Finding the largest castle in the world sounds both interesting and easy, although it’s not always clear what a castle really is. Besides, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the biggest complex while Wikipedia describes Windsor Castle as the largest inhabited one, so what is the proper way to classify these unique buildings? Let’s talk area size and come up with a list of our own. Here are the 10 largest castles in the world.
10. Edinburgh Castle (35,737 square meters)
Located on an extinct volcanic crag, Edinburgh castle dominates the skyline of the city with the same name. The Scottish construction pre-dates the 16th century and is an important part of history.
9. Citadel of Aleppo (39,804)
The Aleppo Citadel is one of the oldest castles in the world. Standing on 50 meter high hill in the center of Aleppo, Syria, the construction was subsequently occupied by many civilizations including the Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks; it dates from the 13th century, as it stands today.
8. Himeji Castle (41,468)
Himeji Castle is generally considered Japan’s most beautiful castle and is one of the few that survived the civil war, earthquakes and bombings. Originally, a fort was first built on the current site during the 14th century, which gradually enlarged over the centuries. The castle you see today was completed in 1609.
7. Buda Castle (44,674)
Located on the southern tip of Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary, Buda Castle was first fortified in the 13th century, after a Mongol attack led Buda’s citizens to seek a more easily defended neighborhood. It features a mixture of architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque during its various rebuildings.
6. Spis Castle (49,485)
Spis Castle, Slovakia, is one of the largest Medieval castles in central Europe. The main body was fortified by stone walls in the first half of the 13th century and the lower courtyard in the middle of the 15th century. Its beautiful location allows it to be frequently used for films, including Dragonheart (1996) and The Last Legion (2006).
5. Hohensalzburg Castle (54,523)
Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg is one of the largest and best preserved castles in Europe and definitely a good reason to visit Austria. Constructed in 1077, this impressive place was significantly enlarged between 1495 and 1519. I’d get lost living inside that huge construction.
4. Windsor Castle (54,835)
Windsor Castle is often called the largest inhabited castle in the world and it’s definitely the largest castle in England. One of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II, the queen spends many weekends of the year here, as well as host both state and private events.
3. Prague Castle (66,761)
Prague Castle is one of the largest castles in the world and the largest according to the Guinness Book of Records. It dates back to the 9th century and was expanded several times until second half of the 18th century and houses a complex of sights including the St. Vitus Cathedral and the St. George’s Basilica.
2. Mehrangarh Fort (81,227)
Officially, this is a fort, but Mehrangarh can easily be considered an Indian castle. Located on a 122 meter (400 feet) high hill, has 36 meter high and 21 meter wide walls, it takes seven gates to enter this place;originally built in 1459 by the founder of Jodhpur, the fort – as it looks today – dates back to the 17th century.
1. Malbork Castle (143,591)
Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world. Founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Knights, who used it as their headquarters to help defeat Polish enemies, Malbork was expanded several time to host the growing number of Knights until their retreat to Königsburg in 1466.