The Enchanted Hill of Hearst Castle


For this first part, we’ll take a Hearst Castle tour around the gardens, the Roman and Neptune pools, and look at the arts with The Enchanted Hill as a background.

William Hearst inherited a 40,000 acre of land from his father, George Hearst. He explored the rolling hills of San Simeon by riding his horse. He decided to build a little something. He hired Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California. He collaborated with her the design and architecture of the castle.

To me, the fact that the castle is perched atop the rolling hills of San Simeon made a lot of difference. The art placements are made more striking with the background of The Enchanted Hill, named by William Hearst himself.

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I find the arts of Hearst Castle too much mixtures, and, well, indecorous. One second I’m looking at a bunch of angelic figures, the next second I see Romans, and then some sort of dog-looking creatures. I looked at one side I saw a Roman male person, and then I looked at opposite side, a devilish looking man with horns. The front of Hearst Castle, I’m reminded of La Giralda of Seville, Spain. You go down a mini-stair leading to one side of the garden and you might see Egyptian sculptures. There’s no distinct pattern, no concrete symmetry, and the arts, mismatching.

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As it turns out, William Hearst, with all the inheritance he had, bought just about whatever that pleased him. It was after the war. Europe was economically decline. The market for auctioned arts was a loot. The construction was on going. He wanted to fill it with arts. He had the means to buy, and so, he just plundered away. He didn’t even show up to auctions. He hired other people to go to New York to do the bidding for him. That way, the bidding doesn’t get too high. He gets better deals, and more arts to purchase. It didn’t matter what he buys, but just as long as he appreciated it.

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There are two pools: the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool. There is currently no water in the Neptune pool because of leak problems.

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The Roman Pool is indoor, and is to the other side. The Roman Pool is one of my favorite parts of the castle.

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As an expectator, I can’t help but be critical about it. It was hard for me to digest. The mass expanse of the whole area didn’t help either. There’s just too much assortments for me. And I just think that that loses character. William Hearst just wanted to build this little something that turned into something grand. He set out a plan and executed with his own vision. He didn’t turn to art experts for any approval. He ignored the critics. That fact, I do admire. William Hearst wanted this castle he used as a retreat to turn into a museum. He wanted other people to see and appreciate European arts without going to Europe. If you do get the opportunity to see The Hearst Castle, I recommend to appreciate its arts … individually. πŸ˜‰



cravesadventure isn’t just taking us to awesome places in California. Renee has been giving us life reflections, advice, motivation, words of wisdom, and inspirations.


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60 replies »

  1. Interesting place for sure. You are a good story teller. You’ve grabbed my attention from the beginning to the end. Thanks for taking us there!

  2. Hearst Castle is certainly a place to explore and check off the travel bucket list! Do not forget to stop off to see the Elephant Seals in that area too – pure entertainment. Happy Week πŸ™‚

    Thanks for featuring my blog – you are so SWEET!!!

    • I wish they arranged the arts based on classifications at least. But I’m not a designer. πŸ˜€ I can certainy appreciate the arts individually.

    • How old were you? Hmmm… I felt that this is not for kids. The idea of castle is, but after that it is mainly for architechture, arts and design observations. Either-who, it would of been nice to take a look.

  3. Thanks for the tour around Hearst Castle and yes you are right there is no symmetry between art works. Money doesn’t always buy taste. Yes I loved the Roman pool too, it was aesthetically pleasing to the eye and calming like a cocoon I think. Great post Rommel.

  4. Like you my favorite is the indoor pool. Been there twice for my mom and a friend and yes it is grandeur over the top. My next blog is another big house out here in the East, the Biltmore Estates. Steve and I could not help compare both homes, huge homes and the story behind them. Maybe we can get to compare who is the richest, the Hearst or the Vanderbilts!

    • Ahhh! Will see that later … Next time I make my part deux, I’ll definitely talk more about the grandeur over the top and his wealth.

  5. What a very interesting place. And so many “old” Hollywood stories connected to it. I had a chance to visit there MANY years ago but because of time constraints didn’t get the chance. I see I missed a very unusual tourist site! πŸ™‚

  6. Hearst Castle does have a unique beauty, which is saying something – and I do admire that Hearst followed his own vision. I’m not as crazy about places that are designed to be magazine perfect. Beautiful shots and great story-telling!

  7. I am hoping to take my granddaughters to Hearst Castle this summer. We haven’t been in a long time! I’ve been thinking of taking the evening tour, but I’m afraid my photography won’t be good enough to share. Now the blog dictates my options. Now your photographs are excellent and you really captured the immensity of the place! A friend of mine owned a home in Beverly Hills that once belonged to Hearst and it had secret passageways for Marian Davies to come and go undetected. It was very cool. He was a very intriguing man. πŸ™‚ You’ve convinced me we need to go back and see it again. When I was a child and visited the wild animals were still on the property.

    • I remember your christmas light photos. I know you and your camera can handle night pictures. When we were there, night tour was not available. It’s good to call if you plan that one. The cages are there, but no animals. It must had been a sight to see back then, esp. as a kid. We saw a deer on the way to the castle though which was cool.

  8. The building looks lovely. The eclectic art collection reminds me of the collections of some of our Maharajahs!. Enjoyed the tour Rommel.

  9. I’m with you Rommel, art needs to be tastefully displayed, not a huge conglomeration. The indoor pool looks very inviting. Thanks for the tour! πŸ™‚

  10. I share your sentiment Rommel, but the mere idea of approaching art to those who can’t travel to Europe is not a bad one. Loving your photos of statues….

    • Yup! Afterall is said and done ( and constructed πŸ˜€ ), William Hearst giving his estate to the state of California for the world to see is very generous.

  11. So true, a total wreck of beautiful art piled in no particular order in a spectacular setting. What I love most about the place is the stories of all the grand parties and quirky habits Mr. Hearst had . Oh to be so rich that your craziness was considered charming and quirky!

  12. Thanks for liking my curiositycafe post on WPC and leading me here! When my daughter was 11 we visited Hearst Castle, of course since she was a swimmer we had to visit the Roman Pool, and we both wanted to dive in to see the cobalt blue tiles and gold leaf underwater. I love the moodiness of your last photo of the pool.

  13. wonderful post – the pictures were a visual tour and I scrolled them a few times – also – I have seen your gravatar on many blogs and so it is nice to finally make it here – your work is great and your inert action with other bloggers is as well….

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