Saturday, April 19
Believe it or not, when I was looking into working at Hearst Castle I never actually got to tour the castle. I was shown a video, but never made it up the hill to the actual place. In retrospect, I'm actually happy about that because I would have been a billion times more disappointed that things didn't work out. While passing through this week, since I had a little time, I decided to make up for last time and take a tour. I avoided the "Experience Tour" because it seemed that the crowd was too large, and the tour that showed more of the art and antiquities collection was more interesting to me anyways.
The Roman antiquities were interesting, especially since these are actual ruins that have been built into the structure. I'd be interested to hear what the Greek authorities would have to say about this, especially after the way they fought the Getty and other museums. Taking into account the fact that Mr. Hearst bought whatever he felt like, with or without provenance, I have questions about how he acquired these ruins.
The other thing I found interesting about Mr.Heart's collection is the fact that he imported ceilings from all over Europe. This one was actually built for the room it was in, but it was the creepiest thing I've seen in a long time. This picture is kind of poor because they don't allow the use of a flash when taking photos. However, if you look closely you will see the baby heads, that's right baby heads. The ceiling of this bedroom has 24 baby heads...24 decapitated baby heads encased in gold...what a way to wake up.
Speaking of creepy things to have a bed room, how about a reliquary? Almost every room has a reliquary in it. Maybe sleeping next to creepy sculptures that contain the bones of saints was relaxing for Mr.Hearst. To illustrate this perfectly, here is one where you can actually see a bone.
Overall though? The place was amazing, and made more interesting by every story told by our tour guide. I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it.
Posted by Kelly Visel