The collage of the photos above are practically the same for every visitor to Hearst Castle. Let me be clear at the outset; I'm not trying to be sarcastic or condescending here. I have also taken these standard and usual photos myself. It's great to have your own reminder of YOUR visit to this one-of-a-kind mansion.
My purpose for this page is to present for you some of the seldom seen or photographed places and detail so that you may have a better sense of Hearst Castle whether you have visited here previously or plan to do so in the future.
I have looked through thousands of photos and selected some of the best. I trust you will enjoy the show...
(The above four photos are all creative commons licensed and found on Flickr. Clockwise from upper left the subject and photographer: Roman pool, newchaos; Terrace above the Neptune pool, Nathan Wong; the Neptune pool, kangotraveler; and the Main Hall exterior, heydrienne.)
This fantastic picture is of a familiar subject, the Neptune Pool, but taken at an unfamiliar time for most visitors. A few times throughout the year, the Castle is opened for evening tours and this was taken on one of those. Just after sunset, you can see the fading glow of Venus' belt through the the columns. If you want to see some more excellent photos of Central California, I would suggest that you click and view this photographer's photo page on Flickr (opens in new tab).
Another familiar subject at an unfamiliar season, the dining hall, at Christmas time. The tours at this time of year are very popular. For more photos of the Castle at Christmastime, see my page here.
Hearst Castle Pictures of Exteriors:
A nicely restored 1930's vintage fire truck/pumper. If you have a property this size, you definitely need your own fire department.
It's easy in a place like Hearst Castle to ignore the scenery beyond the spectacular buildings. This picture looks NW out over Piedra Blanca Ranch all the way into Monterey County. Quite a view.
Known as a "harem window", these features allowed the women of the harem to view life on the street below without being able to be observed.
Hearst filled numerous warehouses with his purchases of architecture and art from Europe and later had these artifacts incorporated here at the castle.
The highly detailed ceiling of the porch around the Neptune Pool.
Before we move this Hearst Castle pictures tour indoors, one last look at some of the ornate decorations on this building.
Lampshades made with vellum pages of an old monastic antiphonale. The print on these books were large so that one book could be used for a number of monks.
A choir stall. Monks would sit here with two rows of these on either side of the monastic church and from here they would chant their prayers at different hours of the day and night.
A lamp holder in the private movie theater
If you have lots of guests, you need a large kitchen. This is only a portion. Hearst also had his own wine cellar.
What you see in this room is what the rest of the Castle is underneath. Julia Morgan extensively used concrete to build and then covered it with all those thousands of artifacts that Hearst bought throughout the world.
Hearst had some peculiar notions - one was to only use paper napkins, and the other was that ketchup and mustard were always to be on the table no matter what was being served.
When you're 50 miles from the nearest hospital, you need a good supply of remedies.
Hearst Castle Pictures of ceilings...
To us these days, ceilings are mundane and an after thought. "Paint it the same color as the walls".
Not so for Hearst...here is one of the treasures that many visitors miss. The size and shape of the ceilings that Hearst had bought dictated the rooms that Julia Morgan built. Take some time and look up...
These ceiling panels are huge! Go back and look at the wide view photo of the dining hall and then back here - the three panels across span the entire width of the hall. Impressive.
More ceiling art - I believe the subject of the photo above is of the angels announcing the birth of Christ to the shepherds.
This finishes our tour of unusual Hearst Castle pictures and we'll end it as the regular tour ends; with a visit to the indoor Roman Pool area. This is a view seldom seen - with the pool empty enabling us to see clearly the mosaics that line the bottom and sides.