Canada isn't as renowned for castles as one might think (or at all, in fact), which makes a visit to Craigdarroch that much more intriguing.
A prototypical "bonanza" castle, Craigdarroch was born out of the industrial wealth generated by railroad entrepreneurs in the 19th century. Building materials were brought in from all over North America and the world—white oak from Arkansas, mahogany from Spain, slate from New York.
Filled with Canadian artifacts, Dunsmuir family heirlooms, and important works of art, the castle ought to sit near the top of any Victoria itinerary.
The Castle and museum are open to the public from 10:00am to 4:30pm daily.
In 1887, coal baron Robert Dunsmuir began building Craigdarroch Castle, now a National Historic Site of Canada, but died before it was completed. The 39-room castle was constructed in an eclectic Victorian version of Romanesque style, and the interior features beautiful stained-glass windows, oak paneling and period antiques. Proceeds from admission go to the building's ongoing restoration and upkeep.