Il Castello

Largest Inhabited Castles in the World

Windsor Castle

There are various castles in a certain country, proving that cumulative count of the grand properties worldwide is high. Castles worldwide vary in construction and period of existence. But one thing is certain; all of these grand properties have rich history to offer. This is a big reason why inhabited castles today are gradually being included as tourist spots.

Although castles were restored or reconstructed after being destroyed in the past, there are those that are not bought for residential use. Some remained to be historical places for public viewing. Given below are best examples of these castles:

St Michel Castle
Photo: David Iliff

Le Mont-Saint-Michel

This castle is located in Normandy, France. The property stands on an island commune. The size of the land is 247 acres and the island itself has a population of 44. You will find this property filled with strategic construction for feudal families. At present, it is among the most recognizable landmarks in the country, having three million people visiting the castle per annum.

According to history, an Irish hermit founded the site. The area became a stronghold of Armorican assemblage. Prior to the monastic establishment, which occurred in the 8th century, the island were the castle was erected is called Mont Tombe.

Edinburgh Castle

This is a well-known castle dominating Edinburgh of Scotland. It is located on an extinct volcanic crag. Few of its parts are built in the 16th century. Alternatively, its oldest building is St. Margaret’s Chapel, which is recorded to have been developed in early 12th century. The nature of settlement in the castle is not certain, but a 2014 study revealed that out of the castle’s 1,100 years history, Edinburgh Castle is a highly surrounded place by hostile forces in Great Britain and one of the most aggressed in the world.

Aleppo Citadel

This is declared as one of the oldest castles worldwide. From the name itself, it is situated in Aleppo’s center of Syria. It stands on a high hill that is 50-meter tall, and the land area measures 39,804 square meters. The hill was known to have been used in the mid third millennium BC. Ayyubids, Greeks, Mamluks, and Byzantines were also recorded occupants of the castle.

Himeji Castle, Japan
Photo: Bernard Gagnon

Himeji Castle

This is also a hilltop castle found in Himeji, Japan. It is considered a Hyogo prefecture covering 41,468 square meters of land area. Himeji Castle is the best representation of prototype oriental construction of castle. Since the feudal period, the castle was constructed with defensive systems, which can be found in 83 buildings.

You will find the castle unique with its representation of a bird that is about to fly. In the 14th century, history claims that it is originally a fort. Several changes then took place. In 1609, the present castle was completed. Similar to other historical castles, Himeji Castle also gone through natural calamities and wars.

Japanese people consider the castle the most beautiful castle in the country. It is also one of the few that escaped the damages brought by bombings and natural calamities.

Buda Castle

You will find this in Budapest, Hungary. It measures 44,674 square meters in land area. The vast property was built in the 13th century. Buda Castle was utilized as a fort to combat Mongol raiders. In 1265, its renovation and improvement for several years ended.

Given the great number of wars and intrusions, more reconstructions were done to the castle. Buda Castle is big enough to include even Hungary’s National Gallery apart from some of its museums.

Hohensalzburg Castle

The castle obtained the name in its location, which is Salzburg of Austria. It is declared as one of the best preserved castles in Europe. In 1077, it was constructed, which then followed by its expansion from 1495 to 1519. The castle covers 54,523 square meters and known for its impregnable construction.

Presently, the castle features its Fortress Museum, which showcases Roman coins, weapons, and musical instruments of ancient times. The trip in the once inhabited area is worth it given the awe-inspiring views.

Castle of Windsor, UK
Photo: David Iliff

Windsor Castle

This is considered the largest inhabited castle in the world. It is obviously the largest castle in England as well. It covers land area measuring 54,835 square meters. Queen Elizabeth II considers this as one of her official residences. The castle is utilized for private entertainment and state events.

Since the construction of the castle in 1070s, its history became rich given its inhabitants. It also served as the burial area for Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, and other monarchs.

Malbork Castle

Out of all the castles listed, this is the biggest with land area measuring 143,591 square meters. You will find this in Poland, Malbork. In the 13th century, a German religious order named Teutonic Knights decided to build the property. It also served as Polish monarchy’s home in 1466. Besides its vast palace, Malbork Castle is known for its monastery and museum.

Large castles served both abode and protection for royal families and noble groups since the ancient times. Until now, the aforementioned castles are undergoing repair and expansion.


Main Photo by visitingeu @ Flickr

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