You may have glimpsed through Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Marie Claire. You may have heard about the owner of those florescent magazines—Hearst Corporation, a privately-held media conglomerate based in New York. But you may not know there was a dreamer called William Randolph Hearst, who realized his dream by building up not only the media empire, but also a real castle—the Hearst Castle.
Hearst Castle is built atop of a hill of the Santa Lucia Range at an altitude of about 490 meters. The Castle is on the coast of central California, about 400 kilometers south of San Francisco. With an ancient construction style, Hearst Castle is actually not as old as it looks. The castle was designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. Since then it has been maintained as a state historical park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours.
The tour shuttle took us up to the gate of the castle. The first sight of the castle was stunning, not only because of its size, but also the Roman style sculptures scattered in the lot. That feeling stayed with me for the next 90 minutes while I was walking through the living room, bedrooms, dining room and bathrooms—and that route covered only one-fourth of the entire castle. In addition to the numerous rooms, the castle also features a one-half square kilometers of gardens and the world largest private zoo. Zebras and other exotic animals still roam the grounds. One highlight of the castle is the outdoor pool, which offers an expansive vista of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The patio of the pool represents ancient Roman temple. All the pillars and bricks were transported from Europe and reassembled onsite.
When William Randolph Hearst was a little kid, he traveled around the countries in Europe with his mom. The trip left him deep impression of those gorgeous constructions. That impression gave young Hearst the idea of building up a dwelling of his own, with various styles included. After several discussions with Julia, the architect, Hearst found Renaissance and Baroque are more to his taste.
2011-01-04 21:35 编辑：kuaileyingyu