Image via Chris Waits
What happens when a one-of-a-kind builder incrementally pours themselves into a one-of-a-kind project for 50 years? Colorado answers that question in with suitably rocky aplomb with the truly unique Bishop Castle.
What is it with Colorado and castles, anyway?
Dubbed "the world's largest one-man project," Bishop Castle is the work of one Jim Bishop. His castle quest took root in 1959, when at the age of 15, he purchased 2.5 acres of land with $450 (about $4,000 of 2019 cash) saved from odd jobs and iron working.
The real building didn't begin until 10 years later, however, after Jim decided to build a cabin to share with his new wife. The cabin became a stone cottage, and after a series of early additions, that stone cottage gradually evolved into an approximately 16-story tall castle built from hand-hauled stone, self-milled timber, and formed iron.
Visitors can explore its various rooms, climb its towers, and even get married in its stained-glass adorned hall.
The free-to-visit (with donations welcome) attraction is open year-round, as is its gift shop.
Bishop's passion for building is matched only by his passionate personality, which has been the subject of numerous news reports over the decades, and even a recent short documentary, "Jim's Camelot." Visitors who attend when Jim is on site, may just catch some of his unique oration.
Those coming from the Denver area can make the trip in less than three hours south on 1-25 S, or take the scenic route in around 4 hours via 1-25 S and CO-165 W. It all depends on how many trees you feel like looking at.
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