Crusader Kings 3 Holdings And Best Buildings

How Holdings work in Crusader Kings 3 and what are the best buildings to build in them?

In Crusader Kings 3, Holdings are the main settlements of a Barony that influence your Control, Development, and Popular Opinion. The raw amount of taxes and levies you receive greatly depends on the types of holdings you have and the way you utilize them in your kingdom. The smallest units of your Holdings are buildings. You can build various types of buildings in a holding, including economic, fortification, and military buildings. More buildings can be a source of increased taxes, garrison, and supply.

Your realm is the entire political map that lies in your authority. It includes the things you and your vassals hold in its entirety. You can only build holdings in your domain, which represents all the holdings you directly own. These holdings have a limit in Crusader Kings 3, depending on the domain limit, which is 2 for a County.


You can increase your holdings limit (or domain limit) by focusing on your Stewardship skills. For every 6 points of Stewardship, you can control one extra holding.

This CK3 holdings guide focuses on all the holdings you can build in your play, along with the best buildings and the benefits you get from each.

Holdings Types in Crusader Kings 3

There are three types of holdings in Crusader Kings 3, namely Castle, City, and Temple. These holdings take years to complete, but they will be worth the wait as they will add many buffs to your status. Below are their costs and construction times, along with the perks they offer.

HoldingCostConstruction TimeEffects (Level 1)
Castle8005 years+0.4 tax/month; +1 fort level; +175 levies; +250 garrison
City5005 years+0.8 tax/month; +75 levies; +150 garrison
Temple5005 years+0.5 tax/month; +125 levies; +150 garrison

There is also a fourth type, tribal holdings, which are less advanced buildings and only available to clans and tribal factions.

Castle Holdings

The primary use of a Castle holding is to increase your fortification and levies. There are four castle holding levels, Mott, Keep, Concentric Castle, and Fortress. With each level, the amount of taxes and garrison increases.


Castles are the only holdings that you can have direct control over. In the case of cities and temples, the matter goes into the hands of archbishops and mayors.

An important thing about castles is that you cannot take an entire County unless you control all the castles in there. So, if you have two baronies with two castles, no one can take over your County until they’ve taken both of your baronies.

Similarly, if you want to grant a castle to someone, make sure you have at least one castle remaining in your county. Otherwise, you will lose the whole county while giving away the castle.

City Holdings

Cities increase our tax collection, but more importantly, they help us out in Development, which greatly increases the supply limit. First off, it is a Village Center, after which you level up to Large City, City Center, and Bustling Metropolis. Depending on these city levels, you’ll receive varying monthly taxes, levies, and garrison modifiers.

You cannot personally hold a city or temple if you are a feudal government. It is considered a holding of the wrong type in Crusader Kings 3. If you still don’t restrain yourself, you will get severe penalties in the shape of zero tax and minimal levies. However, you can give it away to a Mayor who will run things independently and give you the taxes from his city.

Temple Holdings

Temple Holdings increase our piety, earn taxes, and provide Controlled growth. So, if you have a specific county that is super unruly, you just have to build a temple there to make things better.

Like cities, you will have to hand the temple over to an archbishop who will make you more renowned as a clergy member. Again, this is something you cannot change and are forced to do to have better city management.

Some constructions, known as Holding Buildings, can only be built in cities or temples in CK3. These include Guilds, Monasteries, and Megaliths. All Holding Buildings take 3 years to complete.

Tribal Holdings

Tribal Holdings is also a source of tax collection and fortification in Crusader Kings 3. These less advanced buildings are only available to clans and tribal factions.

Tribal holdings can only go up to two levels. The first one is a Tribal Hold, which gives minimal taxes, levies, and some garrison. The next level is Fortified Tribal Hold, which nearly has double the perks as compared to the previous level. This level also required the innovation, “Planned Assemblies”.

How to build new Holdings in Crusader Kings 3

While some events can create new holdings in Crusader Kings 3, most commonly, you will build them yourself. To do so:

  • Select the County in which you want to build a holding.
  • Find a Barony with no holding.
  • Finally, click the “Construct new Holding” option.

Once you have built your required holdings, you can use innovations to achieve technological, legal, and ideological advancements in your county. You can also increase the building slots in a holding using innovations such as Bailiffs and Windmills.

The previous games had the technology in the hands of empires and kingdoms. But in Crusader Kings 3, the Innovations (technologies) depend on the culture.

You will have more advanced technology and holdings if you have a superior and advanced culture. To advance your culture, you can invest heavily in the game’s new mechanic, Fascination.

It will allow you to research in the technology fields and advance in them. Spend more and more gold and piety on this and you will be able to get innovations that you can use to build new holdings and increase your taxes and incomes.

There are some rules for building holdings in Crusader Kings 3. Such as:

  • If there is already a tribal holding present, no other holdings may be built.
  • For places with no tribal holdings, you need to have one castle, temple, and city holding before you can build duplicate holding types. For example, to make an extra castle in your capital, you must ensure the city and temple are already built there.

