Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest castles in the world that are still occupied. Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the British royal family for nearly 1000 years. British queen to make this place as a private home that used to spend time on weekends, and also as a place he was carrying out his official activities. Fortunately, some parts of the castle open to the public and can be visited by tourists.
Windsor Castle was built as a continuation of the events of the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy. William is a distant relative of English families who desire the throne after the death of King Edward the Confessor. At that moment, a vacancy occurs throne as king died without a male heir. William attacked the British in the Battle of Hastings. After the victory, King William founded several castles in London as protection and defense against its enemies.
In addition to building the Tower of London in central London, he also built several castles surrounding London by the distance between the castle can be reached within 1 day of travel. One of the castle is the “Windsor Castle” is located in Windsor. This castle is one of the most important and strategic because it has a short distance to the River Thames, London, and Windsor Forest.
This castle would be an ideal place to strengthen themselves in the event of a crisis. Initially, Windsor Castle is a fortress and not used as a residence of the king. King William at the time occupied the Palace of Westminster as his official residence. The first king began to occupy this castle is King Henry I. The castle was later rebuilt and renovated into a palace during the reign of King Henry II. King Henry II also replaces the wooden walls of the castle into a stone wall. He also built several apartments in a part of the court, and also a place to stay exclusively in the northern part of the hill. Renovation of the castle was continued by King Henry III by adding 3 pieces of the chapel.
During the reign of King Edward III, it changed the Windsor Castle from a fortress into a Gothic palace. This renovation took place from the year 1357 under the direction of William of Wykeham. Some renovation and expansion of the Windsor Castle continue to be made from time to time. Queen Elizabeth I built a long gallery in the northern part, which is now used at the Royal Library. King Charles II renovates the Royal Apartments with the help of architect Hugh May, became a magnificent baroque-style apartments in the UK.
Gothic transformation of Windsor Castle continued in the reign of King George IV, he built a 168 meter long gallery called the Grand Corridor. He also improves the appearance of the outside of the castle so much grander considering this castle is a symbol of the kingdom. The renovations were done at the time of King George IV was the most complete, so not much needs to be done renovation again by his successors. In the reign of Queen Victoria I, she added a private chapel, reconstruct the Grand Staircase and completed the Royal Mews.
Windsor Castle is still a working place for the royal family and is often used for ceremonial events and to entertain guests of the state. Nonetheless, this castle is also allowed to be visited by the general public. One of the interesting parts of the castle is The State Apartments are already occupied by many kings and queens from time to time; This apartment will show how tastes princesses who live here, especially since King Charles II to King George IV.
Various paintings and works of art decorate the apartment, including ceiling paintings by Antonio Verrio, a carved image of Grinling gibbons and paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. One example of a building with the most beautiful gothic architecture in England is the St George’s Chapel is located in the area of Windsor Castle. This chapel was built in 1348 during the reign of King Edward III. Besides being a place of worship, in the chapel is also the tomb of the royal family, including the tomb of King Charles I, King Henry VIII along with his third wife Jane Seymour. The chapel was closed to visitors on Sundays, but still serving worship.
The best time to visit Windsor Castle is between October and March, when a private apartment that was built for George IV was opened to the public. The rooms were named Semi-State Rooms is the room that has the most luxurious decoration inside Windsor Castle. King George IV was one of the king of England who have good taste in terms of beauty.
The rooms were no less interesting to the Semi-State Rooms are Queen Mary’s Dolls House, or the Queen Mary’s dollhouse. Built to be presented to Queen Mary by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens from 1921 to 1924, the dollhouse is the most famous and most beautiful in the world. The house is filled with thousands of objects by artists, designers and leading artisans. One of the most striking objects in the house is famous dolls from France, namely France and Marianne are displayed in their best clothes and accessories.
Interesting attractions that can be seen while visiting Windsor Castle is the ceremonial changing of the guard, known as “Guard Mounting”. This ceremony includes the ceremony, pageantry and assignments are accompanied by a marching band. This ceremony took place at 11 o’clock for approximately 45 minutes each day than Sunday. You can start by following the tour at the castle courtyard. This tour will introduce to you about Windsor Castle since become a fortress to the palace of the country. It also provided an “audio tours” that will accompany your visit. Audio tours are available in various languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin.