Deep in the woods of Loveland, you'll find one of Greater Cincinnati's most fascinating structures: Loveland Castle, also known as Chateau LaRoche. A one-fifth scale replica of a 10th-century Norman castle, it comes with its own unique history.
Sir Harry Andrews began building the fortress on his wooded estate in 1929, assembling the structure stone by stone over the course of five decades. Today a group of volunteers known as the Knights of the Golden Trail, led by "Sir Larry," operate the castle as a living museum.
The castle's gardens, featuring 250 different species of flowers and plants, are open beginning in April. And drive over any October for a haunting stroll during the annual "Scary Knights Tour." The castle provides a perfect moody setting for the Halloween season, as candle-lit rooms flicker eerily and stone archways hide various lurking villains.
Loveland Castle is located at 12025 Shore Drive in Loveland — if you haven't been there before, it's best to call for directions or consult the Web site map (www.lovelandcastle.com). Castle hours in the winter are Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Leaving before dark is best if you aren't familiar with the rocky road leading from the castle to the main road. Admission is $3, $2 for 12 and under.
A quirky castle built by one man with a slightly demented vision. That's soooo Cincinnati.
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