Boldt Castle - Atlas Obscura

Boldt Castle

Alexandria Bay, New York

A castle built for love, and abandoned due to heartbreak. 


Boldt Castle’s aged beauty reflects the bittersweet romance behind the estate’s origin. 

Construction on the castle and its grounds began around 1900, commissioned by hotel magnate George C. Boldt. Mirroring 16th century European aesthetics, the palatial estate was built on Heart Island as a devotional work for Boldt’s wife, Louise. In addition to the large mansion they built a medieval-styled power house, and the tall “Alster Tower,” which was to be used for entertaining guests once the mansion was finished. Boldt also had a number of heart-shaped flourishes worked into the design of the grounds. Most of the construction on the architectural love letter was complete when tragedy struck the Boldts.

In 1904, while the family was still living in the Alster Tower, Louise passed away and George was devastated. Boldt immediately ordered work on the mansion to cease, and he took his family away from the island, vowing never to return. After work on the home stopped, the grounds sat empty for over 70 years before the it was decided that the rotting estate might turn a profit if it was revitalized.

By 1977 the mansion was finished by the new owners of the land and now the enchanting castle and its island gardens are used as an event space. Weddings are popular on the Boldt Castle grounds, which is fitting for an estate built on love.

Know Before You Go

Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island, in the United States, and is only accessible by water. From both Canada and the U.S., visitors may find transportation on either a tour boat or by personal pleasure craft. Passengers arriving from Canada must provide proper identification to U.S. Customs and Border Protection office on Heart Island. Be aware that customs charge an entry fee from passengers arriving from Canada. Only US dollars and/or credit cards are accepted.

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