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Big Fancy Castle

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

"Girl, let's go back to my place
Nothing fancy, just a huge mansion in space."
Danny Sexbang of Ninja Sex Party, "Dragon Slayer"

It's absolutely fine for a character to own a castle, especially if they are royalty, but some take it 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 Passages, hidden rooms, Elite Mooks and at least one throne room in the center. Bonus points for a moat made of lava, or if it's floating in the sky. Or both.

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

These are often the lairs of the Big Bad, but heroes often have Big Fancy Castles of their own especially if they're royalty.

A subtrope of Big Labyrinthine Building. Compare to Big Fancy House. See also Bright Castle. If the size and elegance of the castle are a symbol of the owner's Hubris, see The Tower.

Because of the ancient, military nature of castles, they're often haunted.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (JP), the Queen of Hearts has passageways to other countries, demonstrated in the filler episode The Giant Kangaroo.
  • Delicious in Dungeon has the castle of the Golden Kingdom. It's so tall its highest towers stretch almost to the top of the dungeon.
  • The eponymous castle from Howl's Moving Castle is home to a wizard and there's plenty of magic inside it and making it move. In a subversion of the trope, the outside is humongous but the inside is only as big as a two-bedroom house.
  • In Innocents Shounen Juujigun, although not much of it is seen, Hugo is given one as a reward for betraying the Children's Crusade.
  • One Piece:
    • Within Mariejois is the enormous Pangaea Castle, named after the supercontinent Pangaea and modeled after the Chateau de Chambord in France. It is the headquarters of the World Government, serving as the workplace of the Five Elders and Commander-in-Chief Kong, a meeting point for high ranking Marines and the Seven Warlords, the location of the Reverie world council every four years, and the location of the Empty Throne.
    • Man of class Capone "Gang" Bege is a Big Fancy Castle, having eaten the Castle-Castle Fruit and become a living fortress — his body houses a medieval-style and very luxurious castle (including horses and mounted cannons and all) and his crew (and anyone) can shrink and "enter" him to mount surprise attacks on enemies. His "Big Father" technique checks off the 'big' part, transforming him into a literal giant castle on the outside as well.
  • In Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, 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.
  • Queen Millennia: Larela shows Hajime rooms in every Earth's style and a 25-km wide garden. She then corrects Hajime that it's technically not a garden, it's all a decoration for just a single room in her palace out of many.
  • In Soul Eater, the 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 Played for Laughs in Soul Eater Not!, where Tsugumi, Meme, and Anya get lost for hours.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Subverted with the monkey king's castle. It just looks big and fancy from a distance; it's actually a cardboard cut out made to look formidable.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 
  • Beauty and the Beast:
    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.
  • 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.
  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses:
    On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid, brightly-lit castle, from whence resounded the joyous music of trumpets and kettle-drums
  • 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,
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon:
    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.
  • Soria Moria Castle has three magnificent castles, all containing no one but the princesses, because trolls live there.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Sultan's palace in Disney's Aladdin is easily the biggest building in Agrabah by far.
  • The Beast's castle in Beauty and the Beast is an imposing yet attractive structure with numerous towers and turrets, with its interior having a strong Baroque influence. It was partly based upon the Chateau De Chambord. It has numerous rooms, including a massive library filled from floor to ceiling with books, a dining room big enough for dozens of people to be seated at once, and a grand ballroom that opens onto a large veranda. The West Wing, where the Beast resides, is much shabbier, and the creepy statues and shadowy corridors give a more intimidating and claustrophobic feel at first, but it gradually becomes much brighter and more inviting over the film as the Beast undergoes Character Development.
  • Vector's fortress in Despicable Me includes the pyramid of Giza in the backyard for gods sakes!
  • In Tangled, Flynn is quite taken with the kingdom's enormous castle, and talks of having his own from the proceeds. So he does, so to speak, at the end. Or, at least, he's married to the heir to the castle he was in.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Asgard's golden palace in Thor is enormous.

