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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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16 March 2015

Bishop Castle

Pat and I took a drive to Bishop Castle last week, about 70 miles away, in the Wet Mountains. It's been years since we've visited there. You may have heard of this place, because it's one of those oddities that often gets featured in TV programs about interesting people and places. It's a castle, yes, and it was built by a man named Jim Bishop. He literally built it all by himself, with no help. Every single stone, every molecule of cement, every inch of ironwork -- he did it all by himself. It's his life's work. Indeed it has taken him a lifetime to do it, and it is ever a work in progress. Your average medieval castle in Europe took a decade or more to build, but that was with many hands doing the work (and probably many deaths and crippling injuries in the process). Mr. Bishop hasn't had the advantage of indentured servants and serfs at his command, of course. What he has created with his own two hands is nothing short of astonishing.

There's a great history behind Mr. Bishop's endless project, and rather than paraphrasing it here, please let me direct you to the official website for Bishop Castle:  http://www.bishopcastle.org/ If you do plan on visiting the castle, here are a few tips from personal experience: wear sturdy shoes -- no cute ballet flats or flip flops, and certainly no high heels, because you'll be walking on some uneven, unpaved ground, or possibly mud or snow (and when it's muddy or snowy there, it's MUDDY or SNOWY). Some of it is a bit steep. There are also narrow, twisting and dark stairwells with stone and iron steps. Really, do yourself a favor and wear sensible shoes. Also, if your children are coming with you, keep a close eye on them. It's not like there's any staff on hand to keep kids from hurting themselves, and this is a three story, handmade, stone and iron castle with very tall towers. Finally, there isn't an admission fee, but bring some cash to donate because the entire operation runs on the generosity of visitors. Oh and bring a good camera! Cell phone cameras just don't cut it for something this cool!

More tomorrow on the castle. Enjoy the photos!

First glimpse of the castle through the trees. You're at 9,200 feet above sea level here and in the middle of a forest. If you visit in the wintertime, there's likely to be plenty of snow, ice and mud.
Looking outward toward the San Isabel National Forest from behind the flying buttresses.
The lower chamber. Clearly, years of work went into this. It's quite beautiful in there. I took most of these photos using a fisheye lens. Please excuse the inevitable distortion.
Another view of the same room. Just look at all of those stones. Mr. Bishop laid each and every one of them.
In the Grand Ballroom upstairs, looking straight up at the ceiling. Mr. Bishop is an ornamental iron worker by trade. He did all of this stunning iron work himself. How he got all of it up there, at least 25 feet from the floor, is a mystery to me. It's amazing what determination and hard work will accomplish.
A large window in the Grand Ballroom.
Looking upward through a tower stairwell.

A view of one of the towers. As you can see, stairs lead almost all the way to the top.

A pano of the castle (this is four pictures seamed together in Photoshop).

A close-up view of the amazing dragon's head (designed and crafted by Mr. Bishop, of course). In the summer, it breathes fire. How cool is that?!?

A view of another tower (I think there are a total of three). If you look closely, you can see two guys up there.

I'll leave you with a shot of this friendly group of young people and their happy dogs. They drove from Pueblo to check out the castle.


Linda said...

Wow! I wouldn't want to live there but it really looks incredible.

Tahiti Daily Photo said...

It looks amazing and even fun !!! Beautiful photos

William Kendall said...

Wow! Now that is a place I'd enjoy visiting!

from Madrid said...

I watched the map of Colorado and saw that the location was close to Pueblo. The castle is lovely home.


Randy said...

Interesting place. I do love the windows.