The Largest Castles in the World – Folks what you should know is that defining the largest castles in the world is not as simple as one would think! First, the exact definition of a castle is “a defensive structure built as a residence for a ruler or nobleman” and it is not ALWAYS clear what a castle really is. Most people would agree that the Moscow Kremlin is not exactly a castle but the Forts in India are. In this particular article, the ranking of the castles are based on how much actual ground area they cover and is not based on height or the number of rooms. Many of these I myself only recently learned about and frankly, and extremely impressed, if at nothing else – the amount of man hours and labor went into creating these glorious buildings!
Largest Castles in the World
10. EDINBURGH CASTLE
At number ten we have the Edinburgh Castle which is located in Scotland in the city of Edinburgh. It dominates the skyline of the entire city. It sits on a volcanic crag that is extinct now. A few buildings in the castle date back to the sixteenth century. Have you heard of the St. Margaret’s Chapel? Well, that is the oldest surviving building in the city. It dates back to the early twelfth century. The castle covers an area of 35,737 square meters.
9. CITADEL OF ALEPPO
This happens to be one of the oldest castles in the entire world. It is situated on a fifty meter high hill that is in the center of Aleppo in Syria. Research suggests that the usage of the hill by humans began at least in the middle of 3rd millennium BC. The castle has been occupied by Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks since it was built. The majority of what you see as a structure dates back to the thirteenth century. So, if you visit it, what you will see are preserved remains of thirteenth century castle; should be good. It covers an area of 39,804 square meters.
8. HIMEJI CASTLE
This is considered to be the most beautiful castle in all of Japan and it is one of those few that escaped the tortures of civil war and earthquakes and bombings. A fort was built (where the castle stands) in the fourteenth century and it was gradually increased with time. Today it covers an area of 41,468 square meters and it looks absolutely gorgeous. The castle (as it stands today) was completed in the year 1609.
7. BUDA CASTLE
The Buda Castle is located in Budapest, Hungary. It was fortified in the thirteenth century. That happened because of an attack by a Mongol. The people wanted a safer environment and therefore the fortification. The architectural style varies from Gothic to Baroque because it was invaded many times and the rebuilding led to changes in the basic architecture. The castle looks absolutely gorgeous and night and covers an area of 44,674 square meters. The castle is situated on the southern tip of the Castle Hill.
6. SPIS CASTLE
This is one of the largest Medieval castles in the Central Europe. The Spis Castle is located in the eastern part of Slovakia. During the first half of the thirteenth century, the main body of the castle was strongly fortified with stone walls. The lower courtyard was also fortified during the mid of fifteenth century. It is located in the countryside (very beautiful). The location is also used for shooting of different films and that includes ‘The Last Legion’ and ‘Dragonheart’. It covers an area of 49,485 square meters.
5. HOHENSALZBURG CASTLE
The Hohensalzburg Castle is located in Salzburg; an Austrian city. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and it is also one of the largest ones to be preserved that efficiently. The Hohensalzburg Castle was constructed in 1077. It was expanded exponentially between the years 1495 and 1519. Not many alterations or expansions were made after that period. The castle covers an area of 54,523 square meters.
4. WINDSOR CASTLE
The Windsor Castle is definitely the largest castle in all of England. It is also known as the largest inhabited castle of the world. You should know that the Windsor Castle happens to be one of the official residences of the Queen Elizabeth II. She spends a lot of weekends in this castle during the year. She uses the castle to entertain both, the state and her family. It is a sight to behold to be very honest and it covers an area of 54,835 square meters.
3. PRAGUE CASTLE
This castle is listed as the largest castle in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records and since you can see that we gave this one the number three spot, it’s obvious we don’t believe that. The castle dates back to the ninth century and it was expanded countless times till the second half of the eighteenth century. There are many attractions in the castle and many sights including the St. Vitus Cathedral and the St. George’s Basilica. I am not putting my foot down on anyone, but do visit any one of these beautiful castles if you ever get the chance. It covers an area of 66,761 square meters.
2. MEHRANGARH FORT
This structure is not referred to as a castle. It is called a fort and it is equivalent to a castle in India. The castle is sitting on a hill that is 122 meters. It is surrounded by 36 meter high walls that are 21 meters wide. It can be entered after crossing the seven gates. This fort was originally built in 1459 by Jodhpur, Rao Jodhha. He shifted his capital from Mandore during this time. What’s interesting is that what is left of the fort dates back to the 17th century. It covers an area of 81,227 square meters.
1. MALBORK CASTLE
The Malbork Castle ranks number one on this list and it is located in Poland. It is the largest castle in the world and it covers 143,591 square meters. This castle was founded by the Teutonic Knights (Ah, Age of Empires II) in the year 1274. The Malbork Castle was used as headquarters during their skirmishes with the Polish and it was effectively utilized in defeating the Polish armies. It was also used as Headquarters to rule over the northern Baltic Territories. Since the numbers of knights were ever increasing, the castle was expanded many times until they retreated in 1466.