  • Black Dawn: Black Dawn Castle in the Dark Kingdom is a massive, centuries' old castle made of gleaming black stone that dominates the landscape and looks straight out of a gothic novel/film. Naturally, it's the home of the resident Vampire Monarch and lends its name to the title of the eighth Night World book.
  • In A Brother's Price, 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.
  • Lancre Castle from 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 floor space. It's 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 overlooks a capital "city" of a dozen cottages, it is certainly bigger than it needs to be.
  • The Hands of the Emperor: The imperial palast in Solaara (formerly Astandalas). It was built on a large vulcanic plug, can comfortably house over 3000 inhabitants and is so grand that specific rooms in it are regarded as wonders of the Nine Worlds (the throne room and the imperial bath specifically).
  • A Frozen Heart: In this Tie-In Novel to Frozen, newcomers to the Southern Isles generally mistook the royal palace as a giant Sea Monster due to its long, low walls and serpentine look, but it's actually made of rocks only found in the Isles. The only breaks in the castle's stony walls were four windows on the northern side facing the sea-faring kingdom's nearest neighbor, making it pretty much impregnable. While most were awed by the structure and noted how it flourishes despite the salty air and rocky surroundings, Prince Hans viewed his home as too ugly and ominous.
  • Goblins in the Castle:
    • Toad-in-a-Cage Castle, which is big enough to have four towers and several floors, and is full of winding and hidden passageways. There's also a large stone toad in a cage in the Grand Hall, which gives it its name.
    • Goblin Castle (also known as Castle Nilbog) is big as well, with seven towers emerging at various odd angles.
  • Gormenghast: in the fantasy novel trilogy, this is a huge rambling castle-cum-stately home which over at least two thousand years has sprawled and expanded quite a bit, with every successive generation of the Groan dynasty adding a bit more. Whole wings and regions have fallen into disuse over the centuries and nobody is entirely sure how much there is nor how far it extends. The TV adaptation takes advantage of CGI to emphasise the sheer sprawling size of the place without actually building a set.
  • Hogwarts from Harry Potter is a thousand year-old castle with large grounds, trap doors, secret passageways, and at least eight stories (not including dungeons).
  • The Tisroc's palace in The Horse and His Boy — it is presumably so vast, there is a whole section of it, the Old Palace, that is not used very much anymore.
  • Xanadu, the castle of "Kubla Khan" 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.
  • The eponymous Lord Valentine's Castle is enormous; it's tradition that each ruler makes a significant addition to it, and it's been there for thousands of years, so by the time the novel begins the castle is a major city in its own right, not counting the dozens of (also implied to be large) cities surrounding it in concentric rings.
  • Septimus Heap: 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 A Song of Ice and Fire. Particularly notable examples include the Red Keep, Winterfell, and Harrenhal, the last of which turns out to be too large to be practically defensible and requires a large permanent population just to keep heated properly.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Imperial Palace. It's the tallest building on 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 several kilometers of defenses, it also has it has its own hangar, its own turbolaser, its own shield generator, a contingent of Mecha-Mooks, and its own AT-STs. Plus it's located on the Death World Vjun.
    • Anakin and Obi-Wan lead an assault on Nute Gunray's fortress in an attempt to capture him in Labyrinth of Evil. Besides being huge, opulent, and full of rare treasures (the reason Gunray returned to his homeworld in the first place), the fortress sits on top of an enormous warren where fungi are grown, both as food for larval Neimoidians and as a valuable export.
    • The Royal Palace of Alderaan, as seen in Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader, is a 700-year-old labyrinth of ballrooms, chambers, and turrets. R2-D2 leads Roan Shryne and his team on a merry chase through the hallways while they're trying to find a fugitive Senator they've been hired to smuggle offworld.
  • In Tales of Elethiya there are twin castles. One, the very real Cinderella's castle rising high in Walt Disney World. The other, its fictitious counterpart, a cursed Bavarian castle whose design includes one half to look like a pristine fairy tale castle, while the other half appears dark and foreboding with large thorny vines protruding from the structure.
  • Several of the Vor have this in Vorkosigan Saga. 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Royal Palace in Armenelos is the tallest and biggest building of the citadel. Its architecture is reminiscent of Hagia Sofia, having a huge golden dome possibly fashioned after Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and a tower where the old king resides. It also has its own courtyard atop the city build in the form of a Prow with a spout for the waterfall. You cannot get fancier than that.

  • Some appear in games for Cool Kids Table.
    • In Small Magic, the castle that the Koyo royal family lives in is made out a giant tree, magically formed into a castle.
    • In Here We Gooooo!, Princess Caramel Seltzer's palace is made out of giant soda bottles.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions supplement "The Blood and Dr. McQuark". Azor's palace is described as being large and sprawling.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Ed Greenwood's 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.
    • 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 post underlings who annoy them.
  • Castle Ravenloft
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay features Castle Drachenfels, one of the most dangerous places in the First Edition.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperial Palace covers most of the Tibetan Plateau and Indo-Gangetic Plain, because this setting has no concept of "over the top".
    • Space Marine fortresses tend toward this. The Fang, the Space Wolves' mountain fortress on Fenris, has docking facilities for spaceships, and survived a Mile-Long Ship crashing into it.
    • Imperator Titans carry one of these on their back. They're also heavily armed, and can contribute significant firepower into the battle.

