Hearst Castle (California, USA) – history, excursions, expositions. Exact address, phone number, cost of entrance tickets. Local legends and ghosts.
An architectural ode to the Golden Calf, Hearst Castle is perhaps the most incredible California landmark all the way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Hearst Castle can be best described with a phrase from Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane: “The most expensive monument built by a man in honor of himself since the time of the pyramids.” Created by a bizarre fantasy and many kilograms of gold bars of media tycoon William Hirst, the ranch estate is located on an area of 100 thousand hectares (!) And can boast not only pompous structures, but also the most valuable exhibits of almost all epochs of human existence known to historians. Hearst Castle is not cheap to visit, but visitors take with them a truly unforgettable experience.
A bit of history
The history of Hearst Castle dates back to 1865, when Senator George Hirst acquired a vast tract of land and built an English-style house on a picturesque stretch of California coast. The senator’s heirs expanded the area of land to 100 thousand hectares, and his son, media mogul William Hirst, zealously set to work, erecting a huge estate of several houses, swimming pools, numerous terraces and other premises. The scope of construction is evidenced by the fact that the main house of Hirst-kasla was built in the style (and almost in size) of the Spanish cathedral. The castle hosted incredible social events, until in 1847 the owner was forced to leave the coast for health reasons, and his corporation transferred the estate to the ownership of the authorities, retaining the right for family members to live in the castle. Since then, Hearst Castle has been open to visitors.
The Neptune Basin is decorated with an original Roman pediment and a magnificent mosaic at the bottom.
What to watch
Hearst Castle is a whole world in miniature, all the sights of which are almost impossible to describe. A visit to the castle is based on a 45-minute excursion around one of the parts of the estate chosen by the tourist and free time to explore the rest of the grounds.
The main building of the estate is a tycoon’s residence called Casa Grande. The most popular tour is the Great Halls, during which you can feel like a guest of Hirst. You will see the grand hall, refectory, billiard room, theater, gardens, Neptune’s pool (which adorns the pavilion with the original bas-relief depicting Neptune) and the Roman pool. All spaces are gorgeous, solid pieces of art of incredible style with a host of historical treasures.
A tour of the Upper Chambers includes a visit to the Gothic and Dodge Suites, the library, adjoining bedrooms, gardens and pools, and provides an insight into Hirst’s private, hidden life. In the Gothic Suite, you should definitely see the medieval ceilings exported from Spain.
The Cottage and Kitchen Tour will take you through the Hearst Castle annexes, which are every bit as amazing as the main house. See Hirst’s adored Casa del Mar, a wine cellar, Casa del Monte, a kitchen, gardens and swimming pools.
Hearst Castle – a dream come true
Address, opening hours and cost of attendance
Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, California.
Tours run daily from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Cost – 25 USD. In high season, it is recommended to book in advance through the Hearst Castle website.
Prices on the page are for September 2018.
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