Bishop Castle, which was built by one man, Jim Bishop, starting in 1969 and continuing to this day. If you come on the weekends you are most likely to see him still working on it. The history on the site is much more impressive and it deserves a read-through. This is located in Rye, Colorado about a half hour drive west of Colorado City through a beautiful mountain drive.
My impressions of the site are both admiration and a bit of fear. There’s some rant laden signs scattered about the property that, combined with the castle itself, paint a very eccentric personality.
I did not see Mr. Bishop himself but I was able to walk the grounds thoroughly and make it to the highest point in the castle, which is terrifying when you consider the structural implications of this being built by just one guy with zero oversight.
The lady working in the gift shop said this is a prime spot for weddings which I can also see as long as the threatening signs are put away. The main gallery room is absolutely splendid.
Some of the stairs took time to traverse as they were incredibly uneven and in some places basically you were just rock climbing. The designs overall were very familiar to Gaudi’s work, especially Sagrada Familia.
Also note, the dragon at the top does breath fire. I didn’t witness it but that point alone puts this place at the top of my potential wedding venues.
I’ve been to a dozens of castles and churches throughout Europe and Asia and this one I find far more fascinating than probably 95% of those. It is built from brawn, obsession, and dedication and for that I commend Mr. Bishop. I can’t recommend this stop off enough to people.