Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
Known as the “Jewel in the Desert,” the Tovrea Castle is the perfect spot in the region for shooting photos. The castle resides in a park that has over 5,000 individual cacti representing over 100 different varieties. The history of the castle is unusual. The Tovrea Castle was originally intended as a centerpiece for a resort. The resort was never built, and the castle ended up as a private residence prior to becoming a part of the Phoenix parks system. The castle is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. The property stretches 44 acres, and the gardens include over 500 species of cactus!
The castle is a pinewood and stucco building constructed in a unique three-tier fashion. It has romanticized European architectural influences including parapets surrounding the roofline of each tier. Tovrea Castle bears a strong resemblance to a traditional wedding cake, and has the nickname "The Wedding Cake."
The only way to explore Tovrea Castle is by taking one of their docent-led tours; it may not be seen without a guide. The tours last 90-minutes and include the historic Castle’s main floor and basement, extensive grounds and surrounding cactus gardens. In addition, the castle hosts a variety of events for individuals to join such as full moon viewings, community garden days and twilight tours. A visit to the Tovrea Castle is perfect for an afternoon trip when in the Phoenix area and the property makes a beautiful backdrop for Instagram photos.
Tickets for tours of Tovrea Castle are released online twice a year for a six-month period (tickets for September through December 2019 were released on March 1, 2019) and sell out months in advance). The castle is closed during July and August. Be sure to plan ahead and check their website for what's available.
Cover photo cred: [Gage Skidmore licensed under CC BY 2.0 ]