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Windsor Castle: A Deep Dive into the Oldest and Largest Inhabited Castle in the World

Windsor Castle: A Deep Dive into the Oldest and Largest Inhabited Castle in the World

There are castles, and then there’s Windsor Castle—a living piece of history and a marvellous feat of medieval architecture. Buckle up, folks! We’re about to take a thrilling tour of *Windsor Castle*, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, in a manner that’s both informative and side-splitting fun.

The Ancient Roots: A Royal Abode Since 1070 AD

Are you ready to time travel? Hop into your imaginary TARDIS as we head back to 1070 AD. The man of the hour—*William the Conqueror*—decided he needed a grand fortress to showcase his newly conquered realm. Thus, Windsor Castle was born, initially constructed as a motte-and-bailey design (thankfully, it didn’t stay that rudimentary for long).

Fast forward *950 years*, and the castle has evolved into a sprawling complex dripping with history and unparalleled beauty. If walls could talk, these would have an accent sharper than a British butler’s.

A Home Fit for Queens and Kings

*Windsor Castle* has been the preferred weekend getaway for British monarchs for centuries (we wouldn’t mind moving in either!). It has served as the favoured residence for *Queen Elizabeth II*, who affectionately called it her “second home.” The castle is not just a page-turner history book; it’s a fully functional palace where state banquets are as common as our Sunday roasts.

The Royal Collection: An Unmatched Trove of Treasures

Ever wondered what it’s like to dine like royalty? The State Apartments are the epitome of opulent living, adorned with priceless works of art from the Royal Collection, including pieces by *Rembrandt, Raphael, and Canaletto*. They make the Louvre seem like a village gallery.

The Architecture: A Maze of Timeless Elegance

Architectural buffs, prepare for a jaw-dropping experience. Windsor Castle isn’t just any medieval pile of stones; it’s a stunning mosaic of architectural evolution. With its Gothic towers, *Georgian* chic, and modern-day updates, it’s like strolling through an architectural digest magazine, except much, much older.

St George’s Chapel: A Sacred Spot

Is gothic your thing? The *St George’s Chapel* is an absolute must-see. Constructed in the 14th century, this chapel has been the venue for many royal weddings, including that of *Prince Harry and Meghan Markle* in 2018. It’s also the final resting place for *10 monarchs*, making it not just a pretty face but a significant historical cornerstone.

Don’t Miss: The Highlights of Windsor Castle

  • Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House: A to-scale model of an aristocratic home, complete with working electricity and running water.
  • The Changing of the Guard: Think military precision with a flourish. It’s like a real-life parade every day.
  • The Semi-State Rooms: Lavishly decorated rooms that are used for official entertaining during autumn and winter.

Fun Facts That Will Tickle Your Fancy

  • Area: Windsor Castle sprawls over a whopping 13 acres, which is about as large as eight football pitches.
  • Ghost Stories: It’s said to be haunted by the spirits of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Spooky or what?
  • Population: The castle is home to about 150 people, making it a small, super-exclusive village.

Visiting Windsor Castle

If you’re now itching to pack your bags and dash to *Windsor*, here’s what you should know:

  • Opening Hours: The castle is open to visitors year-round, though specific areas may be closed during certain state events.
  • Tickets: You can buy tickets online from the Royal Collection Trust. Your ticket is valid for a year with an option for free re-entry.
  • Best Time to Visit: Aim for the off-peak months to avoid the sea of tourists that can flock to the castle during summer and special holidays.

Conclusion: More Than Just a Castle

**Windsor Castle** is more than a fortress; it’s a living narrative of the British monarchy’s long and illustrious history. From its Norman beginnings through its function as a royal residence, it continues to captivate and inspire visitors from around the globe. There’s an undeniable magic about Windsor that draws you in, wrapping you in layers of history, opulence, and a fair share of pomp and circumstance.

Have you ever visited Windsor Castle or any other royal residences? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

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