This residence of British monarchs is considered to be the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Tourists from around the world travel to the city of Windsor (Berkshire) to see the magnificent structure.
Windsor Castle is the official residence of kings and queens. It is English history in a nutshell. In the 11th century William the Conqueror built a wooden fort. In 1066, William invaded England and defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and became King William I of England.
Henry II pulled down the wooden buildings and rebuilt it in stone. George IV turned it into a palace.
In 1992, over 110 rooms in the palace were damaged or destroyed in a fire. It took five years to restore the rooms.
Today Windsor Castle is recognized as the most beautiful castle in the world. It was even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest castle in the world.
– The main gate of the castle was built in 1511. It is King Henry VIII Gate. It’s decorated with the Tudor rose and the pomegranate (emblem of Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife).
– The Great Kitchen at Windsor is the oldest kitchen in Britain. And it’s still working!
– In the 1920s the wonderful dolls’ house was made for Queen Mary (Queen Elizabeth I’s grandmother). The paintings in it were created by famous artists and the tiny books were specially written by Rudyard Kipling and Conan Doyle!
– When the Queen is in residence, the Changing of the Guard and other important ceremonies take place.
– David of Scotland, John of France and James I of Scotland were once imprisoned in the Norman Tower.
– St George’s Chapel is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England.
– William the Conqueror, founder of Windsor Castle, started the Tower of London, one of the most famous castles. The Tower has been many things during its long history: a fortress, a palace, a prison, a place of execution, and even a zoo. Today, it’s a historical museum.