The majestic Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the British sovereign and has the distinction of being the biggest castle on the globe that is used as an occupied residence. It has existed as a fortress and royal abode for more than nine centuries and is still used as a functioning palace in the present day. The castle is used as a private residence by the Queen as a favoured weekend home, in addition to being an official venue where the monarch conducts certain official ceremonies.
The original building on the premises was constructed by William the Conqueror following the Norman Conquest. The castle has been made use of by each monarch in succession after Henry I who commenced a tradition of royal use of the edifice. Therefore it holds the position of being Europe’s longest consistently occupied palatial edifice. Today it is one of Britain’s most esteemed architectural creations and a noteworthy tourist magnet.
Windsor Castle extends over an area exceeding 13 acres and seems to resemble a combination of a palace, a fortification and a small scale town. The castle is considered to display Victorian and Georgian design elements with a structure showing its medieval era origins. A noteworthy feature is the distinctive Gothic aspects which have been modified with contemporary influences.
The Middle Ward is the name given to the central section of the compound which is constructed on a manmade hillock called a motte. Meanwhile the Upper Ward consists of several large buildings including the State Apartments with their imposing architecture and the private apartments used by royalty. On the other hand the Lower Ward was originally primarily of medieval design, but has been modified during the Victorian era to present an unmistakable Gothic character.
Although one might expect extensive gardens at such a magnificent palace, the castle’s location on steep grounds limits their extent. However the castle is encircled by luxuriant parklands, with picturesquely beautiful grounds presenting a scenic view.
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