There's A Breathtaking Castle Nestled In The Mountains Of Northern California
Now part of Emerald Bay State Park, Vikingsholm was once the summer home for Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight. It was built in 1928 and is now one of the treasured historic landmarks of Northern California. It is located along the shores of Lake Tahoe and each year sees thousands of visitors who come to take in its history and beauty.
This stunning 38 room mansion sits right on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Mrs. Knight, a wealthy heiress in her own right, was a widow and divorcée who decided to build this summer home in the 1920s. Prior to owning this vacation home she spent much of her time on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Here she is surrounded by guests and friends.
Even though Mrs. Knight wasn't of Scandinavian heritage, she was enamored with the architecture. She and her architect, Lennart Palme, traveled to Scandinavia before starting construction on Vikingsholm.
The teal and deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe around the castle are now part of a state park, which means visitors can enjoy this lovely beach for day use.
Be sure to tour the mansion if you visit, however. It's an incredibly impressive building and the detailed Scandinavian touches are truly exquisite. Vikingsholm can be reached by parking in the Vikingshom parking lot by Highway 89 at Emerald Bay. Access to lower Vikingsholm is via a steep one mile trail that drops 500 feet in elevation to the house. You have to walk in or paddle or ride a boat to the shores.
Part mountain cabin, park viking castle, there is really no detail overlooked.
Mrs. Knight and her guests relaxed in luxury at this estate. Most of the furnishings were replicas of 18th and 19th European pieces.
Two hundred workers helped build this magnificent house. They hand hewed the timbers, carved the intricate designs, hand laid the wood for the interior walls, and forged the hinges and latches. Most of the materials to construct the home came from the Tahoe Basin.
When Mrs. Knight decided to build in this spot, she purchased the land for a whopping $250,000. You would be hard pressed to find a much smaller abode with a fraction of the view in today's Tahoe real estate market. We're lucky that the area was made into a state park for all to enjoy; it's just too beautiful to be private property!
Emerald Bay is also where Fanette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe, is located. Mrs. Knight would have her staff drive her and her guests out to the island in a motor boat for tea.
Highway 89 runs north to south along the West Shore of the lake. It's a stunning drive and the pull out to Vikingsholm and the popular nearby hike to Eagle Falls should be obvious. There's usually a ton of cars here in the summer and not a lot of parking, so use caution in the peak of the summer season.
Most of us only dream of living the glamorous lifestyle of Mrs. Knight and her guests, but luckily the history of this spot and the magnificent Scandinavian castle have been well preserved for us and future generations to enjoy.
Have you ever visited this stunning house? Tell us about it in the comments!
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