Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vacation Getaway: Hearst Castle part 1

To grow up on the Central Coast, I am ashamed to say, that I had never been to Hearst Castle.  For any excuse to beat the heat, we decided to remedy that.

I knew some of the history about this amazing landmark, but was totally impressed to see it in person.  I can't even describe the amazing details that William Hearst, and his architect Julia Morgan,  put into this castle. If you can, you must see this fabulous castle in person.

Photo Credit: Wikepedia

William Hearst loved this land since he was a little boy.  The land his father bought in San Simeon, CA,  when he discovered silver and became quite wealthy.  As a boy, William Hearst traveled the world with his Mother.  He loved the history and things that he saw.  When he decided to build his bungalow, on top of the mountain, everything he loved so much in his travels was reflected in his castle. 

 "I would like to build something upon the hill at San Simeon. I get tired of going up there and camping in tents. I'm getting a little too old for that. I'd like to get something that would be a little more comfortable."  William Hearst, Newspaper Magnate

Hearst and Morgan worked on this project from 1919-1947.  The modest bungalow grew through the years into the castle we know today.  Hearst Castle featured 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world's largest private zoo. Zebras and other exotic animals still roam the grounds. The castle had running water, electricity, and lots of telephones.  

To encounter first-hand the majesty and beauty of this historical treasure, they have several tours:

After you arrive by bus, and walk up the stairs, this is your first view of the castle.

We did the Upstairs Suites Tour.  I was intrigued by this part of this home, because not even his guests we allowed to see Hearst's private quarters.

During the tour, you will have a well educated tour guide.  Our tour guide has been doing tours at the castle for 15 years.  He also teaches history at Cal Poly and was a wealth of information.  He made it very enjoyable.

One of the entrances into the castle.......gorgeous details.

This was the first sitting area, where guest were received.
When the castle was built, each room was a cement box.
Draperies were used on the wall to cover the cement.

The furniture and art was bought from all over the world.

Hearst had a crew that was just for fireplace details only.
The ceilings were not forgotten. A lot of the ceilings were done from

actual art or torn down buildings from other countries.


 This is one of the guests bedrooms.......
the details they took just for the door and doorway...lovely.

Another guest bedroom......

The view from the windows....see the beach in the distance.

More guest rooms.....

The castle even had a working elevator....

Working phones all over the castle also.....

W. Hearst encouraged his guests to stay busy. He didn't believe in laying around doing nothing.
There was a fully stocked library for the guests to avail themselves of.
And also the many outdoor activities.

The books on the shelves are the original books that Hearst brought in.
There were LOTS of books....amazing!

Exquisite details once again in the ceiling.....and amazing artifacts being shown.

So much to show you.....but that is all the time I have for today.
In the next post I will show you his private quarters and other rooms he used frequently in the castle.  So amazing!

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