Windsor Castle is the oldest inhabited palace on the European continent. Its origins date back to the 11th century, when William the Conqueror built it during the conquest that the Normans carried out in England.
Since the twelfth century English kings have used it as a royal palace and it still is, as it is one of the official residences of British royalty.
In fact, The entire historic site is visited, except for the rooms occupied by the current Queen Elizabeth II during her vacations. Because of its age and richness, it is one of the greatest monumental attractions in England.
How to get to Windsor Castle
The population of Windsor is less than 50 kilometers west of London, specifically in the county of Berkshire. It is very easy to get there by public transport, by bus or train, or if you prefer by private car or rented.Windsor Castle - sloukam
If you choose to travel by train from London, it is best to take the train at Paddington Station. You have to know that in Windsor there are two stations,it is advisable to get off at Windsor Central, also known as Royal Station. Although if you choose the Eton Riverside stop, you can discover the famous and elitist Eton College.
And as for the trip by bus, from Victoria you can take the Greenline direct to Windsor. When you arrive in the city, the closest stop is the Parish Church, next to the castle, although you can continue to the center of the town, which is always worth visiting.
The great symbol of Windsor Castle: the Round Tower
This spectacular tower is perched on the rock, and it was the most impregnable place of the enclosure, which once even had a moat around you so that the protection was maximum.St. George's Tower - Anastasiia Kucherenko
The construction of the initial castle of William the Conqueror was in wood, and obviously none of that has come to this day. Soon the original wall would be replaced by a stone wall with square towers. However, we must wait until the reign of Eduardo III, in the mid-fourteenth century, for the Round Tower or Tribute to be built.
It is not the oldest of the whole set, since that honor corresponds to the Tower of Queda, of 1227, where there was a dungeon. Here the beginning of a prison escape tunnel was discovered.
St. George's Chapel
The same king Eduardo III made build another of the most outstanding spaces of the set, the Chapel of San Jorge. It is a gothic chapel that in principle It was conceived as a very wide space to celebrate great events like royal weddings and also as a place of special worship for the members of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious cavalry order in the kingdom.St. George's Chapel - Michael Warwick
In fact, the heraldic shields of the members of that Order can still be seen in the Chapel of St. George. However, What stands out are the tombs and mausoleums of British kings and queens, because this has been the favorite place for the burial of this monarchy.
Windsor less known secrets
The architecture of Windsor Castle is impressive and is a walk through the history of English art. However, in addition to its forms that merge the defensive criteria with the palace, one of its great values is to be like an immense stone chest that holds many treasures, secrets and legends.
Among those legends it is said that the specter of King Henry VIII is still wandering its halls, which has gone down in history because of the foundation of the Anglican church, its various marriages and different cruel acts in which it was ruthless. According to friends of the fantastic, you can still hear their groans while purging their sins.
There are other much nicer secrets one of them is the room where the Queen Maria's doll house. A huge toy from 1924, in which every detail of the royal residence is recreated and in whose elaboration up to 1500 artists and craftsmen participated.Windsor Castle Interior - Jöshua Barnett / Flickr.com
And finally, the tour of the rooms inside the castle shows real treasures, from drawings by Leonardo to sketches by Michelangelo and paintings by Rubens or Canaletto. Not forgetting countless porcelain, ceramic dishes, period furniture or historical armor.
All of them they are collections that miraculously were saved from the fire that in 1992 kept the whole country in suspense because he threatened to destroy one of Britain's great jewels: Windsor Castle.
«1992 is not a year that I will remember with too much pleasure. In the words of one of my closest collaborators, this can be referred to as an Annus Horribilis. »
-Isabel II of England-
The fire of the castle was one of the events that overshadowed the life of the queen that year. Fortunately the damages were repaired and Today we can enjoy Windsor Castle in all its splendor.