Hearst Castle - Curiosities of the extravagant mansion in California


Big House of Hearst Castle in California

One of the most amazing visits and not very well known what you can do inCalifornia, during yourtravel along the west coast of the United States, it's the amazing castle that the press mogul William Randolph Hearst It was built in Saint Simeon

Known as the Hearst Castle, is located on top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean,to halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles (400 kilometers from both cities), north of San Luis Obispo.

To raise his great mansion, the tycoon who starred in the famous Orson Welles movie, Citizen Kane, he used the 160 square kilometer farm land that his father had originally purchased in 1865.

This large mansion began to be built in 1919, and the works were paralyzed in 1947 without being finally completed due to the numerous changes that Hearst himself made during the construction process. An example is that the large Roman-style pool was built three times.

Hearst Castle Gardens in California

In the construction of the castle various European architectural styles were combined, from the classic Roman and Greek temples, to the great English castles, through the Cathedral of Sevilla and for monuments of Arab origin, such as its own Alhambra of Granada.

The origin of this great pastiche of styles, with an extravagant final result (but that does not prevent, but on the contrary, that the castle is worth visiting) is in the trip that Hearst made with his mother through different countries of Europe when he was still a child.

California Hearst Castle Gardens

Ceiling of the dining room of the Casa Grande del Castillo Hearst

This then led him to try to replicate the monuments that impressed him most, and even to buy and transfer to his Californian ranch complete monuments, sculptures and original furniture that he then mounted in his castle.

During the decades of the 20s and 30s, the Hearst Castle It became a meeting place for the most prestigious characters of the time, invited by the tycoon, who facilitated the transfer by plane to the ranch by having its own airport and airplanes.

Prestigious guests at Hearst Castle (sitting downtown, Dalí)


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Pacific views from California's Hearst Castle

The list of famous visitors is long, including actors such as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Gary Grant, Greta Garbo, Clark Grable, Gary Cooper or Errol Flyn; writers like Bernad Shaw; politicians like Churchill; or artists, like his own Dalí.

He Hearst Castle it is, in fact, a complex that includes a main building, called the Big house, three houses to accommodate guests, a large outdoor pool and another indoor, all surrounded by a splendid garden.

California Hearst Castle Gardens

In addition, it has several tennis courts and a zoo, which is the largest privately owned in the United States.

In 1957, the Hearst Corporation ceded the castle to the State of California so that it could be open to the public.

Nowadays It is a mixture of museum and theme park, of enormous interest, at least for the monument to the extravagance that it implies, which receives the visit of thousands of tourists every year.

Hearst Castle private airport in California

More information about California Hearst Castle

  • See Hearst Castle on the map of California
  • Official website of the historic Hearst Castle monument in San Simeón, California (English)
  • More information about Hearst Castle on Wikipedia (English)