Harlech Castle, located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a medieval fortification, constructed atop a spur of rock close to the Irish Sea. It sits moodily against the beautiful backdrop of Snowdonia, North Wales. It was built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales. Over the next few centuries, the castle played an important part in several wars and withstood many sieges. UNESCO considers Harlech Castle to be one of "the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe", and it is classed as a World Heritage site.
The fortification is built of local stone and concentric in design, featuring a massive gatehouse that probably once provided high-status accommodation for the castle constable and visiting dignitaries. The sea originally came much closer to Harlech than in modern times, and a water-gate and a long flight of steps leads down from the castle to the former shore, which allowed the castle to be resupplied by sea during sieges.
The castle entirely dominates the sleepy town of Harlech – with just over 2000 people and one small high-street, this town is no match for one of the greatest castles in Great Britain.