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[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle Neuschwanstein Castle]] in Bavaria, Germany]]

->Girl let's go back to my place\\
Nothing fancy, just a huge mansion in space.
-->-- '''Danny Sexbang''' of {{Music/Ninja Sex Party}}, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5abgDBQHPk "Dragon Slayer"]]

It's absolutely fine for a character to own a castle, especially if they are royalty, but some take it [[UpToEleven too far]]. This isn't just a large castle. This thing is absolutely '''ENORMOUS''' and usually sprawls hundreds of acres and is filled with traps, guards, {{Secret Passage}}s, hidden rooms, EliteMooks and at least one throne room in the center. Bonus points for a [[LavaAddsAwesome moat made of lava]], or if it's [[OminousFloatingCastle floating in the sky]]. Or both.

Getting lost within one of those things, now [[FateWorseThanDeath THAT would suck]]. Sometimes these things are near impossible to navigate without a dungeon map. Made worse if the castle starts [[MalevolentArchitecture shifting around on its own]].

These are often the [[SupervillainLair lairs]] of the BigBad, but heroes often have [[TitleDrop Big Fancy Castles]] of their own especially if they're royalty.

A subtrope of BigLabyrinthineBuilding. Compare to BigFancyHouse. See also BrightCastle. If the size and elegance of the castle are a symbol of the owner's {{Hubris}}, see TheTower.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''SoulEater'', the [[BigLabyrinthineBuilding DWMA]]. It stands above the rest of Death City, and is specifically designed to be confusing underground, to train its young meisters to remember where they go and the way out. It's PlayedForLaughs in ''SoulEaterNot'', where Tsugumi, Meme, and Anya get lost for hours.
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', Team Galactic owns a large skyscraper in the middle of a large city. It towers above every other building in that city and probably in the entire nation.
* ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom lives in one.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* ''Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast''
-->''it presently became easier, and led him into an avenue of trees which ended in a splendid castle. It seemed to the merchant very strange that no snow had fallen in the avenue, which was entirely composed of orange trees, covered with flowers and fruit. When he reached the first court of the castle he saw before him a flight of agate steps, and went up them, and passed through several splendidly furnished rooms. ''
* ''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/stories/lark.html The Singing, Springing Lark]]''
-->''Then his road lay through a forest, and in the midst of it was a splendid castle, and near the castle stood a tree, but quite on the top of the tree, he saw a singing, soaring lark. ''
* ''Literature/TheTwelveDancingPrincesses''
-->''On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid, brightly-lit castle, from whence resounded the joyous music of trumpets and kettle-drums''
* ''[[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0425c.html#garden The Summer and Winter Garden]]''
-->''The black beast carried the beautiful maiden to his castle where everything was beautiful and wonderful. Musicians were playing there, and below there was the garden, half summer and half winter,''
* ''Literature/EastOfTheSunAndWestOfTheMoon''
-->''they went into a castle where there were many brilliantly lighted rooms which shone with gold and silver, likewise a large hall in which there was a well-spread table, and it was so magnificent that it would be hard to make anyone understand how splendid it was.''
* ''Literature/SoriaMoriaCastle'' has three magnificent castles, all containing no one but the princesses, because trolls live there.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Sultan's palace in Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is easily the biggest building in Agrabah by far.
* Vector's fortress in ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' includes the pyramid of Giza in the backyard for gods sakes!
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', Flynn is quite taken with the kingdom's enormous castle, and talks of having his own from the proceeds. [[spoiler:So he does, so to speak, at the end. Or, at least, he's married to the heir to the castle he was in.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Asgard's golden palace in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' is enormous.

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', the castle includes a large balcony, built on a cliff, so that safety and privacy are ensured. The rooms are large and luxurious. And that's only the husband's quarters.
* The title sprawling castle in the ''Literature/{{Gormenghast}}'' series.
* [[TheEmpire The Imperial Palace]] from the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is this. It's the tallest building on [[CityPlanet Coruscant]], stated as being three kilometers high and over ''two'' square kilometers large, with over two thousand rooms. Outside of it is a large statue of The Emperor.
