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When you think about castles, you probably think about Ireland, Scotland, or England and not the state of Ohio.
However, one particular castle doesn’t require a passport to visit because it’s in the good ole U.S.A. But is Loveland Castle a real castle?
Today, we’re exploring the history and architecture of Loveland Castle to determine whether it deserves the title of a real castle or not.
Let’s get started!
What Is Loveland Castle?
Located in Loveland, Ohio, Loveland Castle is a rather unique structure. This ‘made in America’ castle also goes by Chateau Laroche. It is a medieval-style castle that Harry D. Andrews built by hand from 1929 until he died in 1981.
The Loveland Castle uses stone construction and features a drawbridge, turrets, and a tower with actual weapons. Walking through the castle, you’ll find a great hall, chapel, dungeon, and banquet hall.
Along the way, you’ll see plenty of medieval artifacts, suits of armor, and weapons.
Today, the castle serves as a museum open to the public. It has become a popular tourist attraction for those interested in history or looking for a budget-friendly way to experience a castle-like setting.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on international plane tickets and accommodations, you can head to the heart of Ohio.
Why Was Loveland Castle Built?
Mr. Andrews had several reasons for building Loveland Castle. He served in World War I as a medic and spent time in Europe.
While serving in the war, he quickly became fascinated by the medieval castles he saw throughout Europe. When he returned to the United States, he decided it was worth his time, energy, and money to create one for himself.
Construction on Loveland Castle began in 1929 and continued until he died in 1981. During his life, the castle was used for various activities related to medieval times.
Additionally, there were multiple events hosted for the Boy Scouts of America, with which Andrews had a close connection.
Upon his death in 1981, Andrews left the estate to the Knights of the Golden Trail, a non-profit that Andrews started. The organization took over ownership of the castle and would later open the museum to display various artifacts, weapons, and suits of armor collected by the organization.
Can You Spend the Night at Loveland Castle?
It is possible to spend the night at Loveland Castle. However, the castle typically only allows members of their Boy Scout program, OverKnights, to stay the night.
The experience includes a full tour and access to a Knight that stays on duty to answer questions about the castle. Scouts can play games, enjoy bonfires, and make memories in this unique setting.
Unfortunately, there’s no option for just anyone to make a reservation to stay the night in Loveland Castle. However, while you can’t stay the night, the castle and museum are open to the public.
Is Loveland Castle Free?
Loveland Castle is not free to visit except for children under 5. Tickets for visitors over 5 years old cost $5 per person.
However, the castle hosts special events throughout the year, and prices for these events can vary. Check the website if you plan to attend one of these special events.
Tips for Visiting Loveland Castle
There are some important things to know if you want to make the most of your time and experience while visiting Loveland Castle. Here are some of the best tips for visiting this unique attraction.
Check the Hours
Loveland Castle operates on a seasonal schedule. The museum and castle are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April 1 through October 31.
However, from November 1 through March 31, it maintains the same hours but only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They also close on holidays, including Thanksgiving.
We strongly suggest you call the castle before your visit to confirm everything is operating as normal. This can also help you plan for any special events that may take place during your visit. You may need to adjust your schedule to accommodate the changing hours or special events.
Keep in Mind: Did you know Colorado Has Castles? You can even visit them too!
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Visiting the castle means doing a significant amount of walking and climbing.
You’ll want to make sure you wear comfortable shoes that allow you to walk for an extended period of time. Though the castle was built on a hill, it’s relatively manageable for most guests.
You don’t want to cut your visit and experience short because you wore the wrong shoes. We recommend solid tennis shoes or other form-fitting footwear that won’t cause blisters or rubbing while walking.
Bring a Camera
Like many unique attractions, you’ll want to take plenty of pictures at Loveland Castle. Capturing the true beauty of this picturesque structure isn’t difficult.
The bright green grass perfectly contrasts with the gray stone structure. You’ll want to share the experience with others, so tag your posts with #lovelandcastle.
Respect the Castle
Just like any other museum you visit, you must respect the castle and the artifacts. Resist the temptation to touch or handle any items you see, especially if they have “do not touch” signs.
Always follow instructions from the knights of the castle. The rules and guidelines are there to protect the building and ensure everyone stays safe.
Don’t ruin the experience for others by disrespecting the chateau, the grounds, or those working in the museum.
Plan for Events
As we’ve mentioned, the castle does occasionally host special events. You’ll find ghost hunts and medieval fairs, which could mean adjustments in the pricing and operating hours.
It’s a good idea to check the castle’s website and social media pages. Since some websites and social media pages aren’t regularly updated, calling them will likely give you a quick and accurate answer.
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Is Loveland Castle Worth Visiting?
Loveland Castle is a unique attraction for anyone interested in medieval history or unique architectural structures.
You can get a glimpse into the passion Harry D. Andrews had for the time period and how the Knights of the Golden Trail worked to maintain the castle.
The Knights of the Golden Trail have done a remarkable job of intertwining Andrews’ life and World War I experiences into Chateau Laroche.
It’s a budget-friendly way to make memories and learn about history in a fun and exciting way. If you’re passing through southwest Ohio, it’s worth adding to your to-do list.