Hearst Castle Tower

Hearst Castle Tower

Several years ago my mother visited the Hearst Castle and shared her enthusiasm with me. Only now do I have the opportunity to visit this spectacular dwelling and its grounds. Unfortunately, I can only share my observations with you. When we arrived at the Visitor’s Center, because of the fog, I took a picture of the wrong hill. We watched the well done film “Hearst Castle: Building the Dream.” The story line and photography created a compelling story. When we exited the theater we were rewarded with clear blue skies. We then boarded a bus for a drive up the enchanted hill, “La Cuesta Enantada,” for our “Designing the Dream” tour. We visited two of the three cottages each named for its view. The three are Casa del Sol (House of the Sun), Casa del Monte House of the Mountains), and Casa del Mar (House of the Sea). We admired the mix of paintings, writing tables and furniture of the bedrooms with their wonderful views. The main house, Casa Grande, appears almost like a church in the Mediterranean Revival Style. In fact, the design for the bell towers came from a cathedral in Rhonda, Spain. According to the informational brochure, it contains 115 rooms including 38 bedrooms and 68,500 square feet. The two tennis courts sit atop the indoor swimming pool which is 81 feet long. The outdoor pool, the Neptune Pool, is the third attempt. This final version is 104 feet long and surrounded by Roman columns and more modern statues. William Randolph Hearst collaborated with the brilliant, patient architect Julia Morgan beginning in 1919 and continuing until 1947. The Hearst Castle, now a California State Park, is well worth visiting.

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