Are you ready to explore some of the most exquisite structures of the world? Are you ready to witness the grandeur of our ancestors crystallised within their bounds? Well, if you are, then let us tarry no longer and see what the world has to offer in terms of castles!
6. Buda Castle:
Hungary is the first to kick this competition off with its world-famous Buda Castle of Budapest. Occupying a massive land area of 44,674 square metres, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. First completed in 1265, the castle is located on the southern extremity of Castle District (known officially as Várnegyed). Pertaining to innumerable historical Hungarian kings, it adheres to an amalgam of architectural styles – Medieval, Baroque, Baroque Revival, and Modernist, to be precise. Spiritually, the castle and its surrounding palace complex are affiliated with other important monuments of Hungary’s capital such as the Sécsenyi Chain Bridge and Clark Ádám Square. Definitely a must-see!
5. Spiš Castle:
Also known as Szepesi Castle, the Slovakian Spiš Castle is the next one to breach the bounds of this competition. With its sheer area of 41,426 square metres, it surely is a marvel to behold. Proudly overlooking the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra in the region known as Spiš, the castle is visited by more than 250,000 people annually. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, it served as the economic centre of the Kingdom of Hungary. What’s interesting to know about it is that it burned down in 1780 and no one knows how. Wild theories from moonshine-brewing thugs to lightning bolts tickled the minds of specialists but no one managed to give a solid answer. It was partially reconstructed in the late 20th century but nothing significant has happened there since.
4. Windsor Castle:
We could not have made a list of must-visit castles without including the majestic Windsor Castle of England. Adhering to the standards of the Georgian and Victorian architectural styles (with certain inclinations towards the Gothic), Windsor Castle has been in use since the late 11th century (since the Norman invasion). What’s important to know about it in terms of historical significance is that it was built by William the Conqueror himself after his victory in 1066. A royal residence nowadays, the structure itself is owned by Queen Elisabeth II. Stretching upon a land area of 54,835 square metres, it surely is nearly unexplorable – this also means that it is open to the public only in a limited fashion.
3. Prague Castle:
If you think that the previous contestants were hefty, wait until you set eyes upon Prague Castle! Occupying an area of 66,761 square metres, it is the official residence of the Czech heads of state. Built in the 9th century (in 870, to be precise), the castle is a significant archaeological hotspot. Adhering to the standards of the Baroque and the Mannerism in terms of architecture, it was officially finished in 1929. What’s interesting to know about it is that it harbours the Bohemian Crown Jewels. You might even want to listen to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” while you’re at it (wink).
2. Mehrangarh Fort:
Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is most indubitably one of the largest forts of India. Occupying a massive land area of 81,227 square metres, it is situated proudly 125 metres above the city. For this particular reason, it strikes most onlookers as a hefty outcrop, challenging them to explore its secrets. The fort itself has a rich history of battles and this is directly reflected by the damage done to its outer shell by cannonballs. To commemorate his victories over the Jaipur and the Bikaner armies, Maharaja Man Singh laid down its seventh and final gate (that’s right, it has a total of seven). You can reach it by following a winding road from the town below.
1. Malbork Castle:
And we have finally arrived at the most majestic of all medieval architectural masterpieces. Malbork Castle is officially the largest castle in the world with its massive size – occupying 143,591 square metres. Located close to the Polish town of Malbork, the castle has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Order after the conquest of Old Prussia, it was used to strengthen their position in the area. Nowadays, it serves as a popular landmark of Poland and as a renowned museum.
Did you enjoy our list?
How many of the aforementioned castles have you set eyes upon personally? How many of them do you plan on visiting? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Safe travels!