Sallyann Cobos

Written by Sallyann Cobos

Modified & Updated: 01 Jul 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

17-extraordinary-facts-about-windsor-castle
Source: Rct.uk

Windsor Castle, a stunning piece of architectural marvel nestled in the picturesque county of Berkshire, England, is not just your ordinary castle. It is an iconic landmark with a rich history and fascinating tales to tell. As one of the oldest and largest inhabited castles in the world, Windsor Castle has stood the test of time and witnessed significant events throughout history.

In this article, we will delve into the extraordinary facts surrounding this magnificent castle, from its construction to its current role as a royal residence and tourist attraction. Get ready to discover the lesser-known details that make Windsor Castle a truly remarkable beacon of British heritage.

Key Takeaways:

  • Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, serving as the official residence of the British monarch for over 900 years. Its grandeur and rich history make it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
  • The castle’s stunning architecture, royal art collections, and historic significance, including royal weddings and the Order of the Garter, make it a captivating destination for visitors from around the world.
Table of Contents

The Oldest and Largest Occupied Castle in the World

Windsor Castle, located in Berkshire, England, holds the title of the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. With over 900 years of history, it has served as the official residence of the British monarch.

Home to the Queen

Windsor Castle is a favored residence of Queen Elizabeth II. It serves as a weekend getaway and a venue for official ceremonies and state visits. The castle’s grandeur and regal atmosphere make it a fitting home for the reigning monarch.

A Marvel of Medieval Architecture

The architecture of Windsor Castle is a testament to medieval craftsmanship. Built in the 11th century, it showcases a unique combination of Norman, Gothic, and Georgian styles, reflecting the various periods of its construction and expansion.

The Stunning State Apartments

One of the highlights of Windsor Castle is the State Apartments, which are lavishly decorated and filled with exquisite artworks. These opulent rooms serve as a backdrop for state occasions and royal entertaining.

A Home for Royal Art Collections

Windsor Castle boasts an impressive art collection, including paintings by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck. The castle’s gallery houses these priceless masterpieces, allowing visitors to appreciate their beauty.

The St. George’s Chapel

The magnificent St. George’s Chapel is located within the grounds of Windsor Castle. This historic chapel has witnessed numerous royal weddings and is the final resting place for several British monarchs, including King Henry VIII.

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House

The castle is also home to Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a miniature masterpiece that showcases incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. It includes tiny replicas of real items, from working lights to fully stocked tiny kitchens.

The Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at Windsor Castle, captivating visitors with its pageantry and precision. This ceremonial tradition has been carried out for centuries and remains a popular attraction today.

The Royal Ascot at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is closely associated with the prestigious Royal Ascot, one of the UK’s most famous horse racing events. The Royal Family has been attending this annual event since the early 18th century.

Surviving the Great Fire of 1992

In 1992, a devastating fire broke out at Windsor Castle, causing extensive damage to several state rooms. However, it was meticulously restored over the next five years, ensuring the preservation of its historic grandeur.

The Iconic Round Tower

The Round Tower is a prominent feature of Windsor Castle and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower and marvel at the stunning vistas.

The Long Walk

The Long Walk is a scenic avenue that stretches for over two and a half miles, leading from Windsor Castle to the iconic Copper Horse statue on Snow Hill. It is a favorite spot for leisurely walks and picnics.

Royal Windsor Horse Show

Windsor Castle is also the venue for the Royal Windsor Horse Show, a prestigious equestrian event attended by members of the Royal Family. It features impressive displays of horsemanship and attracts visitors from around the world.

A Setting for Royal Weddings

Windsor Castle has served as a backdrop for numerous royal weddings, including the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Its grandeur and romantic ambiance make it a sought-after location for couples tying the knot.

Home to the Order of the Garter

The Order of the Garter, the oldest and most prestigious order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, has its spiritual home at Windsor Castle. The annual Garter Day ceremony attracts international dignitaries and showcases British traditions.

The Royal Mausoleum

The castle is also home to the Royal Mausoleum, the burial place of numerous members of the Royal Family. It is a solemn and peaceful spot where the departed royals rest in eternal peace.

Open to the Public

Despite being a royal residence, Windsor Castle welcomes visitors from around the world. Exploring its magnificent grounds, breathtaking interiors, and rich history is an unforgettable experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Windsor Castle is an extraordinary landmark filled with a rich history and fascinating facts. From being the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world to serving as the official residence of the British monarchy, Windsor Castle is a true marvel. Its stunning architecture, magnificent State Apartments, and beautiful grounds make it a must-visit destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring the castle’s history, enjoying the breathtaking views from the Long Walk, or marveling at the intricate details of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle offers an unforgettable experience. So, make sure to add this extraordinary landmark to your travel bucket list and immerse yourself in the grandeur and wonders of Windsor Castle.

FAQs

1. When was Windsor Castle built?

Windsor Castle was originally built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, following the Norman invasion of England.

2. Is Windsor Castle open to the public?

Yes, most of Windsor Castle is open to the public. Visitors can explore the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, and St. George’s Chapel, among other attractions.

3. Can you visit the Queen’s private residence in Windsor Castle?

No, the Queen’s private residence, known as the Private Apartments, is not open to the public. Only certain areas of the castle are accessible to visitors.

4. How long does it take to tour Windsor Castle?

A typical visit to Windsor Castle can take around 2-3 hours, depending on the level of exploration and the crowds.

5. Can you take photographs inside Windsor Castle?

Photography is not allowed inside the State Apartments, but you are allowed to take photos in the precincts and exterior areas of the castle.

Windsor Castle's rich history and stunning architecture make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in British royalty. From its status as the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world to its role as a venue for royal weddings and events, Windsor Castle never fails to impress. If you're curious to learn more about this iconic landmark, why not explore some additional fascinating facts? Delve into the excitement of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where top equestrians compete in a variety of disciplines against the backdrop of Windsor Castle's breathtaking grounds.

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