An opulent, extravagant, must-be-seen-to-be-believed “bonanza” castle built in the 1880s and [‘]90s by the coal-mining baron Robert Dunsmuir. It was his way of showing the world that he’d made it all the way from indentured servant to richest man in British Columbia—and while he was at it, to impress his social-climbing wife, Joan. Too bad he died before it was finished; he left everything to Joan, and caused no end of family strife. The castle is located in the highlands above Oak Bay: a four-story, 39-room, multi-turreted fairy-tale house designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style so popular in the late 19th century. Inside, it is filled with detailed woodwork, Persian carpets, loads of artworks, and 33 original stained-glass windows. Tours are self-guided and take 45 minutes to an hour.
- Frommer's Staff