Exploring California’s Hearst Castle on Instagram
For more photos and videos from Hearst Castle, explore the Hearst Castle location page.
In 1919, media tycoon William Randolph Hearst commissioned architect Julia Morgan to design a home atop the 270,000 acres (1,093 square kilometers) of property he owned in the hills of San Simeon, California. Over the next 28 years, Morgan created one of the most ambitious architectural projects in American history: Hearst Castle.
The home, formally named La Cuesta Encantada (“The Enchanted Hill”), contains over 160 rooms and boasts tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield and 127 acres (.5 square kilometers) of gardens. Most iconic, however, are the property’s two ornate pools—one indoor and one outdoor—that Morgan designed with Hearst’s love of Roman antiquity in mind. The outdoor Neptune Pool (rebuilt three times until it was perfect) features the façade from an actual temple imported from Italy, while the expansive indoor Roman Pool is decorated with a floor-to-ceiling mosaic made of glass and fused-gold tiles.
During its prime, the Castle also held the world’s largest private zoo. Though the zoo was dismantled after Hearst’s death in 1951, a sparse population of zebras can be seen roaming the grounds to this day.
Hearst Castle is now a state historic park and welcomes nearly one million visitors each year.