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Hearst Castle and Californian coast

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We've been away the last few days, we drove down the CA-1 which goes down the Californian coast down to Hearst Castle which is a huge estate built by tycoon William Hearst on 250,000 acres of land that was left to him by his mother.

He spent 20-odd years collecting antiques to fill the 56 bedrooms of the main house, and the 3 guesthouses. All of the ceilings were gorgeously ornate - hundreds of years old, imported from churches and castles from all over the world. Every piece in every room was priceless.

Anyway, this is on the drive down





It was kinda windy out there...



And Hearst Castle - the main entrance (I should point out that you can only get to the castle on one of the official tours, and they keep track of everyone up there, so all the original statues, vases and other antiques can remain)



Some of the outside statues









One of the guest house



More pics to come
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
One of the entrances to "Casa Grande" - the main house



Beautiful old tapestry in the sitting room



Dining room



A few of the ceiling panels in the dining room



One of the gorgeous fireplaces



More ceiling panels



Bedroom



The main library was gorgeous!



Beds



One of the bedrooms was 2 levels - check out the staircase leading up to the floor with the bed

post #3 of 27
I love Hearst Castle but have not been there in over 25 years.
I love all your pictures.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
The main pool called the Neptune Pool - Hearst had it ripped out and redone 3 times because he wasn't happy with it... he finally settled on this design



The statues at the top of the columns there are about 2000 years old!



These are the pool ladders!





This is the indoor pool - it was breathtaking



Diving platform



Ladder again



post #5 of 27
OMG - the pool It's beautiful the tile work, the walls.....
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
This is looking up to the castle - the visitors centre is at the bottom of the hill, and you pay for your tour, they bus you up, do the tour, then they bus you back down, then you get back on and go back up for the next tour... They don't want anyone wandering around on their own up there for obvious reasons. We did 3 tours (there's 4 tours, one of which doesn't run at this time of the year, and an evening tour which includes highlights from the 3 main tours), so we saw all we could







post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
And lastly, we saw the elephant seals that come to one particular beach near the castle year after year and it's mating season, so there were plenty to be seen! These guys are HUGE - the males get up to 15 feet (5m)!



These 2 were cute



This baby was only a couple of days old



The juveniles (last years babies) hang at the back so they don't get squished by the big males





I have heaps more photos of everything, so PM me if you want to see them all!
post #8 of 27
It's a bit too eclectic for me having rome, greece, egypt and everything else put together, i love the traditional castles in the UK, but the wooden staircase is SOO my style, very Harry Potter There's actually a pagan supply store i go to in the city that has stairs very much like that. I just love LOVE how unique and mysterious they are. And the bed head, library and dining room. There's just something i love about dark medieval furniture and dark danky old rooms and their history.

Let's just say when we get our own house, i want that staircase

SQUEEEE, baby seals!! So very cute!!!
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh and we also took a detour to drive down the musical highway in Lancaster, CA after seeing friends down that way.

They have "rumble strips" in a certain pattern so it plays the William Tell Overture when you drive over it...

Here's a video I took - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QAB9d3hHB4 (excuse my giggling at the end...)
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
It's a bit too eclectic for me having rome, egypt and everything else put together, i love the traditional castles in the UK, but the wooden staircase is SOO my style, very Harry Potter There's actually a pagan supply store i go to in the city that has stairs very much like that. I just love LOVE how unique and mysterious they are. And the bed head, library and dining room. There's just something i love about dark medieval furniture and dark danky old rooms and their history.

Let's just say when we get our own house, i want that staircase
That's kind of what I liked about it - the fact that it was so eclectic - he just bought what he liked, and it kind of worked. I can imagine what it must have been like in the day when it was full of life. He made sure his guests used the hundreds of year old furniture, they had the fireplaces stoked, they treated it like a regular house apparently. It's all dark now to preserve the fabrics, but it was still gorgeous.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
That's kind of what I liked about it - the fact that it was so eclectic - he just bought what he liked, and it kind of worked. I can imagine what it must have been like in the day when it was full of life. He made sure his guests used the hundreds of year old furniture, they had the fireplaces stoked, they treated it like a regular house apparently. It's all dark now to preserve the fabrics, but it was still gorgeous.
Which part of Oz are you from? And have you heard of Werribee Mansion? It's not a castle, but i think it might be the kind of place you'd like if you enjoy heritage type places.
post #12 of 27
Oooo! A few years ago my FIL went through the castle when he was out that way visiting his brother. He got some beautiful pictures! I actuall framed a few pictures of the coast that he took on that trip. He wants us to go out that way some day and tour that area.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
Which part of Oz are you from? And have you heard of Werribee Mansion? It's not a castle, but i think it might be the kind of place you'd like if you enjoy heritage type places.
I'm a Brissie girl, I haven't seen much of Victoria.

