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    Hearst Castle: the castle of the Enchanted Coast in California

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    Joel Fulleda

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    Extravagance, eccentricity, unbridled luxury, desire to surprise and a pinch of madness, these are the ingredients that, starting from 1919, gave shape to one of the most unusual buildings in the world: the castello Hearst in San Simeon, on the Californian coast. To want this bizarre structure was a publishing magnate looking for a holiday residence (and apparently he did not like to settle for too simple things), his name was William Randolph Hearst, a figure that inspired Orson Welles for the protagonist of his famous Fourth Estate (those who have seen the film will have already grasped from this brief description notable similarities between the 2 characters).

    It seems that Mr. Hearst did not like the comparison very much, however it must be said that his Xanadu (which he had renamed The Enchanted Coast) was certainly not of minor pretensions and had little to envy to the imaginative one of the film: interiors with walls, floors and ceilings from European churches and castles, Gothic fireplaces, Moorish-style pottery, Greek vases and medieval tapestries.

    Outside, surrounded by majestic gardens, amazing swimming pools, among which the famous one stands out Neptune Pool, overflowing with spring water and surrounded by a classic colonnade complete with ancient Greek style statues. We want to talk about the facade? Also in this case the opulence burst from all pores, with 2 imposing towers that rise at the top of a sinuous staircase, in a defined Arabian stylistic context. mudejar.

    In short, a potpourri of ingredients that combine to create something unique in the world, of course, if you have refined tastes, perhaps it will not make you exactly enthusiastic, but the visit may be worthwhile for you too, and for more than one reason:

    • Hearst Castle, like its architectural style or not, is something quite unique, and it is virtually impossible to remain immune to its attempt to amaze us.
    • Many of the works of art that we will find there are authentic (Mr. Hearst's purchases were legendary, both for the price spent and for the quality of the objects).
    • It also has a certain historical interest: the owner organized wild parties there, to which he invited the most prominent personalities of Hollywood and beyond (even Winston Churchill is among the guests).
    • The place benefits from a beautiful scenic location, crossed by the Pacific Coast Highway, just before reaching Big Sur.


    • How to visit Hearst Castle
    • Mappa Hearst Castle
    • Hearst Castle photo

    How to visit Hearst Castle

    Whether it is the result of megalomania or a singular aesthetic research, it must be admitted that the castle manages to exert an indisputable charm on tourists, given that it attracts more than a million a year. The best time to visit it is in the morning, when the fog of the coast envelops the hills where the building stands. There are 4 types of tours that you can do at the castle:

    • Grand Rooms Tour: includes a visit to the large halls, trying to make you feel just like the guests who once walked the rooms of the castle.
    • Upstairs Suites Tour: go upstairs to visit the private rooms.
    • Cottages & Kitchen Tour: to explore the cellars, the kitchen and the guest rooms.
    • Evening Tour: with costumed guides reenacting the ancient hospitality of the castle, talking about Mr. Hearst as if he were still alive!

    For more details, consult the official website.

    Given the many requests, especially in high season, the advice is to book well in advance, or buy some tour which include, along with the castle, other interesting attractions on the coast. Particularly popular is the day tour of the coast from Los Angeles, which allows you to visit Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle in one day, or 3-day coastal tours are also available with various other destinations included, including San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Carmel.

    Find the various tours available at This Page.

    Mappa Hearst Castle

    Hearst Castle photo

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