We left Manitou Springs yesterday morning, first visiting Miramont Castle.
Built in 1895 with a west wing being added in 1897, it was built as a personal residence for Fr. Jean Baptiste Francolon and his mother. Might I add right here and now – this place is huge just for two people to be running around in!!
Miramont has 4 floors, with 30 rooms covering 14,000 square feet. It features 9 styles of architecture designed by Fr. Francolon – shingle style Queen Anne, English Tudor, Romanesque, Flemish stepped gables, Venetian Ogee, Byzantine and half timber Chateau.
Being originally from France (then to New Mexico), I guess if he had travelled often through various parts of Europe before arriving in America then he would have seen many styles, thus incorporating his favorites into the castle.
Having been built in the late 1890’s and having some wealth, the castle included such luxuries as indoor plumbing, steam heat and electricity.
Fr. Francolon’s first house (located above the castle) was donated to the Sisters of Mercy for use as a sanitarium. They named it Montcalme.
Miramont means “look at the mountains” and when you reach the Queen’s Parlor Tea Room and feast your eyes on the stunning windows and view to the mountains you can understand why it was named so.
Hitting the road we make a quick stop into Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings. Man these people must have been tiny! Either that or they lived with hunched backs all their life! No room for you to stand normally.
The Anasazi cliff dwellings, built more than 700 years ago, can be touched, you can go inside and there is a 3-story Pueblo-style building housing the Anasazi Museum. Worth a visit!
From here we headed out to Garden Of The Gods, taking the one way road in. It was busy given it is summer holidays here but we managed a park at the Visitor Centre and got that spectacular view of the rocks.
Leaving Clancy at that point we all set off for our next destination – Cheyenne, Wyoming.