For months I have been posting about our holiday to England and today I present to you the final post… Windsor Castle!
On the last day of our holiday, we decided to stop in Windsor to visit the castle. We had been in Windsor before a couple of years ago and you can read this post about our visit back then. We didn’t go inside the castle then as we didn’t have enough time and there was a very long queue.
But this time I had booked tickets in advance and we made sure we were at the castle around opening time. We still had to queue though because of the security check, but after about 45 minutes we stepped inside the domain of Windsor Castle.
And boy… impressive it was! This castle is a result of over 1000 years of development. I won’t bother you with much history, but here are some facts:
- Windsor Castle was founded by William The Conqueror in the 11th century.
- It has been the home to 39 monarchs so far.
- It is one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II. She is officially in residence twice a year: at Easter and in June.
- The Castle is used for ceremonial visits by foreign heads of state and for several Royal events (like recently the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
- The Castle is divided into three areas: the Lower Ward, the Middle Ward and the Upper Ward.
- Windsor Castle occupies 10.5 hectares.
- More than 160 people live within the premises of the castle.
- Over 200 people work at the castle.
- The castle was built as one of a chain of fortifications around London. It is the only one to have survived intact.
- Henry VIII travelled between his 60 houses and palaces and also lived at Windsor Castle. He was buried on the premises, in St George’s Chapel alongside his third and favourite wife, Jane Seymour.
- The castle enjoyed a golden age during the reign of Queen Victoria. She spent the greatest portion of each year at Windsor Castle, making it the setting for family gatherings and entertainments, in addition to state occasions.
- The wartime bombing raids left Windsor unscathed…
- But in 1992 a fire broke out in Queen Victoria’s private chapel. The fire spread rapidly through the roofspaces, destroying the ceilings of St George’s hall and the Grand Reception Room, the private chapel, State Dining Room, the Crimson Drawing Room and dozens of ancillary rooms.
- Luckily, the fire only affected areas which were emptied due to planned renovation works.
- Repair and rennovation began immediately after the fire and the work was completed in 1997, just in time for the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh,
- St George’s Chapel lies on the north side of the Lower Ward. It was built during the 15th-16th century.
- At least three services take place in the chapel every day.
- Windsor Castle also has a large, enclosed area of parkland: ‘The Great Park’.
During our visit we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside. The many State Appartments we visited were all so impressive… We have visited many stately homes, palaces and castles, but I can honestly say, that Windsor Castle certainly is the most majestic, imposing building I have ever seen!
Have you already visited Windsor Castle? Tell me in the comments!
PS: Below you also see a couple of pics of Windsor, a lovely city to walk around in!