Visiting a castle in the mountains

This weekend we decided to check out Bishop Castle high up 9,000 feet above sea level in the mountains of Southern Colorado. The drive down there was long, but once we turned into the National Park, the drive up was gorgeous and everything you’d expect from Colorado in scenery. Each curve allowed you to peek for a few seconds how high you were going up. Even my car was running out of air it seemed as the oxygen got less and less. Once we got there, there were several other cars parked on the side of the road and then suddenly through the trees, you finally see it. The castle. A man made castle still being built by one man named Jim Bishop. If you don’t know me by now, you should know that I love castles. I just do. I love exploring them and I just love the raw and rustic feel they bring. The photographer in me just explodes with possibilities of what I can capture and my artistic side tries to find every nook and cranny that is quietly hiding its beauty. To stand there and take the time to appreciate how each stone is laid out and the endless hours it has taken and is taking to build every inch of this growing castle. One must do that. Recently I saw a video of a man on YouTube who took a very nice video of the castle, but he was practically running through it. He didn’t even take the time to just stand and admire the work. He was too busy filming and running through the castle-it was unnerving to me to watch. Here are some pictures and a short video I took during it.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

We were sitting on top of one of the towers here. Below you can see where the cars park on the side. It was pretty nice from up here, but the tight squeeze to get up there was nothing short of claustrophobic.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

I just like this view of the people walking up the stairs to go up into the castle. I didn’t have the nerve to do it myself.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

You can’t have a castle without a dragon, of course! This one even blows fire from its mouth during the summers. I’ll have to come back for that.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

The castle in all its glory. Can you believe one man has been working on this all these years? It’s amazing!

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This was slightly spooky yet so surreal at the same time. There was a sense of peace and tranquility in this room, yet at the same time another feeling of reflection. I enjoyed walking around this room as you can tell by the video below.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

I love these glass windows. Sometime this year, I’m going to dedicate a window panel in honor of my mom. If you ever come to Colorado and come visit Bishop Castle this year, you’ll see my real name up there too. Forever immortalized in a castle high up in the mountains, my mom, eternal Queen of my heart. I’m going to choose my mom’s favorite flower on the panel. There’s more information about how you can add your name on these window panels on their website. Visit me at the castle high up in the mountains why don’t you? Wink.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This was the cathedral area and it was gorgeous! I wasn’t able to show this part in the video because I kept getting an “error” whenever I tried uploading it. It was so beautiful!

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Adventure Boy looking out from the cathedral room. We love our adventures together here in Colorado. Can you believe he’s 14 now? He’ll be taking some Honor classes next year as he’s doing very well in his studies in High School.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Even before seeing this wizard, I told Adventure Boy that I could picture Gandalf living here. He agreed and we both gave each other a knowing look when we gazed up to see this wizard on the window panel.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

This is the front of the castle when you first walk up to it. It just looms over you, it’s pretty grand.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Taking a few minutes to imagine walking through a medieval walkway. This was a fun entry way into one of many stairways into the castle.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

These skinny wrought iron stairways that clung to the side of the building scared me to death. People walked on them like they did all their lives, but I was to scared to do it. First of all, since this is an active construction site you do have to sign a liability form just in case there is an accident. Maybe next time I’ll attempt to walk on them, but seeing how high I am, it only brings out the fear of heights in me.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Upon walking up to the little gift shop on the premises, we came along this cute sign.

Bishop Castle Amanda's Camelot

Until next time!

Let’s talk about my video. Yes, there was the shaky cam going on, but I was either trying to side step eager castle explorers or forgetting to aim the camera up further. At the end of the video when I reach one of the outside stairs, you can see the camera move closer to the wall; yes that was me wanting to stay as close to the wall as possible without looking down. Do you know what’s funny? Jim Bishop is also afraid of heights. He said in an interview that even though he’s scared of heights by working on the building for so long, it has helped him overcome his fear of heights in slow doses. In one of the many stairs, there were no guard rails and only small hooks. I was literally plastering myself to the wall and saying I was not walking up any further. It was scary! Visiting Bishop Castle was fun and we’re are going back sometime this year again, probably to see the window pane we plan to dedicate to my mom. There will be 3 names up there, my mom’s, mine and Adventure Boy. I know my mom would have loved this place and it’s my way to honor her memory here in Colorado. Future generations of mine can go visit and enjoy the castle like we did. Leaving our legacy up in the mountains of Colorado!

Bishop Castle from Amanda on Vimeo.

24 thoughts on “Visiting a castle in the mountains

  1. Looks like a medieval jungle gym for adults. Awesome. Love the music choice for the video as well. Thanks for bringing us along. The actual castle elements are really cool and take you back centuries.

    1. It sure is! There was more places to explore, but maybe I’ll get to that once I overcome my fear of heights! It’s a fun place and people really seemed to enjoy it when we were there. I have played that song so many times, it’s so epic! I’m not watching the movie 1492: Conquest of Paradise and it’s really, really good! The cinematography is beautiful and the music just makes it so grand. Hope you can check out the movie too someday. I needed an epic song for this video so I chose that one. I’m still in awe one one man is building this. Each stone was personally hand picked and laid out. Check out his website to learn more about it. It’s quite fascinating! http://www.bishopcastle.org Thanks for your comment!!

