[[quoteright:302:[[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bright_castle.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:302:Looks pretty nice when not cursed.]]

->''"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle."''
-->-- '''Narrator''', Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''

A classic trope within {{Fairy Tale}}s, the Bright Castle is a beautiful structure usually owned by a monarch, magician or powerful creature. It is picturesque, but sometimes cursed or with a dark secret. It can also be the home of the protagonist, who often must either leave the sanctuary, or save it from imminent doom. Expect to see lots of towers and turrets reaching for the sky, and not as much thought given to making it defensible.

The Bright Castle may also contain the MacGuffin, or DeusExMachina that the heroes need. It can also represent an ordeal or trap that they must overcome to better both themselves and their cause. May also be a BigFancyCastle. Often a feature of the ShiningCity.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': For Griffith, an ambitious commoner who dreams of winning his own kingdom, a beautiful castle on a hill is the emblem of the great heights he is trying to reach. Compared to other castles shown which are very military in design, the castle Griffith envisions looks more like something out of a fairytale with its vertically-oriented design and picturesque towers. In the Eclipse, the God Hand show him the castle shining in the distance beyond his reach, and call attention to the contrast between the purity of his dream and the mountain of dead bodies he's walked over in order to get closer to his goal.
* In ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'', the Bright Castle was a (field) spellcard that affected light-based monsters.
** The [[Anime/YuGiOh anime]] also provides a more typical example in the form of the castle of Simlow, home of Princess Adina
* The castle from ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. [[spoiler:As revealed late in the series, it's nothing more than an illusion projected from Akio's planetarium.]]
* The Kanejou family from ''Manga/BGataHKei'' lives in one. PlayedForLaughs, naturally.
* ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'' depicts the home of its alien [[PrincessesRule sovereign princess]] SpiritAdvisor as an [[{{Arcadia}} idyllic land]] of green fields and fairytale castles. Until the villains show up and corrupt it, that is.

* The castle on the Disney logo, which is, based on {{Disney/Cinderella}}'s castle, which in turn is based on the late 19th century [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle Neuschwanstein Castle]] in Bavaria, Germany. Almost ALL of the Franchise/DisneyPrincess films feature this to some extent.
** Disney/SnowWhite's Prince whisked her off to one at the end of the film.
** As mentioned above, ''Cinderella's'' prince lives in one, which Cinderella fantasizes about and eventually goes to the famous ball there.
** ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' lives within one; it is surrounded by a [[TheHedgeOfThorns Hedge of Thorns]].
** The Prince in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' lives in this trope until the Enchantress appears and puts a curse on it. While it is still quite beautiful in many respects, there are signs of what happened there in the decor -- beast face-shaped doorknockers, gargoyles, etc.
** ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' has ''two'': Triton's palace in Atlantica, and Eric's castle by the sea.
** ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' has the Sultan's palace
** Pride Rock from ''Disney/TheLionKing''. Though not necessarily a castle in our sense- it is one for Simba and family, still it's a beautiful and imposing natural structure.
** Mount Olympus from ''Disney/{{Hercules}}''. Unique in that it's completely inaccessible to mortals unless special requirements are met.
** The Imperial Palace from ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''. Distinct in that this is the only palace that the movie's matching princess does not live in/has lived in/moved into.
** Kuzco's palace from ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''.
** Nedakh Palace from ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire''.
** ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' has the royal castle of the Kingdom of the Sun.
** ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', being an AffectionateParody of Franchise/DisneyPrincess films, of course has the castle of Prince Edward. Parodied in New York with the billboard castle.
** Aside from the existing castle she and Anna grew up in, Elsa actually builds one from scratch using her ice powers in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''.
* Far Far Away Castle from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' sequels. The first film, being something of a TakeThat at Disney's RealLife corporate practices as opposed to their fairytale image, features Lord Farquaad's brightly lit and impressively large castle, which comes across as monolithic (rather than ornate) and kind of creepy (rather than cheerful).

* The castle in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' is this. Lots of windows, which would be expensive in the somewhat medieval setting. It is also very nice and bright inside.
* The Ivory Tower from ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory''.
* Cair Paravel from ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''.
* Minas Ithil and Minas Arnor from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* The castle in Genua from ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', which falls very definitely under LightIsNotGood.
* Caemlyn Palace in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Seen in the first episode of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' (and occasional flashbacks since then). Snow White and Prince Charming were married in it, although oddly, we're never told whose castle it was.
* Camelot from ''Series/{{Merlin}}'', which is actually the real-life castle of Pierrefonds in France.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Ipsen's Castle from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' (as the McGuffin Storage Facility), and Alexandria Castle (as "home with a dark secret").
* The shining, Gothic Anor Londo in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''.
* Princess Peach's castle from the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series games.
** Beanbean Castle in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga''.
** Pi'illo Castle manages to come off as this in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'' despite being a ruin. It helps that, despite its original Pi'illo inhabitants being TakenForGranite for centuries, it's being preserved by Brocks and other races as a tourist destination.
* Hyrule Castle from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series games. Though it occasionally loses its luster when taken over by the BigBad, especially in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild''.
** It is implied in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'' that Lorule Castle was this BeforeTheDarkTimes.
* Dark Beauty Castle in ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'', at least before the Blot Wars.
* The giant castle/church of Bevelle from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' probably qualifies.
* Castle Waxwane in ''VideoGame/{{Puppeteer}}'', though some of its luster has faded with the shattering of the Moonstone.
* In ''VideoGame/DisneyPrincessEnchantedJourney'', Gentlehaven Castle is abandoned due to a curse. After you beat the final boss, it's restored to its former glory.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' features many castles from the source materials, and it also has its own original ones:
** Radiant Garden's towering bastion in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep''.
** Disney Castle is a cartoony take, with bouncy, exaggerated spires. It's also inspired by either the castle in the Walt Disney Pictures logo, o Cinderella castle in the parks.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Canterlot in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
* The white, [[BigFancyCastle sprawling]] palace of Thundera in ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011''
* ''WesternAnimation/LavenderCastle'', waiting, watching over the characters as they fly right past [[FailedASpotCheck within easy visual range]] several times, glowing its [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin characteristic colour]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Cinderella Castle, the centerpiece of the "Magic Kingdom" Ride/DisneyThemeParks.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle Neuschwanstein Castle]], the TropeMaker.
* The Fairy Castle dollhouse at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is a miniature example.