Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hearst Castle

Ok, oh Lordy, where to start.  You've all seen Citizen Kane? Routinely voted the best film ever? Based on the life of William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate? (read a sanitized version of his life at the clickable link).  Well here is his home.  Built by architect Julia Morgan (yes, a woman - imagine at this time, the 20s) over a period of 28 years.   This "home" is stunning.  Inspired by Classicism and the grand architecture of Europe over several different epochs,  the buildings pay homage to Spanish cathedrals, Scottish castles, Mediterranean history ... and then some. But my photos do not pay this place the respect it deserves, I think you should all head to flickr to see how others have photographed it. Walking around, I could feel the presence of long dead others - the famous and interesting guests that came to stay for fortnights at a time... Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, Winston Churchill...  Apparently it was their "interestingness" that guaranteed their stay, not their wealth.  So stardom was not a necessity of being invited back.  

The vistas that spanned the entire property were truly gorgeous - we visited on a good day, the light was both grey and dramatic, lit by bright sunshine with an umbrella of gloomy clouds.  The pacific coast twinkled off in the distance and the hills rolled green and violet.  The air was fragrant with the smell of citrus, but still chill.  The interior pool with its gold leaf tiles, drained of water for renovation and the modern tennis court were personal favourites.

detail in the home cinema

Our wonderful, both academic and humerous guide, Wayne

Had to post the next one: another "proud to be Kiwi" souvenir shot.  (For Shayne)


  1. awesome welles !

  2. the castle i meant but the single thumbs up is pretty cool too..

  3. Well, bonus! I got two blog comments out of you. And a sexy pun.

  4. I agree the tennis courts look fantastic and I like that blurry shot of you Jess. Pool looks a treat too.