      1. Fear of heights?!? Just another commonality we share.

        This story is a testament to following through on a dream. Impressive. While Jim lacks the true madness that seemed to drive Sarah Winchester, I can’t help but see some similarities, and with your fascination with the spirit world I thought I would mention it. If you have never heard of the Winchester Mystery House here in San Jose Ca. I suggest googling it up and reading Sarah’s story. Quite interesting indeed. Happy castling!!

      2. Yeah, I’ve heard about Winchester Mystery House. I would love to check it out sometime. California is now only a few hours by plane, so it’s much easier to get there than before when I lived in NJ. I love weird homes, but the Winchester House certainly takes the cake for being a rabbit hole for sure. 🙂

      3. A little local knowledge then, in case you are ever out this way. It is sadly a bit too commercialized so I recommend steering clear of the regular tours but if you can catch a flashlight tour that get held on occasions such as the Halloween season, or full moons and Friday the 13ths (possibly) it might be more enjoyable. Have fun and thanks again for maiking us part of your adventures.

      4. My pleasure! Glad you liked it. I’ll be going on more adventures hopefully this year, each one different. I enjoy taking my subscribers with me. I’ll def check out the strange mystery house in Cali someday when I head over there.

    1. Ah, you have great taste in music too. I heard this piece and instantly fell in love with it. Great music like this started when I watched “The Mission”for the first time and it went from there. Music like this reminds me of the time period of “The Mission”and of my childhood, so there’s a deeper connection as to why I chose that piece. I think having a part of me being inside a castle high up on a mountain is something I’ve wanted to do. I may never live in a castle, but I certainly can leave my mark on one, hehe!

      1. you are certainly a kindred spirit. give me a castle, a partially missing abbey, standing stones, anything historical, archeological, and I am happy…a least for awhile…until I remember that I am physically alone.

      2. When you say kindred spirit I can’t but think of Anne of Green Gables and how Gilbert Blythe said that to Anne. My mind has been wandering a lot lately of Lake Como, Italy. If there are few places on planet earth that gives a glimpse of what heaven might look like, Lake Como is one of them. Still dreaming of traveling there some day. Give me a large balcony overlooking a huge lake (Como) and a little bistro table outside with flowers all around me with a Continental breakfast and I’ll be happy as a clam! 🙂

  2. I thought your video was just fine! loved the music too. So awesome, I used to live in Colorado, 3 different times, and didn’t get to see this. You said one guy is doing all the work! amazing! thanks for the story, I’ll have to check out that website. I’d love to see that. 🙂

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you love the music. Conquest of Paradise is a favorite movie theme soundtrack which is dear to my heart. Well, next time you have the luck of coming to CO, def check out Bishop Castle. Once you get off I-25, the drive is gorgeous heading into the mountains. I can only imagine what Fall looks like, I saw a lot of Aspen trees. Thanks for the comment and I hope you get a chance to check out the website!

  3. Great info and pictures here! Been going to Colorado for years (The Springs area) and never hear of this castle. You’ve given me a new place to go to now! The inclusion of the video was near too.

    1. Why thank ya very much!! 🙂 I’m happy to hear that. I do enjoy shooting pictures and showing them to you lovely peeps. You should def stop by this lovely place because it gives you an appreciation of where your dreams can take you. This is 40 years in the making (a labor of love if you will according to Jim Bishop) of one man. Can you imagine? The drive down I-25 is long and mundane, but once you start going into the mountains in front of you, it’s such a gorgeous drive. There is a road that leads straight to a mountain and you’re sitting there driving like, “What? How do I get up there? The road literally is making a bee line straight into the mountain.” Those were my thoughts, but eventually, with enough curves and gentle elevation around each bend, before you know it, you are 9,000 feet above sea level looking down at the little town below. Please check it out and let me know when you do so I can hop over to your blog and see your pictures! Thanks for the comment and sorry for my long answer! 😛

  4. Loved your music choice, Amanda, it was a fitting addition to your video.
    Hasn’t Adventure Boy grown! He almost looks like an adult now.
    The building/castle reminded me somewhat of Gaudi architecture ‘in places’. There’s a surreal vibe about it. So interesting. 🙂

  5. Good to know AB is doing well.

    I’ll need to search the builder. Very admirable! Those wired stairs give the castle an eerie presence. Not the ordinary type of stairs you’d expect, but I like it. Oh, this castle reminds me of Huashan Cliffside Path in China. YT has some vids of daredevils walking with zero harness.

      1. Haha, yeah I saw this video before…. It’s pure INSANITY but I LOVE IT!!! Can you believe I’d rather do THIS crazy stunt rather than skydive?!

    1. Aww, yeah-he’s doing amazing. 🙂 I’m pretty happy that as a single mom I’ve been able to raise an emotionally healthy, physically healthy, polite, sweet boy who doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. He has seen the consequences of what those things can do to the mind, body and soul. He’s such an easy kid to have as a son, I feel as though I won the lottery! The wire stairs are crazy scary! I was practically plastering myself against the wall when I stepped out on them. I could easily see how high I was just by looking down and my heart started to race a million beats a minute, haha. I’ll check out the Chinese Huashan Cliffside Path, albeit I think I already saw it and posted it on Twitter a few months ago. Is that the same one that goes up to a Monk Temple on top of the mountain? Here’s a weird thought. I would climb up a scary mountain if it was foggy and I couldn’t see how high I was. :O

      1. Not weird. If you can’t see the bottom it would be easy to climb up that mountain . Fear wouldn’t be there. You’d only be looking up. But honestly it’d be hard to resist not looking down. Human nature.

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