Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Hearst Castle ハーストの城

I have seen the Rothschild's estate in South France. I have seen the Rockefeller's mansion in upstate New York. However, this castle of William Randolf Hearst was just outstanding. It was overwhelmingly grand, exquisite and dramatic. W.R.Hearst, the king of the newspaper business, inherited 250,000 acres of land from his father in 1919, and began building this castle. By 1947 there were 165 rooms, gardens and pools, zoo, airport and you name what. The construction was originally planned for one year, but ended up for 20 years!


The whole tour production at the Castle was grand, too. There were many giant buses to take you up to the castle that is on the top of the mountain, and there were so many choices of tours. Since we had a limited time we only did the "guest house and the garden tour." The guest houses were so gorgeous that I could not image what the Hearst house would have looked like.


I have been to many great museums around the world, but the art collections here was just amazing. Hearst was purchasing one third of the world's top art collections back then. This is literally "living in the museum," and the weird thing is that he was not a royal king of a country. He was just a man..., well a very wealthy man, indeed. Our tour guide explained that Hearst invited the local families and their children to his castle on the Christmas day and gave them big presents to everyone. He was very generous. Yet, we all know what he did many controversial things back then. "Was he a good man who did bad thing? Or was he a bad man who did good thing?" Our guided questioned. My personal opinion is: it is better to be a bad man who does good things because if a good man does bad things the world is very critical about it. If a bad man does good thing the world feels sympathy for him. Don't you agree with me?


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