Citizen Cane’s Hearst Castle
A beautiful mansion built just outside San Simeon, California, the Hearst Castle overlooks the scenic Pacific Ocean. According to travel guides, the estate was donated to California in 1957 and it is now a state and national historic landmark. Originally named by William Hearst ‘The Enchanted Hill, the castle is built on a 40,000 acre ranch built by George Hearst.
Construction of the Hearst Castle started in 1919, because William Hearst was difficult to please and often changed his mind, the city was not completed until after his death in 1947. Visitors to the city will enjoy its 56 bedrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 61 bathrooms, both indoor and outdoor pools, a movie theater, tennis courts, an airfield and a large private zoo that still has animals in it.
Hearst Castle was once the site of many renowned parties and visitors included Charlie Chaplin, the Marc Brothers, Cary Grant, Charles Lindbergh and more. It is interesting to note that part of the agreement donating the estate to the state allowed the family to use the property whenever they wished. Patty Hearst fondly recalls hiding from tourists when they visited the estate.
Today, the castle itself is a museum, though the family still has access to a small Victorian style home which they use as a vacation spot on occasion. Tours run daily and all year round. Ticket prices vary depending on the season and the time of the day. The tours fill up rather quickly, so visitors who wish to tour the Hearst Castle are encouraged to make reservations. The tour includes a short bus ride to the mansion. The movie Citizen Cane, in a nod toward the castle, portrays a similar structure. The Hearst Castle is an enormous and decadent example of wealth in the early part of the century in America and well worth a tour.
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