Visiting Hearst Castle made me wonder who wouldn’t want to have 2000 year old ancient Egyptian relics in his or her backyard. Ridiculousness.
The place was very impressive as it was built in the shape of some Spanish cathedral from the 15th century and had an enormous collection of incredibly expensive art (like church gates or tapestry from 12th century and such) that one would never imagine in a private house. However, with all this splendor, the word “gaudy” came to mind and my impression was concurred when my friend actually said it out loud.
I kept thinking about the book Fountainhead by Ayn Rand which was written around the same time this house was completed. The book criticizes architectural styles that lump old styles such as the Baroque or Rococo into modern structures to assign grandeur to them where in fact those end up looking pretentious and ridiculous.
I was then not surprised to find out (thanks to google) that one of the characters in the book (the bad one), a tabloid media mogul, was based on William Hearst.