** Bast Castle, Darth Vader's residence, is also described as this. In addition to [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill several kilometers of defenses]], it also has it has its own hangar, its own [[AntiAir turbolaser]], its own [[DeflectorShields shield generator]], a contingent of MechaMooks, and its own [[HumongousMecha AT-STs]]. Plus it's located on the DeathWorld Vjun.
* [[WizardingSchool Hogwarts]] from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is a thousand year-old BigFancyCastle with large grounds, trap doors, secret passageways, and at least seven stories (not including dungeons).
* The Tisroc's palace in Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy - it is presumably so vast, there is a whole section of it, the Old Palace, that is not used very much anymore.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': The Palace is described as having a walkway that is one-and-a-half miles long, and has several secret rooms and shortcuts.
* Multiple cases in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Particularly notable examples include the Red Keep, Winterfell, and Harrenhal, the last of which turns out to be [[RealityEnsues too large to be practically defensible]] and requires a large permanent population just to keep heated properly.
* Several of the Vor have this in VorkosiganSaga. In a subversion the Vorkosigans don't; their castle was destroyed in the Cetagandan invasion. Vorkosigan House is however a ''secure residence'' so in a way it might fit the technical meaning of castle even if it's protections are more modernized in style.
* Lancre Castle from ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' is -in typical Pratchettean idiom- what you get when the architect wants to build one of these, but hasn't quite got the budget or the floorspace. Its got all the crenellations and turrets, but they are either all too small or so architecturally unsound that bits fall off in high winds. They did quite well with the dungeons though. And given that it overlook a capital "city" of a dozen cottages, it is certainly bigger than it needs to be.
* Xanadu, the castle of "Literature/KublaKhan" is "a stately pleasure-dome" with "caves of ice" and all other kinds of awesome stuff.
* The vast Sicilian country manor in ''The Leopard'' is so huge that a couple of characters find entire wings nobody has visited for years. The Prince who owns it maintains that a house isn't worth living in if you've seen all the rooms.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Ed Greenwood's ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' #76 article "The Nine Hells Part II''. The 7th plane of the Nine Hells holds Baalzebul's great fortress Malagard, which sprawls for many miles. Malagard's rooms, passages, and dungeons are so numerous that it is said not even Baalzebul himself has visited all of them.
** The Ninth Hell has two great castles. Malsheem is a miles-long citadel of stone and Baatorian green steel, stretching along the bottom of the intersection of two of the layer's great gorges. It's home to Asmodeus' personal army, which he bolsters every time he sheds a drop of blood and holds in reserve for his final assault on the heavens. Asmodeus' private castle is the Fortress Nessus, situated at the very bottom of the deepest spiraling canyon in the Nine Hells, the Serpent's Coil. Unlike Malsheem, the Fortress Nessus seems entirely empty, save for the echoing sound of weeping and a palpable, crushing melancholy.
** Speaking of [[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Ed Greenwood]], The Palace of the Purple Dragon in Suzail is a house for Obarskyrs and three more royal-blood families. Of course, it's also full of courtiers, servants, guards and so on. Known to have hidden passages, towers and whatnot as it's pretty overgrown. So much that the Blue Maiden Room on top of a tower lost in the middle of it became proverbial in the city... as the place where palace guard captains [[ReassignedToAntarctica post underlings who annoy them]].
* [[TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} Castle Ravenloft]]
* ''{{Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay}}'' features Castle Drachenfels, one of the most dangerous places in the First Edition.
* In ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} Warhammer 40,000]]'', the Imperial Palace covers most of Europe, because this setting has no concept of "over the top".
* ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' supplement "The Blood and Dr. [=McQuark=]". Azor's palace is described as being large and sprawling.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Bowser's castle in the series varies from game to game, but it often counts as one of these. In various incarnations it has included [[LavaAddsAwesome seas of lava]], [[PinballZone giant pinball machines]], dungeons, and even a ''[[GoKartingWithBowser tennis court]]''.
** Princess Peach tends to get one of these of her own. The entire plot of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' is about Mario kicking Bowser out of her castle.
