Fairy tales, fantasy books and movies have turned most of us into folks that dream and aspire to one day spend some time in the greatest castles of the world. Interestingly, there seem to be majestic monuments of comparable caliber and magnitude that could be deemed a castle. Finding the biggest ten castles of the world was no piece of cake thanks to the unclear definition of castles. This unique list has been compiled for you based on the area covered by each structure. Read on and dream on to live in one someday!
10. Edinburgh Castle (Edinburgh, Scotland)
In the city of Edinburgh lies a magnificent castle by the name of Edinburgh, which seems to dominate the beautiful skyline. Standing tall even post centuries, the castle has firmly held onto the extinct volcanic crag it was built on. The castle has witnessed some great wars to become a key element of the Edinburgh World Heritage site. The castle, along with the 12th century old St. Margaret’s Chapel, is now a world renowned visitor attraction furnished with custom made itineraries and affordable tickets.
9. Citadel Of Aleppo (Aleppo, Syria)
Lying at the crossroads of numerous trade routes, a fifty-meter hill in the heart of the Syrian town of Aleppo has been used by humans ever since the 3rd millennium BC. The Citadel of Aleppo, a structure spanning 39, 804 meters has been holding on since the 13th century. One of the oldest castles of the world, it has been occupied by Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks since its inception. First threatened by sieges, then by overpopulation and presently by the ongoing Syrian war, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is on the danger radar. This castle may not be accessible anymore given the present scenario but that doesn’t hold it back from featuring on our list!
8. Himeji Castle (Himeji, Japan)
The most astounding example of prototype oriental architecture lies in the second largest city of Hyogo – Himeji. The 14th century witnessed the construction of a fort atop a hill, which was eventually expanded into the Himeji castle by the year 1609. Covering about 41,468 meters of surface, this castle has survived earthquakes, bombings, wars and other natural calamities. This castle is also a World Cultural Heritage Site and is accessible from all major cities of Japan being a famous tourist destination. Surrounded by trees and flowers, this castle will definitely give you those royal feels!
7. Buda Castle (Budapest, Hungary)
The vast Buda Castle situated in Budapest, Hungary is sprawled over 44, 674 meters atop the southern part of the Castle Hill. Constructed and fortified in the 13th century following Mongolian attacks, the Buda castle has undergone several renovations and as a ramification features several different architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque. Nighttime promises a breathtaking view of the castle covered in lights and during daytime one can gaze over the entire castle district while enjoying a guided walking tour. The Faust Wine Cellar, Matthias Church and the segway tour are optional attractions you get to dwell in.
6. SpišCastle (Spiš, EasternSlovakia)
The Spis Castle in the northwestern region of Eastern Slovakia was built in the 12th century and has been home to several kings and clans since its formation. Being one of the largest castles in Central Europe, the land and hill it stands on was studied and it so happens that the area has been inhabited since more than 40,000 years! Many films have been shot in the picturesque countryside surrounding the castle ruins. Though in ruins, following earthquakes and fires – the castle spanning across 49,485 meters, remains to be a World Heritage site.
5. Hohensalzburg Castle (Salzburg, Austria)
Hohensalzburg Castle, better known as Hohensalzburg Fortress, is a well-preserved citadel in Salzburg, Austria. You are promised breathtakingly captivating views from atop this castle which is believed to have been never captured by enemies. It is one of the best-preserved castles of the world and was constructed in 11th century. The castle was enlarged to take its present position spread across 54,523 meters during the late 15th century. The Baroque style architecture of this castle lends a unique charm to the Austrian skyline and ensures arrival of visitors each year to the ‘City of Mozart’.
4. Windsor Castle (Windsor, England)
Who hasn’t heard about the largest inhabited castle of England! The Windsor castle in Windsor, England has been an important regal part of the British Empire for over 1000 years. It serves as one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II and covers a total of 54,835 meters of land. Various interesting structures – like the St. George’s Chapel, State Apartments, and Queen Mary’s Dollhouse are housed in the beautiful property. No trip to England is ever complete without paying a 2.5 to 3 hour visit to the grandiose Windsor Castle. It also happens to be the oldest inhabited castle in the world!
3. Prague Castle (Prague, Czech Republic)
You probably might have seen this significant symbol of the ancient Czech State but not quite recognize it. The biggest castle complex in the world is situated in Prague, and is the most iconic landmark in the Czech Republic. Spread across 66,761 square meters, the castle has acted as a ruling seat for Czech Monarchs as early as 880 AD. Many Roman emperors and religious leaders have found sanctum here and the gothic architecture, the Saint Vitus Cathedral, the glorious towers and galleries have captivated travelers since centuries. This World Heritage Site has been listed down in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the largest coherent castle complex in the world – seems like a good enough reason to pay a visit!
2. Mehrangarh Fort (Rajasthan, India)
India being the land of forts and palaces that it is, could not be left un-featured on our list. Although with the word ‘Fort’ in its name, the Mehrangarh Fort is a castle – the biggest one in India. Situated atop a 400-meter high hill and sprawled 81,227 square meters of land area, the castle’s entry is through seven gates. Built in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in the late 15th century, the castle seems to both command and meld with the landscape. The clan of Rajputs and Rathores are known to have centered their headquarters here ever since they started ruling the neighboring provinces. One can look over the entire city of Jodhpur from the castle, which is open for visitors all around the year.
1. Malbork Castle (Malbork, Poland)
Being the largest castle in the world is no easy feat! The Malbork castle attains the number one spot on our list credit to its 143,591 square meters of coverage area. Founded and built around the year 1274 by the Teutonic kings, this castle in Poland was employed as the headquarters to help overcome the Polish enemies. It has since been the ruling province of the northern Baltic territories. The medieval fortified complex, which is enclosed by thick walls comprises of various attractions like museums, monasteries, palaces, weaponry, etc. The castle has been recently restored and declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hope the traveler in you is already at work, penning an itinerary for one or more of the aforementioned castles! Happy traveling!