Has anyone been to the Biltmore in North Carolina? Apparently it's the only US mansion bigger than Hearst Castle - I'd love to see it!
post #14 of 27
Would it be germane to point out that the movie "Citizen Kane" was actually about Hearst?

The rumble strips were interesting. I guess the state of California has too much money, right? Actually, I had heard about them on some show on NPR.
post #15 of 27
Wow, that looks like it was an amazing trip!!
post #16 of 27
Looks fantastic! I'd love to see it.

Thank you for sharing the pictures!
post #17 of 27
I love the rumblestrips! What a brilliant idea!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I'm a Brissie girl, I haven't seen much of Victoria.

Has anyone been to the Biltmore in North Carolina? Apparently it's the only US mansion bigger than Hearst Castle - I'd love to see it!
Yes, I've been to Biltmore a couple of times, since I've never been to HEARST CASTLE I can't attest to Biltmore being bigger, but I can tell you that it's just as magnificent.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Would it be germane to point out that the movie "Citizen Kane" was actually about Hearst?

The rumble strips were interesting. I guess the state of California has too much money, right? Actually, I had heard about them on some show on NPR.
It's loosely based on his life, apparently accuracy lost out to a more entertaining movie (as you'd expect).
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
I love the rumblestrips! What a brilliant idea!
I giggled at the rumble strips, too.

I bet it was way more fun to listen to than to drive over - you'd think one's bum would hurt!
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I'm a Brissie girl, I haven't seen much of Victoria.

Has anyone been to the Biltmore in North Carolina? Apparently it's the only US mansion bigger than Hearst Castle - I'd love to see it!
Biltmore's quite amazing, but much older-style IMO. Classic, nothing gaudy really. They've opened up a lot of the servants quarters and things in the past 5 years. The gardens are amazing as well, the working farm is neat too.

You can't take pictures inside the Biltmore at all.
post #22 of 27
Oh wow! What an amazing place I love that little staircase and the pool and the entrance...fantastic! Oh and the big ole wobbly sealions? Seals? I forget. Their noses always make me laugh.

Great pics
post #23 of 27
We stopped at Hearst Castle on the way to SF, but didn't have time for the tour. It looks spectaular! OMG, those pools made me want to cry!! Is any of that used at all these days?
I want a staircase like that to my bedroom!
Love the musical rumble strips!
It's a spectacular coastline down there and makes for a fantastic drive.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
It was kinda windy out there...

You're a shampoo commercial!

I've lived in CA my whole life and have never been to Hearst Castle, nor have I driven on those rumble strips. I guess that's a good reason for me to go to Lancaster!

I loved the photos! It was like taking a mini-vacation.
post #25 of 27
wow, so many cool places gorgeous pictures
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Has anyone been to the Biltmore in North Carolina? Apparently it's the only US mansion bigger than Hearst Castle - I'd love to see it!
My In-laws buy season passes to tour Biltmore. My Mother in law loves the gardens. She's taken tons of pictures there. I'm not sure how far it is from their house; but we've never gone there with them when we've been in town.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Would it be germane to point out that the movie "Citizen Kane" was actually about Hearst?

The rumble strips were interesting. I guess the state of California has too much money, right? Actually, I had heard about them on some show on NPR.
We have been to Hearst Castle but it took us a long time to get there even though we have lived here for a number of years. First of all, the children have to been 8 or older to go there. When Jenny turned 8, Ben was born. So, another 8 + years to wait.

I have seen some of the grandest palaces in Europe. The Grandest that I have seen - so far - are Versialle, El Palacio Royal in Spain, and the Hapsburg palace, Hearst Castle is an American self-made man's version of it. The indoor pool is spectacular.

Mike, I do know about William Randolph Hearst and yellow journalism. SFNA, the San Francisco Newspaper Agency was my client for a consulting engagement. I knew about the family and I got to work with George Hearst IV, Patti's first cousin (not a topic of conversation). He is the nicest person. I was very young in the business world and when the assignment was over, I asked him to lunch on the company. He said that he would treat me. We went to some exclusive restaurant and he talked casually about playing polo the past weekend and about his wife and kids. Such a gentleman!

BTW, he was working in his position to work his way up in the family business. A good businessman and truly a very nice man.
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