    Video Games 
  • The eponymous castle from Castlevania. Sure, the Dark Lord's stronghold may be Chaos Architecture that always reappears as a Haunted Castle, 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. Countess Elizabeth Bartley's Castle Proserpina in England and Celia's replica of Dracula's Castle in Dawn of Sorrow also qualify.
  • Every faction in 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 Real Life examples can be constructed as Wonders with powerful effects: Himeji Castle gives all units within your borders a combat bonus, Alhambra provides a whopping 20% boost to a city's cultural output in addition to giving military units recruited there a free promotion, the Red Fort makes all city defenses in your empire even more effective, and Neuschwanstein Castle makes all your lesser castles provide happiness, culture and gold.
  • The Dark Parables feature a lot of these, which stands to reason since the games are based on classic fairy tales.
  • Anor Londo in Dark Souls is basically a whole city built based on this concept.
    • The third installment also gives us Lothric Castle.
  • Disney Speedstorm:
    • The Castle track is based on Beauty and the Beast. The Beast and his transformed servants put on a show for their guests racing in a specialized track inside the castle for them.
    • The Frozen track features a section based on Elsa's Ice Palace, combining this trope with Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • Dragalia Lost: The game’s main setting, the Halidom, definitely counts. One of the main things to do is to decorate the outside of it to build all kinds of fancy buildings and statues. It has enough bedrooms to fit an entire village at least, and from what we’ve seen of it, has a pretty fancy inside as well.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Trodain Castle in Dragon Quest VIII, home to the eponymous king, his daughter, and captain of the guard, was cursed by the Big Bad and all its denizens were turned into plants and vines. When you return back to the palace, the place is covered in vines and filled with monsters.
    • Heliodor Castle in Dragon Quest XI, which becomes a dungeon later on as you go in to liberate it as it’s been taken over by monsters in the aftermath of Yggdrasil’s destruction.
  • Elden Ring: Stormveil Castle is the largest castle in the game, big enough to be treated as a Legacy Dungeon alongside such locations as an entire magical academy and at least two different cities. It's the stronghold of the demigod Godrick the Golden, scion of the Golden Lineage that can trace its descent directly to a Physical God. However, the castle has gone to seed following a realm-shattering civil war, with large sections fallen into ruin without being repaired.
  • Elephant Games uses the same big fancy castle as headquarters in both the Mystery Trackers series and the Crisis Crossover spinoff Detectives United. It's a medieval castle, since the Mystery Trackers were originally founded as a medieval order of knighthood. The Detectives United series also has the title characters visiting a few others during the course of their adventures.
  • Fatal Fury 2: Wolfgang Krauser's Mittelbirge Castle. More of its confines are shown in Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special, although the canal-side stadium that serves as the backdrop for the Boss Team in KOF '96 presumably is situated in/near the Stroheim family's palace.
  • Garfield's Nightmare: World 1 shows a distant look at a large regal castle in the background, though Garfield doesn't get to explore it. Instead, he's exploring what seems to be a wide outdoors rampart surrounding it from afar, and it's filled with hazards like spiky floors, falling chained spiky balls, toxic pools, and falling columns. The later levels cross with Big Boo's Haunt, as Garfield goes through a graveyard placed within the rampart.
  • Giana Sisters DS: Every world has one or two huge castles protected by tough enemies like Ghosts and Crabs.
  • Goofy's Hysterical History Tour: The fourth and final stage, the Medieval Exhibit, takes place in a castle, where Pete, disguised as a knight, is the game's Final Boss.
  • The Itchy And Scratchy Game: The second level, "The Medieval Dead", takes place in a castle. Enemies include ghosts, rats, and Scratchy robots dressed like executioners. The boss of the stage is Scratchy in a trojan horse.
  • The Last Story: Lazulis Castle, the biggest building on Lazulis Island. It even has its own Magitek cannon.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: 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.
  • Paper Mario has many examples:
    • Paper Mario 64: 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 castle underneath that.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has Hooktail's castle, and the last dungeon in the game is one big Underground Level but for some reason includes a tower and a castle.
    • Super Paper Mario: 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 nerrrrrrrrrrr Francis' house which for some reason, is a castle as well.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Black and White 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.
    • Pokémon X and Y has the Parfum Palace, inspired by the real life Palace of Versailles. To say the least, it is absolutely gorgeous.
  • Power Pete has Fairy Tale Trail, and all three acts of the world feature a giant castle.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: The Maharajah's castle has the throne room, the treasure vaults, the trap-activating puzzle chamber, the zoo, the harem, the baths, the other baths, the ginormous tower (aka the other treasure vaults), the observatory, the random huge underground tomb, and so on.
