H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 23: the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

I hope you are well as another weekend gets underway. I’m pretty excited; I just received word today that the Russian entry visa that I applied for has been approved! So now I can really start looking forward to my epic adventure in Russia, the Ukraine, and Moldova, for which I depart five weeks from tomorrow!

No doubt, some future candidates for the H-Bomb’s Friday Photo series will come from that trip. This week’s featured image, however, was captured in the American state of California. Specifically, it’s a scene from Hearst Castle, the magnificent mansion that newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) built in the town of San Simeon. (San Simeon lies roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the central California coast; it’s about 230 miles from each of those cities.) Mr. Hearst was a larger-than-life figure who was the inspiration for the title character in the classic Orson Welles film, Citizen Kane. The house that was made to order for him reflected his megalomania; and the tiled indoor swimming pool known as the Roman Pool was no exception.

hearst castle pool 1

The Roman Pool is believed to be modeled after an ancient Roman bath. Adorning it are eight statues depicting Roman gods, goddesses, and heroes. One of those statues is visible in the photo above. The mosaic patterns on the walls are taken from a 5th-century mausoleum in Ravenna, Italy. Forming the mosaics are over one million glass tiles called smalti, some of which are infused with actual gold.

This pool is located inside Casa Grande, the main building on the grounds of Mr. Hearst’s estate. And here’s a bonus photo! This is what Casa Grande looks like on the outside:

Casa Grande

The photos above were taken during a visit I made to California in June 2003. By the way, in case you were wondering, Hearst Castle is now a museum operated by the State of California. It’s a United States National Historic Landmark, and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Would you like to visit Hearst Castle?

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, week 23: the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

  1. Becca

    Ahhhh wonderful! So eccentric and intricate. Great capture too, love the still water and reflections. The photo really shows the opulence here. Thanks for the descriptions too – I had not seen this photo before (then again, with my sporadic internet visitations, I have probably missed a lot). Congrats on the approved visa! I look forward to pics from that trip. πŸ™‚


    • @Becca: Well, this photo was one of my earliest uploads to flickr, years before I met you, so it’s not so surprising that you would not have seen it. I’m glad you like it, even though it was taken with a relatively primitive camera and during a time when I was much less experienced as a photographer.

      I hope I’ll have some great photo ops on that Russia trip. πŸ™‚


      • Becca

        See, further proof that it’s not the camera that gets the good photos, it’s the photographer. πŸ™‚


  2. Yay, congrats on the visa! That should be a really amazing trip, I’ve never been to that part of the world, and look forward to hearing your stories!! And seeing pics, of course!;-)


  3. W~C~B~F~F

    Such a beautiful place. I would be very content to live in the guest quarters there…


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