Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hearst Castle November 20

Nov 20 - Today was an day off for Mike because we took a road trip up to Hearst Castle.  I have been hearing that it is a "must see", so I planned on going up.  Mike went to humor me and ended up enjoying the trip.  The only way you can go up the hill to see the castle is if you pay for a tour and then you are allowed to get on the bus to take a 15 minute ride up the very steep hill!  The bus trip had a taped presentation with Alex Trebek telling us about William Randolph Hearst's private zoo and where to look for zebras, etc on the trip up the hill!  And we did see zebras on the way up and a Sambar deer on our way down!

We signed up for 2 different tours - the Great Rooms and the Upstairs Rooms so we got to see almost the entire castle.  The neat thing about the tours is that they don't just show you the rooms, but they gave us alot of history about William Randolph Hearst and his family.  His home "the castle" is a real live museum filled with paintings, tapestries, signed first edition books, furniture, vases, woodwork and stonework from the 12th-17th centuries!  Hearst believed in saving these priceless items for the common man to be able to see without having to go to Europe.  He even had vases that were created before the birth of Christ!  And we were able to look at them!  The Casa Grande (big house) which is now known at the Hearst Castle was built over 26 years and was never finished!  So you get to see parts of the castle that are partially completed. Enough of my ramblings, on with the pictures!

When you first arrive at the castle, you must travel up these stairs.  Oh, I forgot to mention that it was very foggy and drizzling!

Besides the main house, there are also three "cottages" which served as guest houses for family and friends.  This is one of the cottages with part of the "Esplanade" walkway.

Main terrace with its beautiful stone work, statues and gardens.  They claim it has a great view too!

Main entrance to the Casa Grande or Castle

Stone work on the Main Terrace

Close up of special tile that was handmade for this project

Part of the Great Room - they have started to decorate for Christmas.  Note the wall tapestries.  They are originals from the 13th century!

Main fireplace - this was taken from Europe and installed in the castle - this is how most of the castle was built.  It was made of concrete and steel (very forward thinking since it was started in the early 1920's) and then the interior was all antique materials!

Wooden, carved ceiling imported from Europe

Close-up of tapestry

The walls of the Great Room and the Refectory (dining room) are lined with 15th century choir stalls that were shipped in from old European churches!

In the Refectory (dining room) - which is the name used for monastic dining halls

Silk flags are over 400 years old.  Check out the silver candle sticks and the table!

16th century, hand carved ceiling from an Italian monastery

Some of Hearst's silver collection

Wooden, hand painted imported ceiling in the billiard room

The Billiard Room

Tapestry in Billiard Room

Radio and telephone that were used in the Billiard Room

"Casket" or gift box to give someone some jewelry

Theater Room - every weekend Hearst would show first run movies to his guests

Walls in the theater

Two Roman statues!!!

There are orange, tangerine and grapefruit trees all around the grounds

Ancient Roman sarcophagi (stone coffins) were scattered around the Esplanade Walkway
Anybody in there??!

Guest bedroom

More hand carved, imported wooden ceilings

Siting room ceiling - of course it's imported

Draped walls of sitting room

Another guest bedroom with old time clothing

Library ceiling

One end of the library - Hearst had many first edition books - some were signed by their authors

Other end of library - it was HUGE!

The vases were made before the birth of Christ!

Hearst's personal walk-in cedar closet

Looking into his bathroom

William Randolph Hearst's bed

Hearst's bedroom ceiling

Another sitting room

Imported fireplace mantel 

Standing on a balcony looking out at the Main Terrace - supposedly we could see the ocean!  We just saw fog and rain!

The dark area is carved teak gable!

One of two "bell towers"

Imported hand carved door - and yes, it's ancient!

Guest bedroom

Very old, carved headboard

Guestroom had a staircase that went up to.......

The bedroom upstairs!  

Outside looking up at the twin bell towers

Ancient Greek statues

Steps leading up to the statues - note the blue/white tiles

The Three Graces

Hand made tiles around the door frame of one the cottages.  Every tile was different!

The Neptune Pool - the OUTDOOR POOL

Neptune, the Roman sea god is atop this temple.  The columns supporting this temple are 1st to 4th century AD!

It takes alot of pictures to show the entire pool!

This is the pool deck of the Roman Pool - this is the INDOOR POOL!  Yes folks, that is 24K gold on the tiles!

Looking across the pool at the little alcove - then you could take steps up to the balcony that was a diving platform!

Diving board, fancy lights, carved marble pool ladders and statues (you'll get a close-up of a statue in the video)

Panoramic view of pool

Maybe the video will help you to get an idea of the beauty of indoor pool

Of course our bus had California psychedelic seats!!

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