** Averted with ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion''. While it is quite extravagant, it is still fairly reasonable for a mansion (magic room with the moon not withstanding). And it's revealed near the end to be [[spoiler:an illusion created by King Boo to lure Luigi within and kidnap him, just as he did with Mario]].
** The Game Boy series ''Super Mario Land'' has Wario taking over Mario's castle in which Mario has to reclaim it in the sequel ''Wario Land'' it's possible for Wario to get one of these in the multiple endings (though it's not the best ending as getting a perfect game nets you an entire planet) and the sequel ''Wario Land II'' opens and even has some chapters set in Wario's castle though the outside is much better looking than the inside.
* Each world in ''VideoGame/YoshisIsland'' , its DS sequel, and the 3DS entry ends with one of these. ''VideoGame/YoshisWoollyWorld'' also has one of these to finish off each world.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' has many examples:
** Tubba Blubba's mountainside house, sure it's mostly vertical, but it still counts, then there's of course Peach's castle, and Bowser's [[ItMakesSenseInContext castle underneath that]].
** PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor has Hooktail's castle, and the last dungeon in the game is one big UndergroundLevel but for some reason includes a tower ''and a castle''.
** Count Bleck's fortress. You know you have one of these on your hands when it takes the heroes an 8th of the entire game to reach the end, before that is Chapter 3 with [[VerbalTic nerrrrrrrrrrr]] Francis' house which for some reason, is a castle as well.
* The home bases in ''{{Suikoden}}'' games are often castles large enough to house 108 main characters and various random bystanders. By the time you get most of your cast together, the player can spend a good half hour just visiting every room in the base and checking in with all the people.
* The Maharajah's castle from ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime''. It has the throne room, the treasure vaults, [[SolveTheSoupCans the trap-activating puzzle chamber]], the ''zoo'', the harem, the baths, [[RunningGag the other baths]], the ginormous tower (aka the ''other'' treasure vaults), [[LightAndMirrorsPuzzle the observatory]], the random huge underground tomb, and so on.
* The fortress from ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' is pretty much the same way. ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' subverts it, being set in a city instead, while ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheForgottenSands'' goes right back to playing it straight, set in the Prince's brother Malik's castle.
* The eponymous castle from ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''. Sure, [[{{Dracula}} the Dark Lord]]'s stronghold may be ChaosArchitecture that always reappears as a HauntedCastle, but that doesn't stop it from including a multitude of rooms such as laboratories, lavish throne rooms, elegant personal quarters, and a Gothic-styled chapel. [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines Countess Elizabeth Bartley's Castle Proserpina in England]] and Celia's replica of Dracula's Castle in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]'' also qualify.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** The Labyrinth of the Castle from ''VideoGame/SonicLabyrinth'' is a rare Sonic example of this trope.
** The fan-made ''VideoGame/SonicRoboBlast2'' features Castle Eggman Zone.
** Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion from ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes''. Both of those were absolutely huge. Also Cryptic Castle from ShadowTheHedgehog.
** Silver Castle Zone in ''VideoGame/SonicBlast.''
** Trap Tower and Eggman Tower in ''Sonic The Hedgehog.''
* The eponymous castle in ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein''.
* Hyrule Castle in many forms but most notably in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' has the castle of Team Plasma. It rises out of the ground to encircle the entire Pokemon League (while also being a good three times taller), features a decorative waterfall on every floor and has a throne room at the top big enough to hold a battle involving the two legendary dragon mascots.
** ''X and Y'' has the Parfum Palace, inspired by the real life Palace of Versailles. To say the least, it is ''absolutely gorgeous''.
* Linda's Castle from ''SnowboardKids 2'' is a castle so big that it serves as a level in a snowboarding game.
* [=CloudRunner=] Fortress from ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures''. It even has {{Magitek}} and a freaking gold mine underneath it!
* At least in the original series, ''{{Videogame/Mega Man|Classic}}'s'' foe Dr. Wily gets a new one every game--sometimes two. For some reason, they always have a giant skull on the front, usually with towers/minarets that look like bones. Besides that, there's usually giant laser turrets, random bits of architecture, and science-tubes. Also, Knight Man's stage in ''Videogame/MegaMan6'' and Blade Man's stage in ''Videogame/MegaMan10''. There's also Izzy Glow's stage in ''VideoGame/MegaManX5''.
