April 25, 2015

Hearst Castle Exteriors

 William Randolph "Citizen Kane" Hearst was a newspaper magnate back in the 20's when you could spend 30 years building a mansion full of centuries old artworks in the back hills of California and then surround it with exotic imported animals. It was a simpler time when you could ship your wife off to New York so you could live with your mistress, invite the Marx Brothers over for the weekend, and raise zebras in your 240,000 acre backyard.
 Not only did Hearst live in a time when having Charlie Chaplin over for bootlegged rum was a social event and not a fever dream, he also lived when modern antiquities trafficking was called "redecorating". The entire grounds are covered with various greek and roman treasures but I found this Egyptian statue of of Sekmet a particularly unlikely purchase to try and make in the 21st century.
 The "Neptune Pool" occupies a sizeable area with a network of walkways and guest houses around it. Since California is having a water crisis and the pool has a "leak" (of apparently several thousand gallons a day) the area was drained and under repairs, but is still a striking place to have a walk around.
The grounds of Hearst Castle are absolutely amazing to explore, and I would heartily endorse anyone wanting to visit to bring a wide-angle or fisheye lens with them as the photographic opportunities are incredible.

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