Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bishop's Castle, Pueblo, CO: The height of eccentrisism

A couple weeks ago, we had a rocky start to our Rocky Mountain vacation. The day of our departure, Missouri had the first of many snowstorms, bringing our trip to a screeching halt. When we finally left and traveled all the way through the pit of hell, I mean Kansas, and made it to Colorado, we were suddenly faced with road closures. And lots of them. Instead of getting to my sisters house as planned, we had to bunk up at the Rodeway Inn (more on this horrific night later).

Finally, on day 2, we made it into the Springs. Our first day was pretty non-productive and was spent lounging on my sisters sofa thinking about what we would do "tomorrow". Tomorrow brought us to Bishop's Castle, at the suggestion of my niece, who had heard about this place but never been herself.

First step. Google It. And Google we did. It's hard to find the address for this single-handed man made creation, but look hard and you will see it.

This castle is amazing and so weird all at the same time. Warnings are posted on the Bishops Castle website that if Mr. Bishop is there, he's quite likely to rant about politics, the world, or the shoes your wearing (ok, that last part is made up but it sounds like he's a little cantankerous).

The stone castle is definitely beautiful in it's own way. Mr. Bishop, who bought this land atop a gorgeous mountain when he was 15, started constructing the castle in 19. The website states that he's most likely to be found there on weekends so I'm assuming he's had a job all these years. I'm impressed at his drive to continue working on this castle this many years. My oomph would have pittered out years ago.

Word on the street is that Mr. Bishop specializes in steel work. Judging by the pictures above, I'd venture that's a pretty true statement. Ornate steel designs adorn the exterior and interior of the castle.

Panes of stain glass are placed, each with different sayings, in honor of those who donated money to the cause. The castle is 100% free and open to the public (I think at all hours of the day).

Just as you enter the castle, this signs sits at the bottom of the stairs. There are several signs throughout the castle that Bishop painted that talk about how law enforcement agencies have tried to shut down the castle and are all against him and his work. Mr. Bishop definitely has passion about his castle, I will give that to him.

My expectation was we would be able to use the stroller for Olivia. This was not the case. The grounds are not stroller-friendly nor even kid-friendly. The whole place actually looked abandoned from the road because there was atleast a foot and a half of snow covering the walkways. Can I say snowshovel? I guess that's what you get for a free attraction. The only bathroom facilities is the outside just at the entrance of the castle grounds. Warning: DO NOT go in there. Just don't. The side of the road works just fine.

Mr. Bishop is currently building a moat around the castle. How cool is that? 'Cause you really can't have a castle without a moat!!

And what would a castle be without a fire-breathing dragon, I ask?!?!

And of course, the Leaning Tower of Bishop......

I was incredibly disappointed to find the gift shop abandoned and snowed it. I was looking forward to buying a Bishops Castle trinket!

The doorways and windows are still not completed, therefore the house is cold and drafty this time of year. Take it from Olivia, bundle up.

It truly is an incredible sight. It's worth the drive. Mr. Bishop strongly urges leaving donations since he offers viewings of his castle at no charge. I'm ashamed to say that we had every intention of leaving money and completely forgot. My sister plans to return in the summer and will leave an extra $5 for me. Thanks Mr. Bishop!

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