* Anor Londo in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' is basically a whole city built based on this concept.
* Lazulis Castle in ''Videogame/TheLastStory'', the biggest building on Lazulis Island. It even has its own {{Magitek}} Cannon.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFury'': Wolfgang [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Krauser's]] Mittelbirge Castle. More of its confines are shown in ''Fatal Fury 2'' and ''Fatal Fury Special'', although the canalside stadium that serves as the backdrop for the Boss Team in ''KOF [='96=]'' presumably is situated in/near the Stroheim family's palace.
* Every faction in ''Videogame/{{Civilization}}'' can build basic castles for extra city defense, but the only ones that are fancy enough to provide culture and tourism bonuses as well are India's Mughal Forts. However, many RealLife examples can be constructed as Wonders with powerful effects: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himeji_Castle Himeji Castle]] gives all units within your borders a combat bonus, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra Alhambra]] provides a whopping 20% boost to a city's cultural output in addition to giving military units recruited there a free promotion, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Fort Red Fort]] makes all city defenses in your empire even more effective, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle Neuschwanstein Castle]] makes all your lesser castles provide happiness, culture and gold.
* ''VideoGame/NosferatuTheWrathOfMalachi'': Castle Malachi is huge. There are storage rooms, dungeons, towers, bedrooms, cellars, latrines, guard quarters, chapels, sitting rooms, crypts, rooms with no apparent purpose, and then a bunch more of each, all stuck together seemingly at random.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', during the "Night Terrors" story arc, Quentyn describes the Wizard's colledge thus:
-->'''Quentyn''': "It's housed in the oldest building in the Sevenvillages... and old rebuilt castle predating even the first settlers here. Every generation of students has added a little bit to the old thing -- a turret here, a tower there, a flying buttress or causeway out back. By now it looks like a berserk wedding cake. They say it has over a thousand rooms and nearly five miles of corridors, or some ridiculously huge number like that. If you stick to the main hallways and follow the signs, though, you're supposed to be able to get around without any problem. So, naturally, I got completely lost in minutes.
* The artificers guild on the other hand is just two round three story buildings joined by a long two story segment which houses the dormitories and cafeteria. It's nickname is the dogbone.
* Castle Heterodyne, in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', fits this trope. It's huge, its systems extend out into the surrounding city (the streetlamps in the city are part of the Castle's anti-aircraft defense battery), it's full of traps, it can rearrange itself, and on top of all that, it's conscious, sentient ''and'' sapient. And completely insane, since it was first given the personality of its original builder, a psychotic, homicidal megalomaniac; then later had its operating system broken into at least twelve different parts, none of which can talk to each other. Its corridors are patrolled by "[[SpikeBallsOfDoom The happy fun ball of death]]" rolling faster than walking speed... and its full route is still ''a week long''.
* [[EvilEmpire Brian and Angelo's]] Castle in ''Webcomic/{{Our Little Adventure}}'' looks pretty pimped out.
* Webcomic/{{Castle}}: See the title.
* Grimwood Castle in [[http://thewretchedones.smackjeeves.com The Wretched Ones]]
* The DreamWorld castle in ''Webcomic/YumeHime''.
-->"Picture the kind of castle a ten-year-old, working from Googled Disney World photos and half-remembered storybook illustrations, would dream up. It was like that, but bigger."

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Creator/{{Nitrome}}'s work ''Tiny Castle'', despite being {{Exactly What It Says On The Tin}}, it can change dramatically in many ways, thus making it SEEM large and confusing.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' an EpicTrackingShot reveals Thundera's sprawling BrightCastle, the grounds of which play host to a giant [[Art/TheSphinx Sphinx]] and a huge [[TheThunderdome amphitheatre]], while the castle proper indeed has {{Secret Passage}}s.
* Canterlot Castle, and the city of Canterlot itself, from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is built into the side of a mountain, as a ShoutOut to Minas Tirith from Literature/LordOfTheRings.

