Craigdarroch Castle

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ak1 on November 11, 2007

We walked from downtown because one of the tourist signs said 8 blocks. We figured it couldn't be too terrible of a walk but I think the walk was definitely more than 8 blocks and the streets getting there had a bit of an incline which made it perfectly fine for walking back from the castle.

When we finally arrived at the castle out of breath, I realized the walk there was worth it. The outside of the castle was tall and slender with several stained glass windows visible from outside. When we entered the castle we paid our admission in the front lobby which was a circular room. Then when we stepped inside of the main lobby and had a chance to look straight up and realized that there were four floors to visit in this majestic mansion.

The first floor was awesome; everything was very detailed and amazing. The living room ceiling which had been recently restored to have its original artwork was just incredible. The ceiling had layers of paint scraped off to find the original art masterpiece that had been painted in the home.

The rest of the floors were fun to look at but they weren't anything like the first floor. Allot of the details had gone by the way side and not as much of it had been restored but it was all still very fascinating.

This was the second castle that we visited on our trip and by far the more elaborate one. This mansion has been used in films such as Little Women and Cats and Dogs. The mansion is over 20,000 square feet and features 32 stained glass windows. The original owners were Robert and Joan Dunsmuir and they were wealthy coal barons and had the mansion built for them in the 1890's. Robert died before the completion of the mansion and never lived there. Over the years the mansion has been a military hospital, a college and a school board office. Finally in 1979 they opted to turn this once castle into a museum and then it had to undergo an extensive restoration process. It was finally given over to the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society in 1995.

Besides being an interesting piece of history this mansion is also an amazing home filled with wonders of architecture. The intricate details in the woodworking alone are worth seeing. The tower at Craigdarroch Castle looks out over the city and is truly one of the neatest views. The splendor and charm of this old home will leave you truly amazed.
Craigdarroch Castle
Victoria, British Columbia

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