What are the best holdings in Crusader Kings 3?

The best holding in Crusader Kings 3 largely depends on your playthrough and preference.

If you want or need more Development buildings, then City holding is the best for your county. It is also a good way of earning gold through taxes from city mayors, etc.

If your county needs more money, then the best holding type for you is Temple. Also, build a Grand Temple from a temple holding, which does wonders for your garrison, levies, and taxes.

The defense of your city is also something you cannot ignore at any cost. All of your progress as a county holder will be a waste if you do not have a Castle to protect your county from invaders.

The game forces you to make at least one temple, one city, and one castle holding at first. Beyond that, the best holding types are temples for certain obvious reasons, especially if you choose a theocratic temple.

  • A Theocratic realm priest pays you 50% of taxes and 100% of levies (from their leased temples) with just +50 opinion. This is far more than you will ever get from the cities and castles you do not directly hold.
  • You also get considerable monthly renown, which is needed for your Control growth.

An interesting thing to mention is that having counties with Special Buildings (Notre Dame, Tower of London, etc.) is much better than focusing on what types of holdings are best for you. The holy sites (Grand Cathedral, Dome of the Rock, etc.), in particular, give huge bonuses to the holder.

Best Buildings to Build in CK3

Now that we have discussed CK3 holdings in detail let us dive into the best buildings you can build for these holdings. Each empty holding in the game can constitute up to four buildings, ranging from one building per holding to four in a county capital. The best buildings in CK3 are the ones that provide you with additional taxes, levies, defender advantage, or even men-at-arms.

Below are some of the most beneficial buildings you can construct in CK3, with respect to their in-game categories.

Best Buildings Economic Purposes

The following buildings yield a decent amount of taxes and supply limits along with fairly reduced construction times. All of these are terrain-dependent, meaning you can only build these in specific terrains.

BuildingCostConstruction timeHolding Effects (Max Level)County Effects (Max Level)
Manor Houses9005 years+3.85 tax/month; +5 levy size; +1000 supply limit+2 Holding tax; +5 Development/month; +0.2 Control/month
Hill Farms4503 years+1.75 tax/month; +2 Defender Advantage+600 % supply limit; +10% Development/month
Tradeports6752 years+1.75 tax/month+40% Development/month
Wetland Farms4503 years+1.75 tax/month; -8% building time+600 % supply limit; +10% Development/month
Forestries4503 years+1.75 tax/month; -20% building construction time+600 % supply limit; +10% Development/month; -5% Temple building cost

Best Military Buildings

Most of the Military buildings in CK3 only provide increased levies, which is not as great as other categories offer. Still, buildings such as Camelry and Militia Camps are the ones we can’t ignore, due to things like Knight bonus and Control Growth on top of tax collection.

BuildingCostConstruction timeHolding Effects (Max Level)County Effects (Max Level)
Camelry6753 years+425 Levies; 0.6 tax/month; -20% Hostile raid time+200 Supply Limit
Militia Camps 2 years+625 Levies; -8 Danger+1000 Supply Limit; +25% Control growth
Outposts4502 years+255 Levies; +16 Defender Advantage+15% Control/month’ +5% garrison size

Best Duchy Buildings

When discussing the best buildings in Crusader Kings 3, Duchy buildings always stay on top due to their all-around bonuses. You will receive control growth, toughness, prestige, and reduced men-at-arms maintenance from these.


Only a feudal or clan ruler can construct Duchy buildings in a Duchy capital, and they can be used only by a character having a Duchy title.

These buildings cost 300 gold at level 1, and all of them will take 5 years to complete, and as the level increases, so does the cost. You can construct one building per duchy.

Duchy BuildingsEffects (Level 1)Scope
Military Academies-2% army maintenance; +2 knights; +25% knight effectivenessRealm
Marches+4 defender advantage; +25% supply limit; +1 fort level; +20% hostile raid time; +25% garrison size; +25 levy reinforcement rateDuchy
Jousting Grounds-6% men-at-arms maintenance; +10% damage/toughness/pursuit/screen for light cavalry; +10% damage/toughness for heavy cavalryRealm
Blacksmiths-6% men-at-arms maintenance; +5% damage and +15% toughness for heavy infantry and spearmenRealm
Archery Grounds-6% men-at-arms maintenance; +15% damage and +5% toughness for archers; +10% damage, +5% toughness; +10% pursuit, and +5% screen for skirmishersRealm
Leisure Palaces+5% monthly prestige; +15% stress loss; +5 hostile and personal scheme success chanceRealm
 +0.2 control/month; +20% control growth factorDuchy
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Babar is a Writer, Storyteller, and an RPG enthusiast. His favorite RPGs include Elden Ring, Final Fantasy, and Persona series. Though, tolerating his mum’s taunts for playing all night is his most played RPG of ...