Saturday, September 29, 2018

The most famous castle in USA - Boldt Castle

Explorer Lens

Love is eternal but its beauty can be seen in its symbols. It always add an extra charm to any place. There is Taj Mahal in India built by an emperor in the memory of his beloved wife, which is one of the most famous masterpieces in the world. Though we won’t be talking about Taj Mahal in our post but there is another such masterwork in the New York state which has the finest architecture in the states. It is “Boldt Castle”, an unfinished fantasy. Historic Boldt castle has a story to match its grand artistry and grandeur.


About Boldt castle
The castle is situated on Heart Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River's Thousand Islands region in Alexandria Bay. George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, started to build this grand castle to display his love for his wife, Louise. It was to be there summer home.
But tragedy happened. In January 1904, his wife died suddenly and he commanded the workers to immediately stop all the construction. He was heart-broken. He never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.
For 73 years, it was left aloof to the mercy of the winds, rain, storms and snow. In 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property, decided to renovate it and open to the public.
The tour to the heart island is not limited to the visit of the grand castle. There is more to Boldt castle than just the castle itself. You can explore five other outstanding structures which are the Power House, the Alster Tower, the Hennery, the Arch, and a stone Gazebo.
The Castle
Inside the castle, you can see the beautiful ballroom, exquisite Billards room, well-designed George Boldt’s bedroom, the grand hallway & staircase, classic library and magnificent reception room.
The grounds outside the castle are just as beautiful and impressive. Allow enough time to take it all in.

The Alster Tower
This building was intended for the entertainment of the guests. It is often referred to as the Playhouse. It is situated at the bottom left from the castle and contains a billiards room, library, a bowling alley and many more. When we visited the island, the upper floors were closed for renovation work. The views from the outside were simply amazing and no doubt, it makes a perfect picture place for many wedding shoots.
The Hennery or “Dove-Cote”
Built in the castle courtyard, this tower was the place where the water tank was kept which was the source of the water to the island structures. It is topped with a dove house, where they collected fancy fowl. It is an empty place with near to nothing structures.
The Entry Arch
Looks like this was to be used as the entry gate to the island by the outside visitors, it is a real beauty to see. There is pond just near to it known to be as “Swan pond”, though, we didn’t see any swans there on our day of visit.
The arch provides a good view to click pictures on the bridge constructed in between it.
The Gazebo
As the name suggests, it is a rooted structure which offers an open view of the surroundings and relax in the shade that it provides. It stands between the Alster Tower and the main castle.
There is a Hot dog stand nearby it where you can grab a quick meal.
The Power house
One of the most photographed structure of the heart island is the Power house. Standing on a sandbank under the water, it rises out of the St. Lawrence river and connects to the heart island by a unique, one of its own style arched stone bridge. It was not just made for fashion, it used to house two large generator as well which used to supply electricity to the complete island. Unfortunately, all of the original equipments have been lost and only a few pieces are left for display.
On our visit to the island, I found the Power house worth watching. It is beautifully made and well maintained. The bridge connecting it to the island also catches your eyes.
If you wish to propose your special one on your visit to the island, the Italian garden is the place. It has beautiful marble statuary which represents four seasons and a magnificent fountain at the center. This is a must visit place on your trip to the Boldt Castle. The art with grass and colorful flowers is beautiful and make the place more scenic.
Tickets and Fees/
The ticket price for the castle is Adult – $9.50 (13+ years) Child – $6.50 (5-12 years) Infant – $0.00 (4 years and under).
If you want to visit the Yacht house also, the ticket prices are Adult – $5.00 (13+ years) Child – $3.00 (5-12 years) Infant – $0.00 (4 years and under).You can visit both Boldt Castle and the Boldt Castle Yacht House at special package price of Adult – $12.50 (13+ years) Child – $7.50 (5-12 years) Infant – $0.00 (4 years and under).
You need to take boat to reach the island which has additional cost of $9.50 / adult.
The Island can be easily reached by boats which run between the Alexendar Bay and the island.
Parking is available at the premises of the tour boat providers.
There is snacks bar at the entrance of the island and a hot dog stand near the Gazebo. We would suggest that you carry your own food to the castle and grab a quick bite at the picnic spots.
As always our suggestion is to stay at an AirBnB place which is available at reasonable prices and is not more than an hour distance from the castle.
Explorerlens Gyan:
1. There is a lighthouse in the vicinity, yacht house has a scenic view and lot of water activities going around, so a zoom lens is a preferable option.
2. The castle closes by 6:30 p.m., so plan your visit accordingly as it take around 3 hours to cover the entire area, especially if you are interested in photography.
3. You can avail both the boat as well as castle tickets at the boat tour ticketing counter itself.
4. If you are short on time and you have either one of the option to take the 1000 island ferry tour or the Boldt castle tour, take the later one.
5. There are lot of spots and things in the castle which are symbol of love and are beautifully crafted. Do keep your eyes open and look out for such symbols.

Explorer Lens / Author & Editor

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