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.

Incorporating just a few historic elements, the ceiling in the Doge’s Balcony was essentially created by Hearst-era craftsmen as part of the Doge’s Suite – one of the most luxurious ensembles at Hearst Castle. Located on the mezzanine level between Casa Grande’s first and second floors, the suite was completed in 1926.

As part of an exterior balcony exposed to the elements, the ceiling deteriorated over time. Several years ago, the ceiling was completely restored. Damaged or missing elements like the seraphim (small heads around the oval painting) were recreated with plaster casts. A new phase of conservation will soften the appearance of the painted and gilded areas so that they seem to be much older, but undamaged.

Before Initial Restoration:
doge-balcony-ceiling-before

Current Appearance:
doge-balcony-ceiling-after