Castles have always been associated with power and wealth. Throughout history, they have been the homes of kings, queens, and other nobles. And while many castles are now in ruins, a few still remain as some of the largest and most impressive structures on the planet. So if you’re looking for an epic vacation spot or just want to see some breathtaking architecture, read on for a list of the 21 largest castles in the world!
A castle is a large and imposing fortified residence, typically one built by a king or queen. Castles were important because they served as the primary residence of the monarch and were used as a base for governing the kingdom. They were also often used as a military stronghold, and as a place to store treasures and important documents.
The largest castles in the world
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the German state of Bavaria, Standing at 6,000 square meters on top of a hill in the Alps. The castle was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century as a retreat and homage to Richard Wagner. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and is known for its stunning fairytale-like appearance.
Buda Castle, Hungary
Buda Castle is the historic castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, first completed in 1265. In the past, it has been called Royal Palace and Royal Castle.
Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known today as Fortuna Street. It is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular. The castle is part of the World Heritage Site “Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue”.
Cite De Carcassonne, France
This imposing medieval fortress stands at 109,265 and it is located in the French city of Carcassonne. The castle dates back to the early 13th century and was built to control the strategic position between France and Spain. Cite de Carcassonne was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.
Windsor Castle, England
Windsor Castle is a royal residence located in Windsor, England. The castle with 54,835 square meters, has been inhabited for over 900 years and is currently the longest-occupied palace in Europe. Windsor Castle was originally built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England.
It covers an area of about 13 hectares. It is surrounded by a moat, and there are several gates and towers. The castle has been expanded and remodeled several times. Today, Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the British royal family.
Mannheim Palace, Germany
Mannheim Palace is a large Baroque palace located in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The palace was built in 1720 and has been the home of several German princes over the years. Today, the palace is used as a museum and cultural center.
You may also be interested in:
Kronborg Castle, Denmark
Kronborg Castle is a Danish fortress located in the city of Helsingør. The castle was built in the 1420s to control the narrow straits between Denmark and Sweden. Kronborg Castle is also famous for being the setting of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle is a 13th-century castle located on an island in Loch Duich in the Scottish Highlands. The castle was built as a defensive structure to protect the region from Viking invasions. Today, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland.
Bran Castle, Romania
Bran Castle is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The castle is located in the town of Bran and is known for its association with the legend of Dracula. Although Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was not set in Bran Castle, it has become popularly known as “Dracula’s Castle” due to its resemblance to the description of Castle Dracula in the novel.
Mont-Saint-Michel is a small rocky island located in the Normandy region of France. The island is home to the famous Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, which was built in the 8th century.
The Mont-Saint-Michel island is 7 hectares (17 acres) in size and lies 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) off the country’s north-western coast, near Port of Avranches, at the mouth of the Couesnon River. The commune on the mainland has an area of 393 hectares (971 acres), thus the total surface of the municipality is 400 hectares (988 acres).
Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Island Castle is a Gothic-style castle built in the 14th century on an island in present-day Lithuania. The castle was initially built as a defensive fortress to protect the city of Trakai from attacks by the Teutonic Order, but it soon became the residence of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes. The castle was seriously damaged during the 18th century and was restored in the 19th century. Today, Trakai Island Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lithuania.
Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle is a Romanesque-style castle in present-day Slovakia. The castle was built in the 12th century and has been home to many different owners over the centuries. The castle was first owned by the Panske family, then the Csaky family, and finally the Andrassy family. The castle has been open to the public since 1955 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Slovakia.
Alhambra Palace, Spain
The Alhambra Palace is a Moorish-style palace in Granada, Spain. The palace was built in the 14th century by the Nasrid sultan Muhammad V and was originally used as a fortress. However, the palace soon became the main residence of the sultans of Granada. The Alhambra Palace was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain.
Balmoral Castle, Scotland
Balmoral Castle is a Scottish baronial-style castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The castle was built in the 16th century by the 1st Earl of Moray and has been the official residence of the British royal family since 1852. The castle is open to the public from April to July each year.
Citadel of Aleppo, Syria
The Citadel of Aleppo is one of the largest castles in the world. It is a large fortress located in the city of Aleppo, Syria. The castle has been occupied by many different civilizations over the centuries, and it has been damaged and rebuilt many times. The current structure dates back to the Mamluk period.
The Citadel of Aleppo covers an area of about 30 hectares. It is surrounded by a moat, and there are several gates and towers. The castle has a number of palaces, mosques, and other buildings. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is a large castle located in Edinburgh, Scotland. The castle has been occupied since the 11th century. It is the home of the Scottish Crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. The castle is also home to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The castle covers an area of about 35 hectares. It is surrounded by a moat, and there are several gates and towers.
Himeji Castle, Japan
Himeji Castle is a Japanese castle complex located in the city of Himeji, in Hyōgo Prefecture, on the island of Honshū. The castle is regarded as the finest surviving example of prototypical Japanese castle architecture, comprising 13 structures that have been designated as National Treasures and furthermore listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle complex is a collection of 83 buildings, including 68 National Treasures and important cultural assets. The main keep, or tenshu, is the largest and most celebrated castle structure in Japan. It is nicknamed “White Heron Castle” because of its brilliant white exterior and majestic location atop a hill overlooking the city.
Spis Castle, Slovakia
Spiš Castle is a medieval castle in eastern Slovakia. It is situated above the village of Spišské Podhradie and the town of Levoca, in the region known as Spiš. With an area of 41 hectares (101 acres), it is one of the largest castles in Central Europe. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the largest castle sites in Europe.
The castle was first built in the 12th century and served as a seat for the kings of Hungary. In the 16th century, it became the property of the House of Thurzo, a noble family from the Kingdom of Hungary. The castle complex was badly damaged by fire in 1780 and has been in ruins since.
Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria
Hohensalzburg Castle is a fortress located in the city of Salzburg, Austria. Built on top of Festungsberg, a small hill in the city, it is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe and one of the best-preserved fortifications from the Middle Ages. The castle was constructed by order of Prince-Archbishop Gebhard III in 1077. It served as the seat of the archbishops of Salzburg and a fortress to protect the city from invasion.
The castle was expanded and remodeled several times during its history, most notably in the 14th and 17th centuries. Today, it is a major tourist attraction and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Austria.
Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It is the largest ancient castle in the world and the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was built in the 9th century and has been expanded and renovated many times over the centuries.
The complex covers an area of about 70 hectares (170 acres) and includes a number of historical buildings, such as the Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Golden Lane.
The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Prague.
Mehrangarh Fort, India
Mehrangarh Fort is a fort located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. It is one of the largest forts in India and one of the most imposing structures in Rajasthan. The fort was built in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur.
The fort is a complex of several buildings, including a palace, temples, and courtyards. The fort walls are up to 36 meters (118 feet) high and 21 meters (69 feet) thick. There are four main gates, each with its own name and purpose.
The fort is a major tourist attraction in Jodhpur and one of the most visited forts in Rajasthan.
Malbork Castle, Poland
Malbork Castle is a castle located in Malbork, Poland. It is the largest castle in the world by area and one of the most famous castles in Europe. The castle was built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Order as their headquarters and seat of power.
The castle complex includes three main parts: the High Castle, the Middle Castle, and the Lower Castle. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Poland’s most popular tourist destinations.
The 21 largest castles in the world are a testament to man’s ingenuity and desire for protection. These imposing structures, some of which date back centuries, are popular tourist destinations due to their impressive size and history. Whether you’re interested in medieval history or just enjoy visiting amazing landmarks, these castles should be at the top of your list.