You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 10, 2012.


Roman pool, Hearst Castle

 

As Shakespeare said, “Two houses both alike in dignity…” and eccentricity. 

While traveling on Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I visited two almost equally peculiar “homes”, Hearst Castle and Madonna Inn.

Hearst Castle is the mansion of the notorious American media mogul William Randolph Hearst. Built between 1919 and 1947 near San Simeon by architect Julia Morgan, “La Cuesta Encantada”(the Enchanted Hill), as it is also known, today is a national historic landmark . It is a huge castle build on a hill with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by open fields that used to be orchards and a private zoo for exotic animals.

Indoors mosaics pool, Hearst Castle

Yes, exotic animals. Hearst was a millionaire and a very eccentric person. Together with Julia Morgan, he designed an eclectic, flamboyant castle that combines many architectural styles and epochs in one. Inspired by the wonderful cathedrals, castles, palaces, fortresses, chateaus, and villas he had seen while traveling through Europe with his mother as a child, Hearst incorporated everything in his mansion. “The Ranch”, as Hearst himself called it, has an ancient Roman mosaics pool, Medieval tapestry, Gothic hallways, a collection of antique furniture and Mediterranean art, a modern movie theatre, church-like bell towers, painted and wood carved ceilings, marvelous gardens and patios, and much more.  It is architectural madness and genius at the same time. It used to be frequented by the political elite and the highlife of Hearst’s time like Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt.

Dining room, Madonna Inn

Hearst Castle is magnificent, no doubt about that, and it does feel like something out of a dream about the Mediterranean. Still, I would recommend to anyone, if possible, to visit the European palaces and learn about the Mediterranean cultures that inspired Hearst to build his dream ranch.

Ladies’ Bathrooms, Madonna Inn

The second peculiar mansion I visited in California was the Madonna Inn. It is a hostel on US Route 101 near San Luis Obispo  built by construction magnate Alex Madonna. The Madonna Inn is famous because each of its 110 guest rooms is uniquely themed: heaven, whisky factory, desert sands, caveman room, rock bottom, safari, love nest, old mill, Bridal Falls, jungle, flowers, cloud Nine, amusement park, etc.  The outside of the Inn looks like a palace-chalet from a Swiss alps fairytale – adorned with decorative rocks, a giant fireplace made up of boulders, stained glass depicting the owner’s businesses with construction, cattle, and limber, hand-carved stairs, a dining room that looks like a hot pink flower cave, and bathrooms resembling an underwater cove.

This time, I only went in for a few minutes, but I bet that staying in this landmark resort hotel is an experience in and of itself.

Hearst Castle and Madonna Inn reminded me a lot of the palace in Cintra, Portugal. Take a look here

 

Advertisements

Enter your email address to subscribe to Zikata's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 73 other followers

Follow me on Twitter!

Share this Blog

Share |
June 2012
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Read it? Rate it!

RSS Getting curious:

  • Amazon tests ‘top brand’ label for some big-name fashion sellers
    Amazon.com Inc. is designating products sold by certain companies as “top brands,” a test that if widely implemented could ease tension between the online retail giant and big-name companies used to favorable positioning at brick-and-mortar retailers. The company appended a “top brand” label to products from Speedo, New Balance, Under Armor and Fruit of the […]
  • Cheez-It signs on as College Football Playoff sponsor
    Welcome to the latest edition of Ad Age TV Brief, our roundup of news from the world of broadcast, cable, streaming and beyond. *Extremely Mr. Roarke Voice* Smiles everyone, smiles! Say Cheez-It:  Kellogg’s Cheez-It has inked a multiyear pact to serve as an official sponsor of the College Football Playoff series. Cheez-It joins a rooster of 14 other CFP back […]
  • Agency Brief: Recession looms, Gary Vee publicly shames an intern, but we still have Shatner
    As reports circulate that a recession could be on the horizon “a lot sooner than anyone thought,” Keith Johnston, Forrester vice president and research director, global CMO practice leader, and a former executive at agencies, including T3 and MullenLowe, says brands are going to use this economic downturn as “an opportunity to acquire talent.” “Certainly hig […]
  • Watch the newest commercials on TV from Google, Gucci, Geico and more
    Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on Aug. 12. A few highlights: Gucci serves up a 15-second TV cut of its trippy Mémoire d’une Odeur ad, starring Harry Styles, that debuted online. To make a poi […]
  • 3 unique ways to use Facebook to promote your business
    Although it used to be a platform to connect with friends, Facebook is now used globally for businesses to promote their content and grow their following. The platform boasts 1.56 billion daily active users on average, and this number continues to increase as time goes on. If you use the platform to grow and cater to your audience, there’s no doubt it can ea […]

Your Green Eyes

Ad

Advertisements