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Justified in real life as most of these palaces also double as the central administrative offices for running the Kingdom/Empire, most of the rooms would have been used as office space or occupied by live-in bureaucrats (think West Wing). The castles only feel empty nowadays because all of the administrators have moved out. And sometimes they have not, or have moved back. Prague Castle, originally the seat of the kings, is since 1918 the seat of the President and his staff.
* The RealLife TropeCodifier was the Imperial Residence in Rome on Palatinus Hill. It began as a simple yet lavish house at the Augustine era, but successive emperors built more and more rooms to it, expanding the residence, so in the end the Imperial Residence [[BigLabyrinthineBuilding covered the whole summit of the hill]]. The Imperial Residence had even its own ''hippodrome''! The English word "palace" is a twist of Latin ''palatinus''. The ruins of the Imperial Residence (or should we say "palace") are still extant in Rome, and they look south to Circus Maximus.
* The Forbidden City complex in Beijing is said to be the largest palace on Earth. It is said that if a king is shown one room every day from the time he is born, he will be over 21 before he sees every room of the palace. This would mean that there's around 7670 rooms, depending on how the leap years fall. The actual number is around 8900 (a room in Chinese architecture is defined as the space between 4 pillars, so one large contiguous hall would be counted as multiple "rooms" by Chinese reckoning).
* [[UsefulNotes/LudwigIIOfBavaria Mad King Ludwig's]] castle in Bavaria, Schloss Neuschwanstein. Ludwig bankrupted his country by spending lavishly on a castle heavily based on folklore and his favorite operas, all in an attempt to live out his fantasies. It is widely speculated that his mysterious death was an assassination due in large part to his irresponsible spending on the castle. Only a small fraction of Ludwig's planned vision was built before his death. The final castle would have been ''much'' bigger.
* Eastern Europe seems to be fond of this trope.
** The Castle of Budapest actually takes up an entire district of the city and contains several buildings and streets, including houses, shops, market squares, restaurants, regular taverns, several parks, museums, a church, and even a hotel that doesn't exactly belong there. The other half is the royal palace.
** The Kremlin in UsefulNotes/{{Moscow}}, which, too, conceals an entire royal district of the city (the oldest part of Moscow, full of palaces, museums, gardens and churches) behind its walls, and still performs its intended function as the ruler's residence. It was also periodically upgraded for centuries, so the oldest parts of it are medieval and the youngest Soviet-built or even modern, like the helicopter pad added in 2013 for the convenience of UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin. The underground part is honeycomb of secret tunnels which aren't fully explored by archeologists (because the Federal Guard Service isn't particularly cooperative and understanding to them), and there's the throne room with a perpetually empty throne in the main palace.
** [[http://www.zamky-hrady.cz/10/bojnice.htm Bojnice]] and [[http://www.penzionmalafatra.sk/en/mokryen.html Orava]] in Slovakia.
** [[http://www.extremalov.net/travel/45/ The castle in Kamenec Podolskiy]], Ukraine.
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Castle Prague Castle]] is, according to the [[Literature/GuinnessWorldRecords Guinness Book of Records]], the world's largest ancient castle. Bear in mind it is actually smaller than some of the above examples, probably due to the definition of "ancient". Other examples in UsefulNotes/TheCzechRepublic are the UNESCO protected [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lednice Lednice]], and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hlubok%C3%A1_CastleHluboká Hluboká]], both from the 19th century, and the early 16th century [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pern%C5%A1tejn_Castle Pernštejn]].
* Winchester House
* [[http://www.blenheimpalace.com/ Blenheim Palace]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles Versailles]] could technically be the TropeCodifier. It led to a lot of {{Follow the Leader}}.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_whitehall Palace of Whitehall]] in London was the largest palace in Europe during its occupation by the English monarchy (1530-1698) until it was destroyed by fire. It had over 1,500 rooms over 23 acres and, due to the fact it was built and expanded over many years, looked more like a small town than a single building.
* John of Gaunt's Savoy Palace was apparently this, seeing as he was the richest individual in England (aside from the king), until it was burnt down in 1381 by Wat Tyler's Peasant Rebellion.