People know of Castles as large fortified stone mansions which used to be home to noblemen and rulers centuries past. The biggest castles in the World are some of the strongest standing relics of those centuries past, of those lives lived and lost. They’re a standing testimonial to history, reminding us of what used to be.
As Historical monuments, almost all the biggest and largest Castles in the World have stood the tests of time, renovated and taken care of, preserving past identities. There are a lot of them to be found around the World, be it the forts of India or in the Scottish Highlands, all of them rich and opulent with so much evidence and weight of the past.
Considering that it makes sense for people to go and visit them and tour them, but imagine the people who occupied them. It is a welcome distraction, an escape from present woes into other lives. While Castles were large, their strength wasn’t purely determined by their size but their fortress, the resident ruler, etc.
Here’s a list of the ten biggest castles in the World in terms of total area covered.
10. Edinburgh Castle – Scotland
With 35,737 square meters of total Land Area, this is the 10th biggest Castle in the World, standing tall against the skyline in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has been built over an extinct volcanic crag.
While most of its building dates back to the 16th century, its oldest edifice dates all the way back to the 12th century — St. Margaret’s Chapel. Its etymology can be traced to the words “Din Eidyn”, which translates to “the fortress of Eidyn.”
9. Citadel of Aleppo – Syria
Placed dead centre in the capital of Syria — Aleppo — over a 50-meter high hill, this is one of the oldest Monuments in the entire World, with a land area of 39,804 square meters. The hill, having been used as far back as the 3rd millennium BC, can boast a rich cultural heritage.
Having witnessed several civilisations’ passage, from the Greeks and Byzantines to the Ayyubids and Mamluks. Most of it is as old as the 13th Century, though.
8. Himeji Castle – Hyogo, Japan
Located in Hyogo, Japan, this is one of the most beautiful Castles in the World, a testimony to classic Oriental architecture. While it was completed, in its present form, in 1609, it had been in the process of continued modification all the way back since the 14th Century.
With a total area of 41,468 square meters, it can boast 83 fortified buildings, with an overall appearance that resembles a bird taking flight. It has survived the ravages of several natural calamities, civil war, and nuclear warfare.
7. Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary
With a total area of 44,674 square meters, this is located on Castle Hill in Budapest, Hungary. It was built in the 13th century to fortify against the Mongol Invasion.
Since then, it has withstood several invasions and wars, and it’s been renovated to host several museums, among them the National Gallery. The architectural design, due to its various renovations, can vary from Gothic to Baroque.
6. Spis Castle – Europe
These are Castle ruins that have seen much destruction and renovation. With a land area of 49,485 square meters, this is one of the largest Castle complexes in Europe and Slovakia’s most popular site. It was first built in the 12th century but collapsed due to Tectonic shifts. It was then renovated in the 13th century because of the fear of a Tatar raid.
This was then renovated into a Palace for Hungarian noble families. Later in 1780, a fire destroyed most of it, leaving behind charred ruins, which consecutively became a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its wealth of history.
5. Hohensalzburg Castle – Salzburg, Austria
A well-fortified and preserved fortress in Salzburg, Austria. Being one of the biggest castles in the World, it covers a total land area of 54,523 square meters. Having first been constructed in 1077, it eventually expanded to its present state.
Because of its strategic position, it was never captured by enemies. Surrounded as it is by Frost and snow-covered pine trees and mountains, the view is breathtaking.
4. Windsor Castle – Berkshire.
Constructed in the 1070s, this Castle is the largest currently occupied castle in the World, with a land area of 54,835 square meters and one of the official residencies of Queen Elizabeth II.
It also features some really interesting sites, such as Queen Mary’s Dollhouse and St. George’s Chapel. It as well features a burial ground for ten past monarchs, amongst them being the very controversial ruler King Henry VIII of the Tudor Dynasty and his third wife Jane Seymour, who died in Childbirth.
3. Prague Castle – Czech Republic
With an area of 66,761 square meters, this is the most iconic monument in the Czech Republic and has housed Czech monarchs all the way back since 880 AD. In its current state, it is a site for various heads of state.
It has several interesting tourist attractions, such as museums with historical facts and archaeological artefacts, towers, and the Saint Vitus Cathedral, which is the home to several crown jewels.
2. Mehrangarh Fort – Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, this Indian castle covers a land area of 81,227 square meters, and the fort looms way up over the city at 400 feet. Within its compound lay several other castles as well with vast courtyards featuring interesting carvings and artefacts.
While most of its structures were built in the 17th century, its original conception dates back to the 14th century.
1. Malbork Castle – PolandMalbork Castle
With 143,591 square meters, this is the largest castle in the World by a long shot. Located in Poland, it was founded by Teutonic Knights back in 1274. It was a base for skirmishes against the Polish armies, who were eventually defeated.
Later it was also used as headquarters for the governance of Baltic Territories. This is another site which has been declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage site, hosting several monasteries and displays of medieval weapons and works which were in use by the Teutonic Knights.
These are some of the biggest castles in the World arranged chronologically. Aren’t they amazing? We all would love to visit all of them at least once!