Featured in Passionate About Vintage, Tables & Chairs
My husband and I took a tour of Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado this summer and this was one of the items I shot inside the Castle’s kitchen.
“This castle was built by Jean Baptiste Francolon.
A Catholic priest born in Clermont, France, in 1854, Father Francolon was the son of an apparently wealthy and aristocratic family. His father was a diplomat and at one time was the French consul in what is now called Moscow.
In the early 1890’s, Father Francolon suffered from some sort of abdominal complaint. As a result of this illness, in 1892 he was transferred to Manitou where he could avail himself of the many mineral waters in hope of restoring his health.
Some time later, Father Francolon gifted his home to the Sisters of Mercy for use as the Montcalme Sanatarium. The priest was lauded for his unprecedented generosity and was referred to as the kind of man “who is a benefit to the community in which he lives.”
He planned the Castle by describing to Angus Gillis, the contractor, the features he wanted in the building. It is thought that the unique architectural combinations used may have evolved from his childhood memories of living in different parts of the world with his diplomat father.
He intended the structure to be a home he could share with his mother, Marie, and it was to be called Miramont, meaning “look at (or see) the mountain.”
For the last century Miramont Castle has been the source of admiration and curiosity for all who have come into contact with it. Its history reflects the turbulence and diversity of the eras through which it has passed, with more than one controversial character adding his or her historical presence to the overall scene.
It is built on four levels which cover a total of 14,000 square feet. Following the popular Victorian tradition of having rooms of unusual shapes, few of the 46 rooms have four square corners; one has eight sides and another has sixteen.
The Castle boasts five fireplaces, the largest being sixteen feet wide and weighing 400,000 pounds. It runs almost eight feet back into the side of the mountain on which the Castle is built. The Castle featured running water and electricity when it was built. Electricity had become available in the late 1880’s when Angus Gillis built El Paso County’s first electrical generator in Manitou for Dr. Bell.
An addition was made to the Castle sometime after its original completion in 1896, but no records have been located to confirm the date. This newer part of the structure was added to the east of the serving kitchen and includes the chapel, grand staircase and solarium areas."