Yesterday, Annie and I visited Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. Built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the extravagant estate is located on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, about 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, it is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours.
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. The total square footage of the castles on the estate exceeds 90,000 square feet
Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly coveted during its heyday in the 1920s and '30s. Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Bob Hope, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill were among Hearst's A-list guests.
I was really impressed with the art he imported from all around the world. Many of the pieces were created centuries ago.
Check out this sarcophagus...kinda spooky...
Imported from Egypt.
I especially like the outdoor marble statues.
The opulent Neptune Pool was rebuilt three times before Hearst was satisfied. As a consequence of Hearst's persistent design changes, the estate was never completed in his lifetime.
San Francisco architect Julia Morgan designed most of the buildings. Here is one of the rooms in the guest house.
Here's the main castle. The Hearst Castle facade is patterned after a Spanish cathedral. The bells on top were a nice touch.
The magnificent detail on the outside of the castle resemble those found on cathedrals in Europe.
Hearst furnished the estate with truckloads of art, antiques, and even whole ceilings that he acquired in their entirety from Europe and Egypt.
The dining room
The indoor pool, modeled after Roman baths, with gold mosaic tiles.
Overall, I would recommend checking out Heart Castle if you ever have the chance. It's pretty astounding how much time, effort, and money it must have taken him to bring all of this art and furniture to his house.
Hearst Castle website