Windsor Castle

pictures, photos, facts and information on Windsor Castle (Windsor)

Windsor Castle ( 640x480 )
Windsor Castle in the Town of Windsor is the largest inhabited castle in the world. Its floor area is approximately 45,000 square metres (484,000 square feet). It is one of the official residences of the British royal family (besides Buckingham Palace in London and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh).

The history of Windsor Castle started to be written by William the Conqueror who built his earth and timber stronghold on the steep chalk hill overlooking the Thames River some 950 years ago. The Castle is closely connected with many of the English kings and queens who were changing it according to their needs, tastes, requirements and finances. The castle has served as a garrison fortress, home, official palace and sometimes as a prison.

The original William the Conqueror stronghold was standing on the site of present day Round Tower, approximately in the middle of the castle. It divides the castle into two parts. The Lower Ward is where the St George Chapter is located. Its construction began the king Edward IV in 1475. Lower Ward has a special gate built by Henry VIII in 1511. The Upper Ward is also known as the Quadrangle and it is closed to tourists. The buildings around it contain the private Royal Apartments and the State Apartments. Here is also St George’s Hall located. It is a vast room which has a ceiling decorated with the coats of arms of past and present members of the Order of the Garter (established by Edward III in 1348).

There is a park behind the Castle known as the Home Park. It adjoins the northern edge of the more extensive Windsor Great Park. It is the home to the Long Walk inspired by French Versailles and built by Charles II.

Windsor Castle has become a popular tourist attraction. It is not far from London and Eton College is just a mile away. For an admission fee one can see some of the interior and yards inside the walls.
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