Between Los Angeles and San Francisco stands a literal castle - a mansion that was built by William Randolph Hearst, the most well-known businessman of the 20th century. Similar to the mystery of the Winchester House, Hearst Castle is home to extravagant and lavish architecture that has been influenced from countries and cultures around the world. Featuring a mansion and three guesthouses with similarly stunning architecture and design, this castle is open to the public, where visitors can explore 98% of the home and its grounds.
When it comes to worldly influences and mixed design, it could be argued that no one has done it better than Hearst. This castle houses a plethora of architecture with origins that span the globe, along with personal touches and details that make this landmark truly unique. The question is, is it worth it to see in person? The answer, overwhelmingly, is yes.
All Of The Mansion's Decorations Came From Different Parts Of The World
What's truly magnificent about Hearst Castle lies in the small (or sometimes large) details in the decor. Hearst was known for having an eccentric and eclectic style when it came to design and things he loved, and this castle is definitely reflective of that. Julia Morgan was the architect of the castle, but the interior features came from exotic locations such as Egypt and Spain.
The statues in the front yard were imported from Egypt while Roman-style columns surround the pool, and even the bedroom ceilings were in a traditional Spanish art-deco style. Hearst got many of these items from post-war auctions, and it has never been revealed how much the items in the home are actually worth.
The Ceiling In The Master Bedroom Is Said To Be The Most Iconic
Compared to the rest of the home and even to the guesthouses, Hearst's room - the master bedroom - is relatively small in size. Keep in mind, what's considered to be 'small' in terms of a castle and 'small' in terms of the average house are two different things. Regardless, the ceiling in this room is made entirely out of wood from Spain which dated back to the 15th century. Both the woodwork and the artistic style of the ceiling are stunning and while it's a gorgeous room to relax in, according to CNN, it's rumored that Hearst never got more than four hours of sleep, thus making a luxe bedroom a non-necessity.
There's A Surrounding Forest And Hearst Once Owned All The Land
At one point in time, more than 250,000 acres of land surrounding the castle belonged to Hearst, meaning everything the eye could see from the highest level likely belonged to the owner. Therefore, it's not surprising to know that Hearst also planted a forest in the surrounding area, which consisted of 7,000 Monterey pine trees. While planting trees is a wonderful eco-friendly gesture, part of the reason for planting them was also to block the view of the nearby water basin.
Its Biggest Room Could Fit An Entire Average-Sized House
Otherwise known as the 'assembly room,' at 2,498 square feet, this room might even be bigger than some average houses. The gathering space is so enormous that phones were actually installed so that guests could speak to one another from across the room - and we're not talking about kid-style tin can phones, either. Their purpose is to keep guests from having to walk from one end of the room to the other or shout across a large expanse, and it's the definition of 'extra.'
Much Of The Artwork Is Of Rare Collection
Also found in the enormity of the assembly room is a collection of rare art. The tapestries that adorn the wall date back to the 16th century and resemble the ones that can also be seen in the Louvre, however, the real things hang in the Hearst Castle. Post-French Revolution, art collections were split up and sold, which is how they landed in the hands of some of the richest and most prominent figures in history.
The assembly room is not the only room in which rare art can be found, though. The billiards room also plays host to some extravagant pieces, one of which is called the Hunt of the Unicorn series. These also originated in France and date back to 1500 AD, and they can't be missed - the tapestries are 14 feet in length and ten feet high. The other accompanying pieces are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and are part of a collection which totals seven pieces altogether.