, Illinois

Image Source by Ben Jacobson

Stronghold Castle is located at 1922 Route 2 North in Oregon, Illinois. Built in 1929-1930 by Walter Strong the editor of the Chicago Daily News after he visited Hearst Castle in California, Stronghold Castle is today owned by the Trustees of the Presbytery of Blackhawk. Stronghold Castle is a conference, retreat and camping center that can be rented out for overnight stays and weddings and is open to the public and hosts special Renaissance type events.

Cook Hall Castle at Illinois State University

Image Source by William Wesen

Located on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois is the Cook Hall Castle on the Quad. Cook Hall Castle was completed in 1898 and was built by order of Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld who loved castles and built many of them on public college campuses in the state. Today Cook Hall Castle houses the School of Music at Illinois State University.

Dunham Castle in Wayne, Illinois

Image Source by Otherbeach

Dunham Castle was built from 1878 to 1882 by Percheron horse breeder Mark Dunham on his Oaklawn Farm estate in Wayne Illinois. Dunham Castle is owned today by the Dunham Woods Riding Club and is located at the intersection of Dunham Road and Army Trail Road.

Altgeld Hall Castle at Northern Illinois University

Image Source by Andy McMurray

Located on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois is Altgeld Hall Castle. Built from 1895-1899 by order of Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld the castle was originally called the Castle on the Hill but the name was changed in 1963 to honor the former governor who signed legislation which created both the university and the castle. Today Altgeld Hall Castle houses the office of the President as well as many other university staffs as well as conference rooms and an auditorium.

Chicago Water Tower Castle

Image Source by Zol87

Located at 806 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago is the Chicago Water Tower Castle. Built around a 138 foot tall water standpipe used to by firemen to fight fires in 1869 the Chicago Water Tower is one of the few buildings in the city that survived the great Chicago fire of 1871. Today the Chicago Water Tower Castle is one of Chicago's official visitor centers and a landmark to bygone era in the city located right in the heart of the hotels, skyscrapers, retail stores and restaurants in the city.

Old Main Castle at Eastern Illinois University

Image Source

The Old Main Castle is located on the campus of Eastern Illinois University and was completed in 1899. The Old Main Castle is yet another Illinois castle built by order of former Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld. Today the Old Main Castle houses the School of Music at Eastern Illinois University.

Havencrest Castle in Savannah, Illinois

Havencrest Castle is a 63 room Victorian castle located in the town of Savannah, Illinois that is available to rent out for weddings, parties and special occasions. Havencrest Castle is also available for private tours. For more info visit their homepage.

Medieval Times Castle in Chicago

Image Source by Kissimmee

Located at 2001 North Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Illinois just northwest of Chicago is the Illinois edition of the popular Medieval Times Castle. Popular with kids and adults the Medieval Times chain of castles offers great entertainment based upon a Medieval theme including jousting and sword-fights between knights and equestrian, falconry and sorcery displays all while being served a huge dinner like kings and queens. For more info about the show at Medieval Times Castle in Chicago call 866-543-9637.

Vianden Castle or Fox River Grove Castle or Bettendorf Castle

Image Source

Located in Fox River Grove Illinois is Vianden Castle which is also known as Fox River Grove Castle and as Bettendorf Castle. The castle was built over 30 years by Theodore Bettendorf who lived as a child in Luxembourg near the original Vianden Castle. After being a private residence closed to the public for many years the current castle owners calling it Bettendorf Castle have opened the castle to the public for weddings, special events, parties and other rent-able occasions.

Altgeld Hall Castle at Southern Illinois University

Image Source by Mark Jaroski

Like the castle located at Northern Illinois University the castle on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is also named Altgeld Hall Castle to honor former Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld who loved castles and had them built on five state campuses. Altgeld Hall Castle at Southern Illinois University today houses the School of Music. If any of the state universities in Illinois ever needed money they could convert these castles to hotels and conference centers and rent them out for weddings and special events.

Ravenstone Castle in Harvard, Illinois

Located at 4504 Route 23 in Harvard, Illinois is Ravenstone Castle. Though Ravenstone Castle looks like a medieval castle it was actually built in 2001 by the Michel family who run the castle today as a bed & breakfast hotel that is available to be rented out for weddings, parties and special events. Tours of Ravenstone Castle can also be arranged at a cost of $10 per person with a minimum of 10 people per tour. For more info visit their website at Ravenstone Castle.

Illinois State Military Museum Castle in Springfield

Image Source

Located at 1301 North MacArthur Boulevard in Springfield, Illinois is the Illinois State Military Museum Castle. This castle museum is not only open to the public but it's also free and chronicles the history of military conflicts from an Illinois perspective.

Busboom Castle

Image Source from Busboom Castle

Busboom Castle, located at 2521 County Road 600E in Dewey, Illinois, about 10 miles northwest of Champaign, was built in the mid 1990s by Bruce Busboom, a construnction superintendent. The castle is almost 5,000 square feet large, and contains a 50 foot long great hall with 22 foot high ceilings. Busboom Castle is available to be rented out for weddings and weekend getaways. For more info visit the Busboom Castle website.

 For more see Beautiful Castles in Texas

Beautiful Castles in Connecticut

Beautiful Castles in Michigan

Beautiful Castles in Ohio

21 Beautiful Famous Castles in California

Beautiful Castles in Washington

19 Beautiful Famous Castles in Pennsylvania

11 Beautiful Famous Castles in Massachusetts

Beautiful Famous Castles in New York

12 Beautiful Famous Castles in Canada

Sources:http://www.dupontcastle.com/castles/#il

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Comments (15)

Beautiful castles. I prefer the construction of the second and seventh. :-)

Another great tour, Joe. It's fascinating to see European styles in America, built with American building stones, with give them such unusual colours.

Stunning photos! I think this might be my new favorite! :)

Interesting piece.

wow! i love castles...and the images arw awesome! thanks for sharing.voted up

I recognized Cook Hall immediately. I'm an lllinois State grad.

Interesting article and nice photos, Joe. I don't know where the medieval influence comes from, but Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois also has a castle-like building. You might like this Peoria castle too (it's a home): http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/North_America/United_States/photo1162501.htm.

Thanks for the info and link Stacy!

You're welcome!

Juli

Great article, but I wish to make a correction to the part about Old Main at Eastern Illinois University. It is our administration building and also houses the Math department. The music department is in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. I believe that SIU houses their music department in their castle may be where the confusion is from.

OK Juli, thanks for the info!

CoryG

Great article, but I have one correction. You listed Altgeld Hall at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale as the home of the math department, when it is actually the School of Music. I am a student of the School of Music and we are extremely proud of our beautiful castle on campus. If you should feel better, I have posted a link to the school of music's page: http://music.siuc.edu.

Thanks for the info CoryG! Edited the article to reflect the info and thanks for reading my article!

Bruce Busboom

Hello,

I came across this website and was surprised to see that my castle is not listed. It is available for smaller weddings, (60 guests max.) or weekend getaways. Please consider listing it!

Best regards,

Bruce.

OK, Bruce. Added Busboom Castle to the list. Thanks for making me aware of your castle. I used a photo from your website, any problem with that just let me know.

Bruce Busboom

Thanks Joe! I also wanted to mention that of all the castles in the U.S., mine (I'm pretty sure) has the only true, working drawbridge. When the drawbridge is lowered, the portcullis automatically raises (it is the counterweight), and a trumpet fanfare plays. I had lots of fun designing and building it.

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