  • The fortress from Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is pretty much the same way. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones subverts it, being set in a city instead, while Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands goes right back to playing it straight, set in the Prince's brother Malik's castle.
  • Ta-Doon-Da Castle from Puyo Puyo; it's fancy with its nice statues and stained glass windows, but it hangs over a cliff side and reeks of ill omens. The inside is in need of cleaning, is the location of the boss fight with Popoi (or Carbuncle) in Puyo Puyo Fever, and it might be the original home of the demon that is contained in the book Klug always carries with him.
  • Resident Evil 4 has Lord Salazar's castle, not only is it simply massive in size, but it has several art rooms, ballrooms, a room just to hold a giant, animatronic statue of Salazar, a hedge maze, and even a trolly system if in you don't feel like covering the grounds by foot.
  • The eponymous castle in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. It has its own church and a cable car access system, important enough to be considered a suitable headquarters for a special SS project, complex enough to contain multiple secret rooms, courtyards and dungeons. And that's just the part that isn't nine centuries old and has fallen into disuse and is now overrun with undead.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures:
    • In the original game, the third part of Stage 1 takes place in King El Zebulos' castle, which is partially on fire, and under attack by a giant robotic spider you fight at the end. In the same game, the second part of Stage 5 takes place in Emperor Devligus Devotindos' castle, which has many Eternal Engine elements, and a fight against Axel Gear in giant robots at the end.
    • In Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, the fifth level takes place in King Gedol's castle, which has many Eternal Engine elements, and two Holy Swords hidden within.
  • In Ronald in the Magical World for the Game Gear, the fourth and final world is the Magical Castle, where Mr. Joke is holding Ronald's friends prisoner.
  • Scooby-Doo! First Frights: Keystone Castle, the main setting of Episode 4.
  • Shovel Knight Pridemoor Keep is one of these, being a massive castle full of magic books, cauldrons full of molten metal, falling chandeliers, and gryphons. In every story but King of Cards, King Knight is the boss of this stage, and in King of Cards, King Knight has to fight the actual owner of the castle, King Pridemoor.
  • Shrek Smash N'Crash Racing
    • Far Far Away Castle revolves around the fancy castle of Far Far Away. Fireworks go off every which way, knights patrol the area, and there are lots of secret areas.
    • Dragon's Castle and Dragon's Lair also incorporate different aspects of the titular castle, with the former focusing on the lower external areas and the latter focusing on the higher internal areas.
  • Linda's Castle from Snowboard Kids 2 is a castle so big that it serves as a level in a snowboarding game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • CloudRunner Fortress from Star Fox Adventures. It even has Magitek and a freaking gold mine underneath it!
  • 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.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • 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 seas of lava, giant pinball machines, dungeons, and even a tennis court.
    • Princess Peach tends to get one of these of her own. The entire plot of Super Mario 64 is about Mario kicking Bowser out of her castle.
    • Averted with Luigi's Mansion. While it is quite extravagant, it is still fairly reasonable for a mansion (magic room with the moon notwithstanding). And it's revealed near the end to be an illusion created by King Boo to lure Luigi within and kidnap him, just as he did with Mario.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has Wario taking over Mario's castle, and the latter's duty is to reclaim it. In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, 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 has some chapters set in Wario's castle (though the outside is much better looking than the inside).
    • Each world in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, its DS sequel, and the 3DS entry ends with one of these. Yoshi's Woolly World also has one of these to finish off each world.
    • Mario Party: Mario's Rainbow Castle. This board has a straight path that leads to the castle's turret. You have to get to the turret with 20 coins when Toad is present in order to get a Star. If you get to the turret when Bowser is present, he will charge you 40 coins for a fake Star. Toad and Bowser switch places after someone comes to see them, or when someone lands on one of the Happening Spaces.
    • Mario Party 6: Clockwork Castle, the sixth and final board combines this with Clockworks Area. By Day, Donkey Kong walks around the board, and by Night, Bowser walks around it. The goal is to chase Donkey Kong down so you can collect stars from him, but avoid Bowser, lest he take your stars away. One of the gimmicks of the board is that you can find a switch that changes the gameplay from Day to Night or vice-versa.
  • In Theta vs Pi 7 King Pi’s castle definitely counts. It’s MUCH larger than the other castles in the game, to the point where if you include the castle walls it takes up an entire island. Several levels, with different climates, take place on its walls.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures games:

