Hearst Castle

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Most who travel on Route 1 will eventually tour Hearst Castle, I think.  I went without having any idea what I would see, so the following is a little photo tour.  

It’s hard to know how to feel about Hearst Castle.  Brilliant and beautiful, but perhaps, also a symbol of arrogant excess and social inequality.  Built between 1919 and 1947 by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan, it stands as a captivating oddity on the California coastline.  Here, the elite guests of the day gathered for drinks in the Assembly Room, dined in the massive refectory, played pool in the Billiards Room, and watched a movie in the theater before retiring to their posh guest quarters – Casa del mar, Casa del Monte and Casa del Sol.  During the day, they could play tennis, take a dip in either the Neptune or Roman pools, or enjoy the beachside.  Not a bad life.  

To visit, you have to take a tour.  There are various options, but the most common is the Grand Rooms Tour for $25.  There is also a 15 minute bus ride from the visitor center.  Here’s the main house, Casa Grande. 

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

The fine detail at the front entrance echoes many European landmarks.  

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

The next three photos are the aptly. named Assembly Room, where guest would gather.  

Assembly Room, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Assembly Room, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Assembly Room, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

Check out the Refectory, or the largest private dining hall I’ve ever seen lol.  

Refectory, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
Refectory, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA
Refectory, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA

I don’t know the names of these rooms, but they were part of the tour, obviously.

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simenon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simenon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simenon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simenon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

Of course, there’s the Billiard Room. 

Billiard Room, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Billiard Room, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

And the private theater.  

Theater, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Theater, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

Here’s a couple of the guest quarters.  The tour didn’t include the interior.  

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

And a beautiful courtyard next to the residences. 

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

The outdoor pool is the Neptune Pool.  

Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

There’s a great view toward the beach. 

View from Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
View from Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
View from Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

The last part of the tour is the Roman Pool in the basement.

Roman Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Photo by Ming Lo

Back at the visitor center, there’s some exhibits, like this fire truck. 

Period Fire Truck, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.
Visitor Center, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA. Photo by Ming Lo.

If you want to spend more time and explore more, there’s lots of different tour options, and you can book a tour ahead of time if you wish.  Definitely worth a stop on Route 1. 

 

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