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Former estate of William Randolph Hearst in southern California. It was built on a vast private estate of 245,000 acres (99,000 hectares), developed in the 1860s by Hearst's father. In 1919–20, with the architect Julia Morgan, Hearst began construction of a complex of luxurious buildings and gardens to serve as a country house. The main residence, later called Hearst Castle, is a Spanish Renaissance building with 150 rooms, a cathedral-like facade, and two bell towers. Lavish interior decorations were obtained from European churches and palaces. The site's embellishment continued (1919–48) with numerous subsidiary buildings, Mediterranean gardens, statuary, pools, fountains, a pergola, and priceless art treasures collected from all over the world. The complex is now a state historical monument.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on San Simeon, visit Britannica.com.
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