|That's just a guest house|
Now, as to this Castle – you may be wondering. Is it a Castle? No, it’s a country villa (or ‘ranch’, as he called it) built by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper and mining billionaire in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. It took him and his architect, Julia Morgan, 28 years to build the thing. It is said that Mr. Hearst (as he is always referred to at The Castle) changed his mind a lot. The general inspiration for the thing was a Spanish medieval cathedral, and that’s just what it looks like. Mr Hearst was fond of collecting, and he collected things like whole monasteries, massive stone fireplaces, convent doors, ancient Egyptian statuary...you get the drift? Hearst Castle is one of those things you should see if you are amazed by what man can produce – it’s in a similar category to, say, Venice or Disneyland.
|Spanish church - told you....|
|The columns on the pavilion are 3rd Century - eek!|
|Shall we dress?|
|It's as if Winston just left the room for a moment....|
I left the bus, somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing, and headed to the fast food counter to munch on a beef sandwich – Hearst beef – the family trust still runs the property as a working beef farm. It is said that some zebra, descendants of Mr Hearst’s private zoo, still roam the property amongst the cattle. I kept an eye out, but can’t verify that story.