Photo: Alison Park-Douglas
Castles seem like the stuff of myths. But Victoria, British Columbia is home to a real life castle built for the family of a coal tycoon, Robert Dunsmuir.Construction began on the structure, called Craigdarroch Castle, in 1887 and was completed in 1890. Dunsmuir commissioned the building thinking the venue would be the perfect place to hold wedding for two of his daughters.
But Dunsmuir never saw his dream realised, because he passed away in April 1889 before the construction was complete.
The will of Robert Dunsmuir caused great debate within the family. His wife, Joan, inherited the estate and lived there until she too passed away years later.
After Joan died, Craigdarroch was sold and became a military hospital and later became a college.
The castle once sat on 28 acres of land, but today sits on about 1.75 acres, and features a library, a breakfast room, at least seven different types of wood inside: walnut, jarra, rosewood, maple, holly, and oak.
traveller and photographer Alison Park-Douglas was kind enough to share her castle photos with us.
The castle incorporates revival style with 11th and 12th century southern French, Spanish and Italian Romanesque characteristics.
The artifacts inside the house were re-acquired by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, or purchased because they were of a similar era.
Visitors to the castle have their shoes cleaned before entering to ensure the carpets and floors do not wear.
If you really fall in love with the castle, you can rent it for business meetings or private functions.
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