Hearst Castle is open and can be reached from the north via Highway 101 to Paso Robles. Due to the recent mudslides in Santa Barbara County, travelers from the Los Angeles area are advised to use Interstate 5.


This sweet wooden sculpture came from Spain and was likely created sometime around 1630-80 (although the date is debatable.) It was first polychromed in classic estofado, a technique that starts with gold leaf covered by a layer of paint, then designs are etched through the paint to reveal the gold underneath. Although the statue was repainted in the new fashion of flowered white polychrome, the rich gold of the older estofado is still apparent in several areas. The book she is holding is inscribed with words from the Bible, the book of Luke, when Mary responded to the Archangel Gabriel after he announced she would give birth to Jesus Christ. William Randolph Hearst bought the sculpture from Clarke’s Gallery in New York in 1930.