Beauty, history, and human spirit make these castles Colorado treasures.
Colorado is known for a lot of things: mountains, skiing, craft beer, the legal green stuff, and much more. However, you might not automatically put Colorado and castle in the same sentence, but you should! The Centennial State has several architectural wonders that are reminiscent of medieval days gone by, and you don't have to go too far to check one out for yourself. Many of these are just a few minutes to a few hours away from the metro area, and they are well worth taking a trip into the past!
Bishop Castle, Rye
Courtesy of Bishop Castle.
Free admission every day.
Fantasy reigns supreme at this medieval masterpiece. It started as a labor of love for one man, Jim Bishop. He bought the land when he was only 15 and began to construct the castle in 1969. His vision actually started with a simple one-room stone cottage, and for the last 60 years, his imagination and dedication have taken it so much higher, about three stories high to be exact. This stone and iron behemoth has several stories of interior rooms complete with a Grand Ballroom, soaring towers, and bridges with vistas of a hundred miles, and a fire-breathing dragon.
Dunafon Castle, Idledale
Courtesy of Dunafon Castle (Facebook).
Tours can be scheduled.
Fashioned after Celtic castles of the 13th century, this castle is just a hop and skip from Denver. Hidden in the woods, this beautiful estate has three lakes, gardens, and a beautiful water wheel just off Bear Creek. In fact, you can take a wonderful stroll along the Bear Creek Trail at Lair o' the Bear Park and view this beauty from across the creek. Dunafon is mostly reserved for events like weddings and more, but tours are offered occasionally.
Cherokee Castle and Ranch, Sedalia
Courtesy of Cherokee Ranch and Castle.
A wide variety of events available.
Take a quick trip to Sedalia for a step back into the 1400s, as well as Colorado's western heritage. This castle and the surrounding property have a rich history dating back to the 1890-era homesteads. The castle was built in 1924 (originally called the Charlford Castle) and was modeled after the architecture of 1450s Scotland. Today, the castle serves as a testament to the spirit of the West with old-world architecture, and it houses an impressive collection of fine art, memorabilia, and furniture from near and far. And you can see it all thanks to the wide variety of events hosted year-round, including castle tours, teas, educational talks, and so much more.
Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado Springs
Courtesy of Glen Eyrie Conference Center (Facebook)
Lodging and tours available
Part of the Glen Eyrie Conference Center, this 700-acre estate offers a little medieval magic in the mountains. Glen Eyrie is a Christian-based spiritual sanctuary, and you can enjoy a tour of the castle, take in tea like a royal, or even stay overnight and wake up in castle opulence.
Miramount Castle, Manitou Springs
Courtesy of Miramont Castle.
Self-guided tours and other events available.
Construction on this castle began in 1895, complete with electricity and indoor plumbing. This 14,000-square-foot structure was the dream of Father Francolon who used nine architecture styles to create his masterpiece. It includes medieval, crenelated battlements, a beautiful Gothic front door, a solarium, and more. Take a tour, enjoy a spot of tea, and soak in the beauty of this once private residence turned sanitarium turned historical gem.
Redstone Castle, Redstone
Courtesy of Redstone Castle.
Lodging and tours available.
Why just visit when you could stay overnight in royal luxury? Redstone Castle lets you do just that thanks to recent renovations! Built by coal magnate John Osgood in 1902, the 24,000 square foot, Tudor style mansion features 42 rooms and sits on a 150-acre estate. You can now stay in one of the several luxury suites with bed and breakfast accommodations. If you just want to make a day trip, you can take a tour where you get a unique glimpse of the original wood paneling and fixtures to the Russian-style dining room that hosted the likes of President Teddy Roosevelt, and two rooms that have been left exactly as they were 116 years ago.
What do you think? Are there other castles in Colorado that you've explored? Let us know in the comments.