Entrance to the estate. This was Hearst's weekend ranch retreat. He called his San Simeon residence La Casa Encantada.
As a child, in the mid-1800s, William Randolph Hearst would come to this San Simeon family-owned ranch to camp under the stars.
As a successful businessman, Hearst began building his Mediterranean Revival mansion at this location and filled it with treasures from around the world. The project continued from 1919 to 1947 when his doctors said that he could no longer live in such a remote location.
The plan was for a group of buildings that would revolve around a towering main structure in a manner reminiscent of a Spanish hill town.
You can see the estate miles away perched on top of the mountain. As you twist and turn up the 5 mile driveway, you pass pastures upon which exotic animals - zebras, giraffes, emu, etc…- once grazed.
Casa Grande (the main house) was built of reinforced concrete, a totally new architectural concept at that time. Even today, Casa Grande exceeds current earthquake codes. The estate contains 115 rooms, including 38 bedrooms, a library, movie theater, kitchen, and living quarters for household staff. There are also three separate cottages that contain numerous bedrooms, bathrooms, and sitting rooms…but none
The estate's magnificent main house "Casa Grande", and 3 guest houses are of Mediterranean Revival style and are perched atop a rocky knoll of the San Lucia Mountains.
contain dining areas because guests are required to have dinner and socialize in the main house in the evening.
The estate contains 127 acres of terraces, gardens, walkways, tennis courts, and pools. Winding paths through the gardens terminate at vista points which provided guests with a view of the ocean and a quite spot for contemplation.
After all these years, Hearst Castle was never finished. It was always an ongoing project/hobby as Hearst’s vision changed.
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