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius: Castle Heterodyne is 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 "The happy fun ball of death" rolling faster than walking speed... and its full route is still a week long.
  • Brian and Angelo's Castle in Our Little Adventure looks pretty pimped out.
  • In Tales of the Questor, during the "Night Terrors" story arc, Quentyn describes the Wizard's college thus:
    Quentyn: "It's housed in the oldest building in the Sevenvillages... an 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. Its nickname is "the dog bone."

    Web Original 
  • Dream SMP: Eret's castle, also known as the Gay Castle or Pride Palace, is a large stone-brick castle decorated with rainbow-coloured windows, a giant rainbow flag, and a statue of Eret.
  • Highcraft: The group finds a huge abandoned castle base in "2b2stoned". They decide to write a book to put in a chest inside it.
  • SMPEarth: The giant, intricate castle in the heart of the Antarctic Empire's capital, Port-aux-Francais.
  • SMPLive: Fallen Kingdom — as the name implies, a huge recreation of the castle from the song built by Altrive and Krinios for CaptainSparklez.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Several of the princesses of Ooo live in various fancy castles, from Wildberry Princess's enormous tree-palace to Princess Bubblegum's castle that dominates the Candy Kingdom.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Canterlot Castle, and the city of Canterlot itself, is built into the side of a mountain, as a Shout-Out to Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings.
    • As of the Season 4 finale "Twilight's Kingdom", Twilight herself has a huge tree-castle made out of crystal to replace Golden Oaks Library, which was destroyed in the fight with Tirek.
  • The Pocketville Castle in Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville is a huge and colorful castle built on top of a hill overlooking Pocketville. It’s detailed inside and out and has a magical fountain in front of it where Friendship Ceremonies for pets to be sent to children are performed.
  • In Thunder Cats 2011 an Epic Tracking Shot reveals Thundera's sprawling Bright Castle, the grounds of which play host to a giant Sphinx and a huge amphitheatre, while the castle proper indeed has Secret Passages.
  • A particularly ridiculous example in Season 2 of Zig & Sharko with Marina's castle, a sand castle with plumbing, electricity, far more rooms and turrets than needed, and a courtyard that could contain dozens of the castle (as seen from the outside).

    Real Life  
  • Malbork Castle in Poland, founded by The Teutonic Knights, is easily the world's largest castle.
    • Many large, luxurious houses or palaces are often called "castles", but true castles must be fortified and serve a real defensive purpose. In this vein, Malbork Castle would certainly be considered the largest true castle.
  • 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 the West Wing of the White House). 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 of the Czech Republic (until 1992 Czechoslovakia) and his staff.
  • The Real Life Trope Codifier was the Imperial Residence in Rome on Palatinus Hill. It began as a simple yet lavish house from the Augustine era of Ancient Rome, but successive emperors built more and more rooms to it, expanding the residence, so in the end the Imperial Residence 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).
  • 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 by Richard Wagner, 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. Ludwig's other castles (Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee) also qualify, to a slightly lesser extent. Neuschwanstein is so iconic that it inspired the Disney Castle in the company's logo and its theme park equivalents.
  • Central and Eastern Europe seems to be fond of this trope.
    • Hunyad Castle of Transylvania could probably be considered the most fantasy-looking castle, with gothic spires rising 230 feet high, a bridge connecting its entrance between hills, and a vast hall with vaulted ceilings and tall columns inside.
    • 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 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 Vladimir Putin. 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 with no Tsar sitting on it in the main palace since Red October.
    • Bojnice and Orava in Slovakia.
    • The castle in Kamenec Podolskiy, Ukraine.
    • Prague Castle is, according to the 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 the Czech Republic are the UNESCO protected Lednice, and Hluboká, both from the 19th century, and the early 16th century Pernštejn.
  • Winchester House.
  • Blenheim Palace, originally built for the Duke of Marlborough, later known for being the birthplace and ancestral home of his descendant Winston Churchill.
  • Louis XIV's Versailles in France could technically be the Trope Codifier. It led to a lot of Follow the Leader.
  • The 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 that 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.
  • Although it's a fortified abbey rather than a fortified palace, Mont-Saint-Michel in France has the looks, withstood several Medieval sieges, and was the model for Peter Jackson's Minas Tirith.
  • Windsor Castle is officially the largest inhabited castle in the world, as well as the oldest continuously inhabited castle anywhere (it was built in the 11th century and has remained an official residence of the British royal family ever since). It effortlessly dominates the skyline above Windsor.