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Monday, March 25, 2013

San Simeon California

Our retirement adventure took us to 
San Simeon, California where the Hearst Castle sits majestically  on the top of a small mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

In 1865 George Hearst, a wealthy miner, purchased 40,000 acres of California ranch land that included the Mexican Ranchos of Piedras Blancas, San Simeon and Santa Rosa.  In 1919, his only son, William Randolph Hearst, inherited the land from his mother.  By then the ranch had grown to encompass 250,000 acres.  
Originally known as "camp hill" its wilderness offered a place for family members to camp.  
In 1919 Hearst hired famed San Francisco architect Julia Morgan to "build a little something."

Hearst and Morgan's collaboration became one of the worlds greatest attractions and showplaces.  It was renamed The Enchanted Hill.

During the war Hearst would travel to Europe and buy European and Mediterranean art and artifacts from Cathedrals for pennies on the dollar.


Hearst lived a lavish life with his mistress while his family lived in New York.  When he died he left it all to the mistress who was a famous actress. She felt so bad she sold it back to his wife and family for $1.00

Enjoy the tour
Our first view from San Simeon


I love this photo.  Such a perfect setting for this sweet little church.
What a beautiful day we had for our tour.


A closer view of the Hearst Castle

The grounds


The tour guide said if it looks like gold it is!


Take note of all beautiful architectural details that were brought back from

 Europe then worked into the design.

Stepping inside you really don't know which way to look.  


A Roman mosaic in the entry hall.


We were there before they took down the Christmas decorations. 
 I felt they actually took away from the beauty of the building.

Looking up in the grand waiting room, where Hearst guests enjoyed a before dinner drink and visited.
These ceilings were beautiful carved Saints and were in both the entry room and dinning room.







Ready for a game of pool after dinner?



They are in the process of refinishing this ceiling, tedious detail with q-tips!  I think it will take awhile.



One of many beautiful fireplaces.  Look at the arch to the right just breathtaking.

Back outside to view the guest house and pools. 



Tennis courts.  Notice the lights? Remember this was built in the early 1900s
Walk down the grand stairs to the left of the tennis courts you enter the indoor pool.  
Such amazing tile work.  It and the outdoor pool were also heated.


First view of the outdoor Neptune pool.



We didn't take the extra tours of the bedrooms and kitchen areas but if we ever get back I want too.  Until then, I can always have it at my fingertips and take a virtual tour.

Pray you enjoyed yours!  

Blessings, Debbie
Linking today with

March? Spring? More like out with the lion... my place today

18 comments:

Ann said...

I've heard the Hearst Castle is something and they are so right. The Neptune pool takes your breath away. Never seen so many beautiful blue rooms and fantastic architecture!!! You look so happy.
Love and hugs
Ann

Liz said...

Beautiful shots.

Mums

SmilingSally said...

I cannot imagine living in a place like this! I never knew the story of the mistress and the $1.00.

That pool is blue-tiful! Thanks for sharing.

Happy Blue Monday, Debbie.

Gary said...

Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

islandwonder said...

Great tour! Especially like the horses and church.

Fun60 said...

It looks like an amazing place to visit. Love the look of the pool.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a grand place or palace. I can not imagine living there, the Hearst family really led the good life. Thanks for the tour! Have a happy week!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Exotic detail in this stunning castle! Adore the atmosphere of the Neptune pool! I'm sure I would run out of battery power taking heaps of photos! Fascinating!

CailinMarie said...

holy smokes! that is some place. wow, thanks for sharing

Jim said...

Amazing architecture.

W. Latane Barton said...

Oh my, what a place! I can't believe I never saw it when we were in Calif. boo hoo.

RobinfromCA said...

I love to visit Hearst Castle but haven't been there for about 10 years - thanks for the memories! I love the Neptune Pool but that indoor pool always gives me the creeps for some reason - it seems spooky. lol! One of my favorite pieces of trivia is that Randolph built a lot of guest houses for their famous Hollywood guests but none of them have kitchens because he wanted everyone to socialize during meals.
Have a lovely week,
Robin

Annemor said...

Thanks for the Tour.
Happy Easter.
Mormor

http://www.starbear.no/mormor/2013/03/27/et-himmelsk-skue/

HansHB said...

Nice serie of photos!
Happy Easter to you!

Steffi said...

Very beautiful photos!Happy Easter to you!

Laura said...

oh my how majestic!

Jody and Stan said...

I live in California and have never been to San Simeon. Just looking at your gorgeous pictures tells me it's time to go. Beautiful photos!

Jody

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