The Man Who Built a Castle

At the bottom of a steep yet very narrow and winding road in the town of Loveland, Ohio, stands a medieval castle named Chateau Laroche (aka Loveland Castle & Museum).   Built by Harry Andrews, a former World War I army veteran, who acquired the land in 1927 and began construction in 1929, it was a labor of love.

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Andrews carried tons of stones in an estimated 56,000 five-gallon pails from the Little Miami Riverbed upon which the Castle sits and made bricks by pouring concrete into old milk cartons.

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It was during his tour of duty in Europe that Andrews fell in love with castles. Upon his return, he formed the Knights of the Golden Trail (KOGT), a group he said would be dedicated to helping save civilization, which he felt had seriously eroded. Their code of conduct is simply to follow the Ten Commandments.

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Working on the castle every weekend until he retired in 1955 at the age of 65, and then full-time, the castle was Andrews’ life work.

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The castle boasts a great hall, a banquet hall, an armory, a bedroom for Andrews, a watchtower, and a real dungeon with cells. Some of the rooms are full of memorabilia from the dark ages. Continue reading

Palace Splendor in Sintra, Portugal

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal is a wonderful day trip from Lisbon.  In less than an hour by train, you can step back in time and feast your eyes upon a splendid castle that dates back to the 8th century!  The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the view of the surrounding town from within the fortress walls is…so European!

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The Pena Palace was built in the 1840’s and even has a drawbridge.  I took this zoom photo of the Palace from the Castle and then we walked to it.

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Here is the view as you’re approaching…

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Whenever I’m exploring something or somewhere new, I get a rush from the anticipation and literally have to hold myself back from running to it!  It’s a photographer’s dream!

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The Pena Park surrounds the area (Palace and Castle).  We hiked through a small section of it and would have seen more, but it wasn’t clearly marked and we got lost a few times.

Upon arriving back in Lisbon, we boarded our overnight train to Madrid and upon arrival in the morning…immediately boarded a three hour train to Barcelona, Spain!