Windsor SL4 1NJ, Regno Unito
Located about an hour west of London, Windsor Castle is often called the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. It is one of the official residences of Queen Elizabeth II who spends many weekends of the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining. The earliest surviving buildings at Windsor date from the reign of Henry II who came to the throne in 1154. Originally designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London, Windsor Castle was built as a motte and bailey castle, with three wards surrounding a central mound. Gradually replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons’ War at the start of the 13th century. During the Tudor period, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and center for diplomatic entertainment. Today, much of the castle, including the magnificent State Apartments and St Georges Chapel can be visited.