When he was 18, Michael Rubel bought 2.5 acres of a citrus orchard in Glendora, California. Therein he quickly set to fulfilling his childhood dream of owning and living in a real castle. Over 26 years, and with the aid of thousands of volunteers, Rubel Castle, sometimes called Rubelia, stands in the otherwise sleepy Californian suburb.
Though built largely with concrete and stone, the structure also contains a bottle house tucked inside the castle keep, bedsprings, bicycle and motorcycle parts, scrap metal, and anything else that Rubel and his friends found useful. There is a courtyard, drawbridge, clock tower, retired citrus packing house, faux graveyard, dungeons, letterpress print shop, Santa Fe Railroad caboose, and blacksmith area all as part of the property. Shortly before his death in 2007, Rubel gifted the castle to the Glendora Historical Society. In October of 2013, the Rubel Castle Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Know Before You Go
If you wish to make tour reservations, plan ahead and book online. Rubel Castle is not ADA Accessible. Children must be eight years or older to tour. No tour participation is allowed via wheelchairs, walkers, or cart assistance due to stairs, tunnels, and uneven surfaces. There are no sidewalks, handrails, and walking surfaces include gravel and bare ground. Sturdy footwear is required (heels, flip-flops, and sandals are not recommended). A walking and standing ability of at least a 90-minutes is required. Restroom facilities (2) require agility and balance due to steps and no handrails.