Hearst's Castle

San Simeon Travel Blog

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Hearst's Castle Facade

Today was our day to visit Hearst's Castle. We both had wanted to visit the legendary mansion of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The mansion, perched on a hill, is the inspiration for Xanadu in the film Citizen Kane (of course, Hearst is the inspiration for Charles Foster Kane). 

The mansion became a state park in the 1950s after Hearst's death. A long drive leads onto the property. We parked at the bottom of the hill by the visitor center where a state parks tram takes visitors the rest of the way up the hill to the entrance.

Heart's Castle contains 165 rooms and is built in an eclectic mix of Spanish, Moorish, and Mediterranean styles.

Neptune Pool at Hearst's Castle
We took one of the guided tours of the house. The tour included several of the main rooms (notably the Assembly Room and the Billiard Room), indoor pool, outdoor Neptune Pool, and the expansive patio and gardens. (I liked the telephone jacks in the garden, an early portable telephone service.) The tour concluded with a film about William Randolph Hearst, his associates, including actress Mairon Davies, and the house. The inside of the house and its tapestries, paneling and furnishings is indescribable. Is it artfuly tasteful or wildely overdone? You have to see it.

I've read that Hearst family members continue to have access to the property. Patty Hearst said in an interview that she would watch tour groups from the Neptune Pool. No family members spotted this day, though. (Or maybe they were hiding nearby?)

tj1777 says:
Is it tacky or tastefull? I am not sure you can decide even if you been there ;) I am not sure I liked the concept of bringing the inside of an old roof from Europe to a California house.

But it sure is an interesting place.
Posted on: Mar 10, 2011
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Hearsts Castle Facade
Hearst's Castle Facade
Neptune Pool at Hearsts Castle
Neptune Pool at Hearst's Castle
Indoor Pool at Hearsts Castle
Indoor Pool at Hearst's Castle
San Simeon
photo by: hannajax